There are no one or two "secrets" to writing career success. You need to master all of the hallmarks of professional writers to succeed consistently.

I have been writing how-to advice for writers for 13 years, and given all of the changes in the industry, you might think that I would have rewritten my entire handbook to adapt it for leaner times.

But with the exception of adding advice on micro-publishing to my body of work, none of the rest of the advice I offer has not really changed dramatically.

That’s because it’s still the calm, focused, and grounded writers, who make the most money.

This is true now and this has always been true.

I notice a higher level of desperation among writers outside my circle of students. Everyone has read the latest reports on the industry and now they are panicked and scrambling.

I think writers have some legitimate challenges today that did not exist five or ten years ago. Five or ten years ago, you could go about your freelancing work without a barrage of media pundits telling you how to feel.

In other words, back then, you could actually focus on doing your work and your biggest challenge, perhaps, was too much isolation. Today, things have swung to the other extreme.

You are expected to do your work while keeping up with an ongoing barrage of media coverage about your industry. There is pressure to keep up with all of this coverage, and make the conference circuit, and know everyone who is worth knowing. You should also try every new way of possibly making money, not burn your bridges, and oh, yes, be absolutely charming and wonderful at all times lest you disappoint your readers.

And somewhere in there, you are supposed to actually do your work.

I do not I teach writer to aim for overnight success, how to make millions, how to retire from something called the “rat race,” or any of that nonsense.

But I do teach them how to focus on their own goals, reach them, and earn money in the process over time. And somehow, in all of this hella ballo about publishing, we seem to be losing this.

If you want to weather this particular storm in the publishing industry right now, I can tell you how: set goals, focus on your work, and reach your goals.

I’m sorry it’s so simple. I am sorry I do not have a handy magic formula guaranteed for overnight success to sell unwitting buyers. What I have is old-fashioned, common sense advice that has always worked and always will.

You want to write for money?

Get a mentor, take classes, build skills, establish a portfolio of your work—work your way up just as every writer since the beginning of time has ever done.

Steer clear of overnight success types as much as possible. There are more and more of them every day it seems. I am sorry to say that they are almost always men. And apparently some of them have no ethics or morals, so long as you plonk down your money to buy their book and help get them to the bestseller lists.

Be careful attending writing conferences and joining organizations that support themselves by selling the dream of getting discovered and getting a book published.

Writing a book isn’t a dream; it’s hard work, whether you get published or publish yourself.

These days a writer like Cheryl Strayed is a dramatic exception. Everyone wants to be her, but few are actually willing to do the amount of work she did.

I interviewed Strayed for Writer’s Digest magazine a while back, and sometimes this quote by her is attributed to me:

“Writers are like farmers: the harvest comes, but only after you toil for a few seasons.”

I understand why folks think I said this. It sounds an awful lot like the advice I typically offer live, online, and in my books. And I heartily concur, but let’s make sure that Cheryl Strayed gets the credit for saying it, not me.

If you are looking for inspiration in these tumultuous times, consider how following her own advice has paid off for her.

And then get back to work. If you want to be a part of the future of publishing, there is only one way to get there. And it has not changed and likely never will.

Focus on  your goals, hunker down, and get to work!

If you need help figuring out what your work is, I am more than happy to work with you. Please check out my upcoming classes, Dream Teams, challenges, books and workbooks.

There’s a lot to learn, sure. And there’s even more to practice. But last time I checked, no one was just handed a profession. They had to earn it. And this has also been the case for every successful writer I have ever met. So stop flailing, and start setting reachable goals and reaching them.


Woo-hoo! We are really making a lot of progress in my new Etsy Shop this summer. And we are having tons of fun doing it.

I love that I can use the Etsy format to take the encouraging things I say to the writers I coach and put them out there for the general public.

And maybe you can’t afford my classes or coaching rates, but you loved my books and writing challenges. If so, you will probably love the inspirational posters in my Etsy Shop.

Print them out and hang them up in your home office or writing space and it’s like having me as your creativity coach 24-7!

And starting today through the end of July, I am offering a buy two, get one free sale on all the posters available in my shop!

You can have me sitting on your shoulder coaching you along the way to more success in no time by shopping in my Etsy Shop, Words, Glorious Words!

Thanks for swinging by and checking it out. I appreciate your shares and favorites.


One thing I do that sets me apart from many writing coaches is I work with writers on an ongoing basis in private groups I call Dream Teams.

Have you ever wished you could have someone behind your writing career, who cared about your success almost as much as you do?

If so, you should definitely check out my four levels of Dream Teams that begin August 1st and run through December 30th.

This fall I am celebrating five years of working with my Dream Teams. Time has definitely flown because I have thoroughly enjoyed working with writers on an ongoing basis on all three level teams.

In fact, last winter I added an Essay Writing Dream Team which can be taken by Intermediate and Advanced DT members.

The writers I work with on an ongoing basis are mom writers who are gradually building their skills and growing their writing careers with my ongoing instruction, support, and encouragement.

I have written and shared many tools for building writing career skills, but there is really nothing else like working with me on an ongoing basis.

I high level of trust and respect is something that I have been working on establishing in my teams for the past five years, and I am confident when I say that you cannot experience anything like it elsewhere.

Because there is only one Dream Team experience with me, and it begins on August 1st.

So, what do you say? Don’t you owe it to yourself and to your writing career to actually work with someone who cares about you and your career?

If you have taken Writing & Publishing the Short Stuff, I hope you will join us. If you are planning on it, and you have not registered yet, please register now.

Returning DTers receive a $25 discount the after their first team, because I want to keep coming back and because I love nothing more than working with hardworking writers on an ongoing basis.

Hope to have the opportunity to work with you in a fall Dream Team!


I meant to write this blog post this morning, so I’m just going to go ahead and extend my Etsy Shop sale until noon PST on Monday, July 7th.

As I’ve been figuring things out over on Etsy, I’ve been sharing little bits and pieces with you here and in my e-zine and on social media.

If you’ve been keeping up, you may remember that we have kept the poster prices half-price while we’ve been launching the shop.

And now, finally, tomorrow is the big day. We’ve reached our initial goal of ten posters. So tomorrow at noon the prices will double and all posters will be priced at $4.99 from here on out.

Here’s a little preview of what we’re offering so far. Click here to visit the shop and get your posters at half-price until tomorrow at noon.

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Celebrating My Creative Independence & Individuality By Resting

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As creatives, we need each other. Of course we do. You won’t find me writing or posting anything to the contrary.
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Impatience is a common attribute among writers.
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My Latest Inspirational Poster For Writers: Write Like You Breathe

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Have you had a chance to stop by my Etsy shop yet?
If you could click on over and favorite my shop and follow me, I would love it.
It’s called, Words, Glorious Words!
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Fall In Love With Your Writing Career Again

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Brand New! 52 Qualities of Prosperous Writers Poster

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I am very pleased to announce my latest product and my first inspirational poster for writers.
Introducing the newly updated 52 Qualities of Prosperous Writers poster!

Above is a low-res image of the high-res JPG poster that can be delivered to your inbox for only $2.49.
When you purchase this poster from my Etsy shop, you will receive [...]

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Last Round Of Writing & Platform Challenges Until August!

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Okay, so June 1st is your last chance to take a writing challenge with me until August 1st.
If this statement is not inherently dramatic, just remember, you will likely do a whole lot of summering between now and August 1st and you know what? My challenges actually lend themselves really well to summer. The reason [...]

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