This Simple But Effective Practice Will Drastically Improve Your Writing

This Simple But Effective Practice Will Drastically Improve Your Writing

This Simple But Effective Practice Will Drastically Improve Your Writing


Have you been dealing with surges of overpowering emotion?

In a single day, do you feel like you experience the full range of human feeling, from anger to sadness to fear to love to joy?

Many of us are experiencing new and more powerful emotions than ever before. At times, this can feel quite overwhelming, because we haven’t been taught how to deal with so many emotions at once.

As a writer, you have an edge. Writing is the perfect medium to release your crazy, pent-up feelings. 

There’s even more good news for writers: strong emotions are a gift for your writing that will benefit you for years to come, as long as you don’t ignore them.

That’s why I want to give you a tip I usually reserve for the writers over in the Writing Gym. These are crazy times, and I want to make sure you have all the tools you need to not only get through, but come out a better writer.

Here is a simple practice to capture and channel strong emotions through your writing:

  1. Strong emotions are usually felt somewhere in the body. When feelings of fear, anger, or uncertainty arise, take a moment and close your eyes, focus on where you feel it in your body, and think about exactly how this emotion feels. 
  2. Ask yourself: Is it a sharp pain? A fluttery lightness? A dull aching? A pressing heaviness? Like the writer you are, think about the words you would use to describe what you feel. 
  3. Open your eyes and write it all down. Save it in a notebook or a file on your computer, and be sure to label what the emotion is. 

Not only will you feel better after releasing the emotion through your body and writing, but this will pay off in your future writing projects. Maybe five years from now, you’ll have a character who’s feeling something powerful, and you’ll have an example on how to describe any given feeling. 

You’ve been given the gift of emotional authenticity to add to your writing–take advantage of it. 

I’d love to hear if this strategy works for you. If you want to discuss more, I’ve set aside time in my calendar. Let’s chat

Build Your Confidence as a Writer and Push that Fear Away

Build Your Confidence as a Writer and Push that Fear Away

Build Your Confidence as a Writer and Push that Fear Away

Today, it’s an absolutely gorgeous day in New England. There’s so much beautiful foliage, and I’ve been out here walking with my dog, Mia.  

I find that walks are really a great time to think through what you’re writing.

I spoke with one of the writers in the Writing Gym this morning, and we talked about shower moments or walk moments.

These are the moments when you’re doing something else, and you suddenly solve a problem in your novel.

Often in the group, I talk about the work we’re doing in the Writing Gym and other people’s novels, but today I wanted to share thoughts about my own novel, as I’ve been working on some revisions.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with knitting (I’m not a huge knitter), but I have tried to make some scarves before, and in knitting, if you drop a stitch, you have to like take the whole thing apart and go through all the rows. It’s a scary experience, because if you pick up the wrong thing or you drop one stitch, you have to start all over.

It feels like I tore my whole novel apart, but the cool thing about it is there was a time in my early writing life when that would have terrified me. 

I’m truly a beginner when it comes to knitting, but I’m an expert enough in writing now that I can see where all of my rows and stitches are. It’s still a daunting task, but no longer scary or overwhelming.

I share this because you know there are a lot of writing classes, programs, and workshops, but as I was thinking about the work I do with our brave writers in the Writing Gym, it occurred to me that we are open about our fears.

We say, “It’s scary to pull apart your novel,” “This is how I feel about this,” “I’m not sure if I can do this well.” In the Writing Gym, we talk through these fears and give people strategies to work with. 

Even my friends, who are multiple times New York Times bestselling authors, will often say when starting a new book,  “I’m terrified. I don’t know what I’m going to write,” “Maybe my editor’s wrong.”

Fear is just part of the process, and in the Writing Gym, we’re helping people through those fears by talking about them and giving strategies. 

I don’t know how much you’ve been paying attention to what’s going on here in the group and in the Writing Gym, but I’ve lost count of how many publishing contracts we’ve gotten this year. It’s at least a dozen for people over in the Writing Gym, and that’s exciting. That’s results.

