The Opening of the Book I’m Now Writing

Here’s the (so-far) opening to “All In … Almost,” the book I’m just now writing that I wrote a bit about in My New Book Has Taken Over My Head: I was thirty-eight years old. I had a job a trained monkey could do, if it could be taught to shave and tie a tie—which I [Read More…]

Take One: The Opening Passage of My New Novel

(Whoops–sorry. I cut all this, cuz the book’s totally taken a new direction. Sorry! Thanks for understanding!) [Read more…]

How To Earn Respect and Power, Kids

Yesterday, at Jamul Intermediate School, in Jamul, California, I spoke to fourth and fifth graders about writing. If you are one of those kids: Hi, kid! Thanks for having me out at your school yesterday! Not that you had a choice! Still, you were very polite, and laughed at all my jokes, and asked intelligent, fun questions, [Read More…]

How To Become a Factory of Story and Article Ideas

One of my Big Points in yesterday’s More On How to Make A Living Writing was, “If you’re not pretty much an idea factory, you’re never going to make it anyway.” One of my more consistently perspicacious readers, “SamWrites2,” left a comment to that post. “Hi, John!” he wrote. “You know, I’ve been thinking. I need you. I want to [Read More…]

More On How To Make A Living Writing

[A follow-up to this piece is here: How To Write Stories & Articles That Sell. A short while back I did a multi-post series on how to make a living writing; the first of that series, unsurprisingly enough, is How To Make A Living Writing.] Yesterday I spoke before the large and active San Diego Christian [Read More…]

Good Talker Doesn’t Equal Good Writer

A couple of readers were kind enough to ask me to elaborate on a point I made in My Last, Best 10 Tips On How To Make It As A Writer, about how talking and writing are “exact opposite uses of the language.” So here’s my case for why, even though it seems like being a [Read More…]

My Last, Best 10 Tips on How To Make It As A Writer

Take it seriously. It’s just about impossible to make a living writing, so doing so means Fanatical Focus. When I decided to start making a living a writing, I wrote (for free, for all kinds of local publications) every night after work for four to six hours, and throughout every weekend. Six months into that I was [Read More…]