Business Musings: How Writers Fail Part 13: Success Kills Them

To get an audio version of this blog, click here. When I was at Clarion years ago, one of my classmates (and now lifelong friend) had a verbal altercation with a waitress. Something was not cooked to his liking, and he had to send the food back. The second attempt didn’t work well either, and […]

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Business Musings: How Writers Fail Part 11: They Want To

I know, I know. The title is harsh. Because the topic is harsh. Remember, I have decades worth of experience watching and trying to help writers. And I have learned, to my chagrin, that some writers are beyond help. Or rather, the help those writers need is beyond anything I or any other writer/mentor can […]

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Business Musings: How Writers Fail (Part 10): The Problems in Your Writing Are The Problems in Your Life

The first time I ever heard the saying, “The problems in your writing are the problems in your life,” I was having a conversation with Harlan Ellison about editing. Back when I was editing Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine, I was feeling my way around editing fiction. I had run a newsroom and put out a […]

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Business Musings: How Writers Fail (Part 9): They Quit

The title of this post seems obvious. How do writers fail? They quit. Yes, they do. But it’s about more than quitting, really. This post is about when they quit. Let me start with a quote from John Mellencamp that slapped me about the face and neck when I was casually reading the AARP Magazine. […]

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Business Musings: How Writers Fail (Part 8): Yeah, I Already Know That

I recently read a novel by a traditionally published writer who’s been a favorite of mine for forty years. The novel was good—her work is always good—but it lacked dramatic tension. At one point, Dean asked me what genre the book was, because the cover didn’t communicate a genre clearly. I was about 100 pages […]

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Business Musings: How Writers Fail (Part 7): Competition

This is another one of those deceptive titles, like “Money.” Because when most writers read “Competition” as the sub header here, they think, Yep, there’s just too much competition out there. A handful of writers win, but the rest of us lose. Um…no. Readers are a fascinating bunch. They’re terribly unpredictable. Just because something is […]

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Business Musings: How Writers Fail (Part 6): Words

Lately, I’ve been stuck in words. The right word, as a matter of fact. As some of you know, I’m studying Spanish, rather intensely, truth be told. I’m slowly moving away from being functionally illiterate in Spanish (where I know every word except the important one) and moving toward marginally literate in Spanish. But you […]

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Business Musings: How Writers Fail (Part 5) Money

I know most of you are going to stare at this title and think: Yep, writers fail because they don’t earn enough money. Um…nope. That’s not the problem at all. Money causes writers to fail because writers bring the wrong expectations to their view of their financial spreadsheet. First, let’s talk about money in general. […]

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Business Musings: How Writers Fail (Part 4): Aging Writer Edition

Do to unforeseen difficulties, I didn’t have a chance to write up the rest of the Expo. I’ll do so in the next week or so. Instead, the planned series continues. I have never read Michael Chabon’s book, The Wonder Boys, but I love the movie. It has two of my favorite actors—Michael Douglas and […]

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