Those results are important, because people come to us and say, “I want to live the author lifestyle,” “I want to publish books.” It’s wonderful, and I’m happy for these writers.

I can tell those people are more confident than they were when they started. 

  • They love what they’re doing.
  • They’ve found joy in writing again.
  • They’re publishing.

But, the skills to live the author lifestyle, to have that confidence, to take apart the novel and say:

“You know, this is a little overwhelming,”

“But I know what I’m doing I can see where my rows are.”

“I’m not going to drop any stitches. I know how to do this.”

“I got it.”

That to me is the most amazing thing that happens in the Writing Gym.

So talk to me. What’s writing like for you these days? What are you afraid of? What’s coming up for you? What fears do you have, and what would it be like to have that kind of confidence?

Tell me your story, let’s chat.

Until next time, happy writing.

How We Support Writers to Confidence in the Writing Gym: “The Writing Gym has made believe that I am a writer.” 

How We Support Writers to Confidence in the Writing Gym: “The Writing Gym has made believe that I am a writer.” 

andHow We Support Writers to Confidence in the Writing Gym: “The Writing Gym has made believe that I am a writer.”


Due to COVID-19, all our lives have been disrupted in some meaningful way over the past weeks and months.

The Writing Gym community has been very important to us for a long time, and it has become even more so.

When people talk about the community that we have over in the Writing Gym, they talk about it being life-changing, the positivity, the support that they get, and how it’s different from anything they’ve experienced before–now, more than ever.

In times of uncertainty, in times of crisis, community becomes even more important. The Writing Gym is an even bigger deal to its members.

If you know me, you know my mission: to build a supportive writing community where people are getting real results and having a dang good time doing it.

I’m happy to see the vision I had years ago come to fruition–a beautiful place where writers can be nourished, have a good time, and enjoy each other’s company.

That’s what the Writing Gym is.


And writers are getting great result

So, what have we been doing since COVID came around and disrupted all our lives?

Well, we’ve been doing some special sessions over in the Writing Gym to bring us together on a more regular basis. I think it’s important now more than ever to have those points of contact, to laugh with each other, and to get into the writing craft together.

Last month, we did a ton of bonus sessions. We had an online Writing Retreat that turned out to be spectacular!

We continued that trend this month with a bonus session on Spec Fiction. We’re seeing a lot of requests for that when we look at agent descriptions. They’re looking for Spec Fiction.

A lot of folks have been wondering, “What is Spec Fiction? What does that mean?” Stephen Oliver broke it down for us in a terrific session.

We had one of our ever-popular sprints. We have those on a regular basis. Our Gym rats enjoy them, and a lot of work gets done.

We also did a special bonus session on how to create tension in your writing.

This is something we talk about a whole lot during the Revision period. So we did a deep dive into the craft and into creating tension — not just on the scene level, but also on a global level–in your novel.


So, those are just some of the things that I’ve been working on to make things happen for writers over the Writing Gym.

It’s a really special place, full of special people–people like our Mary Murry. Mary has been a big part of our community for a while now, and we’re glad to have her with us.

The Gym has meant a lot to Mary. She says, “The Writing Gym has made me believe that I’m a writer.”

Mary, you are a writer — an incredible writer – and I’m so glad to have you in our community. Thank you for sharing that with us.


I can’t stress enough that it truly is a special place, and that’s why membership is by invitation only.

Not because we’re snobs – we are absolutely not snobs! It’s invitation-only because we want to be sure we have the right folks with us, people who take the writing craft seriously without taking themselves too seriously. Because, like I said, we have a good time over there, and we get things done.

If you’re a writer, this is what you want for your life. You want a great place to hang out with great people, like Mary, who want to come to believe that they are writers, and to build their confidence and to get that book written–which she did.

I’d love to chat with you to see if you’re the right fit for our community, talk about where you are, where you’d like to go, and how you can get there. You can book yourself directly into my calendar, and we can chat about your writing dream.

