This incredibly simple exercise will make you a better writer … if you let it

by Hyphenman on Sep 29, 2015

Many writers waste their time with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) or meaningless writing exercises that don’t improve their writing one iota or get them to connect with readers in a relevant way.

A pity. Because the best writing exercise ever devised is right at their fingertips and seldom used.

How can 50,000 words produced at a lightning pace in one month – the goal of NaNoWriMo – sharpen your skill as a writer? Whatever you produce is unedited and unread. Churning out drivel at a record pace or churning out drivel at a snail’s pace still results in drivel.

The best way to improve your writing is to have it edited and judged by professionals. Apart from that, there’s still a way to improve on your own.

Reading, of course, can help, provided you take note of how the words are strung together, how the rhythm of the writing carries you along, how the words evoke an emotional and visceral response, and so much more.

But the real test is in the writing. If you read more than [read more]


There is a gap between a dream and reality. Close that gap, and your dream will come true.

by Hyphenman on Jun 09, 2014

Dreams, if they’re to be useful, are the incubation period for your goals.

I recently had a loyal Facebook follower tell me that she checks her e-mail basket regularly, “hoping for that one big break that the unknowns such as myself hope to find.”

Hoping for that “one big break” is like hoping to win the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes.

That’s not really a dream. That’s a fantasy.

  • I’m broke. I can barely afford the rent every month.
  • I’m old. At 67, I’m creeping up on 70. That means brittle bones and slow reactions.
  • If I can’t afford the bike itself, how can I possibly afford the essential incidentals: security chains (over 100 bucks), an alarm system (over $200, plus another $200 for installation), chrome crash bars (over $200 plus installation), insurance (prices range from $600 to $1,200), a Basic Rider Course (over $200) to get my license, protective clothing like gloves, an [read more]


    • "The Guerrilla Guide to Dynamite Fiction" is temporarily on hold while I finish a humorous picture book. Please be patient.
    • COMING SOON: The Discipline of Writing: When to Pull Out the Whip
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