By Joanna Campbell Slan As with most crises, this one began simply enough. My AOL inbox showed 20,000+ messages. The number had built up over time. In a surge of energy, I decided to clean out the inbox. Four hours later, I’d winnowed the mess down to 3,000+ emails. Some of you might have even gotten an email from me, because if I had any questions about whether an email had been responded to, I sent a new email to double-check. That night, I … [Read more...] about The Revenge of AOL/Lessons I learned about my computer
I've been re-reading Elizabeth Gilbert's The Signature of All Things for the authors' book club I belong to. The book was my choice. It's almost guaranteed to spark a lively debate for many reasons. I find myself intrigued by the way that Alma, the main character, can find beauty and wonder in the world around her. It is, I think, a talent well-worth having. To see past the broken, the ugly, and the dirty, and to find pockets of wonder. … [Read more...] about These Are a Few of My Favorite Things
Tuesdays with Sally Lippert, Joanna's Ace Assistant Do you read for fun? Do you read to escape? Do you read to learn a new skill? Or is it all of the above? Currently, I am reading for all of the above. As I am trying to assist Joanna in the self-publishing world, I have developed a whole new appreciation for what an author goes through to get a book into our hands. When we are very young, our parents introduce us to the world of books. School … [Read more...] about Why do YOU read?
Twice a year, my friends at RWA put together an experience that they call "BIAW." That's short for Book In A Week. Last time I participated, I wrote more than 22,000 words that week. My friend Beverly Bateman was the word-wrangler, and bless her heart, she kept cheering me on. After the first day, she emailed me to say, "Can you keep up this pace?" I sure did. We're all different. Our goals vary. We're motivated by different needs. I love … [Read more...] about Writing a Book In A Week–Can It Be Done?
By Joanna Campbell Slan School has started, and your child may be one of many who struggles with written assignments. Or perhaps you, yourself, are going back to school. Or maybe now that your kids are off to classes, you've decided to get down to the business of writing that book you've been meaning to tackle for years. I've been writing my whole life. In fact, I can't remember a time when I wasn't putting words on paper. I've also taught … [Read more...] about How Anyone Can Improve His or Her Writing Almost Instantly
"Kaizen" is a wonderful Japanese word that means constant and neverending improvement. I've taken that idea to heart. I want every book I write to be better than the last. One way I can improve is by paying attention to criticism. But not all criticism is equally valuable. And some criticism should be promptly forgotten. How can you tell what's what? By considering the intent of your critic. People share … [Read more...] about How to Judge Whether Criticism Is Fair or Not