Until next time, Happy Writing

WRITERS: Busting Myths About Literary Agents

WRITERS: Busting Myths About Literary Agents

Busting Myths About Literary Agents

Many writers believe agents are impossible, difficult to get in touch with, and terrible people.

I’ve heard all kinds of myths about these agents. Today we’re getting to the bottom of this situation. 

If you’ve ever submitted a manuscript, it might seem like an impersonal and harsh experience. I understand that, because there’s a lot of rejection in the submission process. The reality of the situation is, we don’t always get a “yes” when we send in our first query letter (but do let me know if you have had this experience before–you are definitely an anomaly). 

Let’s think about what it’s really like to be an agent–who are agents? I meet with many of them to get the latest information about the industry, and they are super busy people. Imagine if somebody gave you a library’s worth of books. This is what happens to agents everyday. 

The mistake writers make is they don’t treat agents like the people that they are.

They’re busy people and have lives outside of their work. Writers forget this fact sometimes and don’t realize that agents don’t have a lot of time to read long query letters. 

On the flip side is this: writing and publishing is a business. If you want to publish your novel, you need to accept this fact. You need to know the right things to say, how to address the business, and the person who is going to be your agent. 

Once again, you must address the humanity of the agent and the business side of publishing

I help writers get these two things right every single day. I’d love to chat with you about your project, where you are, where you’d like to go, and how you can get there. If you’re a writer who’s serious about publishing and doing it well, I’d love to chat with you about how you can do that. 

Are You a STARVING Artist?

Are You a STARVING Artist?

Are You a STARVING Artist?


There’s a cliche of the “starving artist.”

When we talk about this in society, it’s usually about money. However, I want to focus more on the starving artist syndrome that happens around feedback.  

Starving artists settle for the scraps that get thrown from the table, go to free writing groups in the library, and take in feedback from their neighbors. Maybe they can get quality feedback, but more likely to happen is the sob story I’ve heard over and over again.

These starving artists get the wrong feedback that could keep them from writing for many years. 

More often that not, many writers make the mistake of taking in the wrong feedback from the wrong people. What happens?

Well, one of the writers I worked with met with an agent who works with top publishing houses. He sent his manuscript as is, without taking in any of the feedback I gave him, and a year later I got in contact with the agent. 

His book was rejected. Why? Because he didn’t take in my feedback, and instead followed the wrong advice. 

On a different note, at Write to Publish we have a writer named Stephen Oliver. At this time last year, he was still in our Publishing Mastermind program at the Writing Gym. During one of my regular meetings with an agent who also works with many top publishing houses, she expressed great enthusiasm in reading his manuscript–even though it was still in the revision process. 

His manuscript was wanted because not only is he a good writer, he also takes in quality feedback. 

Which writer do you want to be? 

Writers and authors have difficulty in finding high quality feedback that will move their writing forward.  Here at the Writing Gym, we offer writing salons that help you get a taste of quality feedback. These salons book fast. 

If you are ready to invest in quality feedback that can launch your writing career, to stop settling for scraps and to finally taste a whole banquet, let’s talk.  

Ever Wonder How To Get Your Books Into Libraries?

Ever Wonder How To Get Your Books Into Libraries?

Ever Wonder How To Get Your Books Into Libraries?

I recently had an amazing meeting with a head librarian-turned-publisher, Jen. We talked about how to get your books into libraries.

This is a question a lot of self-published writers come to me with, and even traditionally published authors who are working on their own marketing platform.

It’s actually really hard to get your published books into libraries, maybe harder than you might think.

I’m really excited about having someone like Jen, a kind of ally, over here at Date With The Muse. Now we have the inside scoop to get you the skills and all the right information about getting your books into libraries. I had no idea until I spoke with Jen how much work goes into the librarian side. 

If you’d like to talk to me about how to get your books into libraries and how you can work with me to make that happen, you can just drop yourself right into my calendar.

I look forward to speaking with you. 

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