Three tips: Writing classes, ‘Quiet’ book, body parts

Click this:

I try not to promote myself too much here, but I have to let you know that I have four online classes for writers starting new sessions on Aug. 1. In each class, students receive weekly email lessons and assignments which are due the following week. I offer extensive critiques of student work and responses to questions any time throughout the course. My students, both online and in person, have gone on to publish extensively, and I welcome the chance to help you do the same.

I have two new classes, Create and Maintain a Successful Blog and Writing and Selling Freelance Articles. Returning are two of my favorites, How to Write and Sell a Column and Reviews and Opinion Pieces. For an overview of all four classes and to sign up, visit

On the Classes page, you will also find information about my editing and critique services. I would love to help you with your writing.

Read this:

I just finished reading Susan Cain’s book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Cain has done extensive research on personality types and the differences between outgoing folks who like to be surrounded by people and quiet folks who prefer to spend their time alone. Although this is not specifically a book for writers, it does offer fascinating insights into how people are wired, and it might give you something to think about as you write about real or imaginary characters.

Try this:

(borrowed from poet Barbara Drake’s workshop)

Pick a body part and come up with as many different metaphors for it as you can in 15 minutes. For example, I used my elbow in our workshop the other night and called it a hinge, a right angle, a bend in the road, etc. If one or more of these inspire a poem or something else, shut off the timer and keep writing.

Now go write

Three Quick Tips: Renegade Writers, rockin’ queries, byline dreams

Once a week I am offering three quick tips that you can take and use right away. For those of us who would rather be writing than reading blogs, this is a place you can grab something useful and get back to work. If you have suggestions, please share them in the comments section.


Everyone who writes and/or teaches about freelance writing offers the same basic information, how to find ideas, write queries, do research, write, revise, yada, yada, yada, but the Renegade Writers tell you the stuff the rest don’t tell you. Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell, who have turned one Renegade Writer book into a collection of books and blogs, offer advice, free e-books, e-courses and other goodies at


You guessed it: The Renegade Writer: A Totally Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing Success, now available in print and as an e-book, will tell you all the good, bad and ugly about freelance writing. And don’t stop at this one book. They have others, including The Renegade Writer’s Query Letters That Rock: The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Selling More Work Faster and A Renegade Writer Kick in the Ass: 30 Riffs from the Renegade Writer Blog to Help you Bust Your Excuses, Light a Fire Under Your Butt, and Become a More Motivated & Productive Freelance Writer.

Try This

Be a renegade writer yourself. Close your eyes and picture your byline on the one thing that will make you feel like a successful writer. It could be a book, an article, a short story, poem, script, or song. Now open your eyes and write for at least 30 minutes about what you need to do to make it happen. The word “can’t” is not allowed.

Now Go Write

>Are you ready for next year?

>Dear freelancers,
2010 is almost over. We have a few days before the beginning of 2011 to take stock of the old year and make plans for the new one. So take some time this week to look at your freelance business.

What have you accomplished this year? Go ahead and make a list. If you have written but not published, that counts, too. Think of it as sowing seeds for future harvests. If you have published, have you organized your clips so they’ll be handy when you seek future work? Have you safely backed up all your files?

What do you want to accomplish in the coming year? Now is a good time to set goals. What will you do by this time next year? What do you need to do each month, each week, each day to make that happen?

What about money? Did you make money or lose money in 2010? Either way, if you’re freelancing for money, you need to report it to the IRS. If you have kept records all year, that won’t be hard. If you haven’t, set up a system this week that you will use starting on Jan. 1. I just signed up for QuickBooks to better organize my accounting. You can use any kind of computer program or write it out in a notebook, but you must keep records. On Jan. 1, write down the mileage in your car. You’ll need to know what the odometer says.

All the best to all of you for the new year. May it bring much success and happiness.


Have you purchased your copy of Freelancing for Newspapers yet?