Tips for Writers

Designate a writing space to promote creativity and productivity

Just as my granddaughter spends lots of money on shoes and gear that increase her running safety and efficiency, having a designated writing space can promote your creativity and productivity.

Whether that space is in a corner of your bedroom or in a separate room, surround yourself with the tools of your trade: files, notebooks, reference materials, or anything else that keeps your focus on writing.

For example, inspirational posters, famous author quotes, or photos of writers you admire can enhance your writing experience,

My former office was an unused bedroom in a five-bedroom house; it was my writer’s cave.

I hung framed copies of a health newsletter that I had previously published; kept a small, antique pillow from a deceased colleague–whose work I admired–at my desk; and had a glass wall hanging engraved with the words, “Your story begins at home.”

Of course, you can write just as well from a kitchen table, but nothing says “serious writer” as much as having an at-home office.

You “go” to work there, just like you do at your job.

The difference: on your job you produce for someone else; at home, you produce for yourself–and hopefully, the world.

I am in the process of setting up a writing space in my new apartment. With less space, I need to get creative about where it will be.

The “where” is less important than the “why:” increase my productivity and nurture artistic expression.







Tips for Writers

The Art of Interviewing

Artful interviewing is the key to successfully crafting an article.

I have conducted hundreds of interviews over the years–in-person or by telephone–with ordinary folks, government types, public officials and celebrities.

Since most of these people have busy schedules and little time to waste, it is imperative that you make sure the time you spend with them is well-planned.

Do lots of research on the topic so your questions demonstrate that you have, at least, a minimal knowledge of the subject or topic.

For example, if you are interviewing a celebrity about their career, you should have totally researched their successes, failures, and life stories, so you can get beyond questions of fact to more substantive issue such as why they made certain choices or how these choices affected their lives.

Also, make sure that you record the interview and take notes. The recorder captures everything; your notes capture what is significant.

Your goal is to discover something new, something real, something provocative, or something moving that will engage your reader.

Readers want to read about celebrities and others who have experienced or overcome the universal problems of  life–loss, disappointment, self-doubt, failure, or deprivation.

Whether a celebrity or ordinary folk, we are all travelers on the journey of of life.

Help your readers connect with your interview subjects and your mission will be accomplished.


Tips for Writers, Writing Tips

Do you have a book in you?

My daughter has talked about writing a (humorous) book about her life experiences.Yet, to date she has not given it any serious consideration.

While she is not a WRITER, she has a wonderful story to tell about raising seven children, while living in New York City shelters. Not a funny story, you say.

I beg to disagree. Any life experience can be viewed through the lens of humor. Even those that seem grim or humorless.

What about  your story?

We need authentic stories of survival that encourage and inspire us.

If you have a story to share, do so.

It might not be great literature, but,  it  might shine a light on aspects of life that most of is have never experienced or seen.

Great literature is largely about the most ordinary  of experiences.

Experiences that most of us have shared

Don’t be a WRITER, be a sharer of human experiences that all of us can relate to.

I dare you.