On fat outlines and shitty first drafts

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The idea that you would just sit down and write a beautiful draft is deluded. The best writers do this on the best days; you, on the other hand, have to work even when you are not the best writer and it is not the best day. You can solve this my way — with … Continued

Writing backward and forward

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There are two challenges with writing anything — flow and impact. The flow problem is this: does each sentence lead into the next, and each paragraph lead into the next, in a way that draws the reader along? The impact problem is this: does the piece take you with ironclad logic to a place where … Continued

How to deal with crippling self-doubt: advice for authors

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Every nonfiction author feels it. That moment when you think “I can’t do this. I am not an author. I am helpless. I can’t move forward.” That’s crippling self-doubt. It’s so common, it deserves an acronym. CSD. Do you suffer from CSD? Please have hope. I’m here to help. First, here’s what doesn’t help This … Continued