Recommended: Writer for Hire

If you freelance, you might want to read the latest book by our prolific friend, Kelly James-Enger.

Take a few minutes to read my review on …


Eight apps for writers


Take a jog over to Release Your Writing’s blog today to enjoy eight productivity apps for writers, courtesy of my friends at

What’s in a name? A look at one-word book titles

There’s a long essay at The Millions this week entitled The Appeals and Perils of the One-Word Book Title.

It’s well worth reading, as it covers a lot of ground, and stresses the importance of the title for your books.

Writer Bill Morris discusses the appeal of one-word titles … “mainly because they can be so enviably concise and memorable, so perfect. At their best, one-word titles distill content to its purest essence, which is what all titles strive to do, and then they stick in the mind.”

Think of the pressure involved in choosing just one single word to convey the meaning of your entire book! A lot can go wrong, but if you get it right, well, you’ll have a successful book, driven by curiosity over the title. So, whether you have a book in mind, have already chosen a title, or just want a little exercise this morning, think of one word, just one word, that would convey the essence of your book.

As further impetus to study the one-word-title concept, Morris notes:

“Seven of the 32 books on the current New York Times hardcover fiction and non-fiction best-seller lists – a healthy 22 percent – have one word titles.”

Curious? There’s a section on the importance of title in Release Your Writing. Like naming a baby, it’s pretty important.

Author Marketing: The last hundred hours

In Release Your Writing, I refer to several concepts that continue to generate feedback year after year.

Last week I wrote here about the need to continue promoting your book, for years, not weeks after it launches. In the book, I suggest you do one thing each week and one larger task each month, to keep the book alive. You can read last week’s post for inspiration if you’re currently marketing your book.

Today, lets talk about my concept: “the last hundred hours.” It refers to all the work left to do on your book once you ‘think’ it is is complete.

The Last 100 Hours

When you finally have the text nailed down, and your chapters flow, it still takes about 100 hours for reader feedback, final review and editing, reading cover-to-cover, chasing down citations, and submitting for publication. Even writers with a traditional publisher need that huge time push at the end.

Don’t get scared though. It’s not 100 hours without sleep, just two to three weeks where you won’t watch TV, open the mail or read the newspaper. You will use all your available time for the final push to publication, because you’re so close to being finished, and it feels so good.

Maybe you’re tired of revising, or up against your deadline. This is not the time to rush. Your book has taken shape from a dream to a reality, but the professional editing, formatting and last minute clean up should not be rushed. Even when you think you’re done, print the manuscript, put it in a binder, and read it cover-to-cover, or read it aloud. If you love it, and you know your target audience, your readers will love the book too.

Guest post: Christina Katz

With Christina’s permission, here’s an excerpt from her recent blog post: “There Has Never Been a Better Time to Be a Writer.” Can’t argue with that… (Full link here).

…”Because writers have increased choices for how to publish. Because we have increased choices of how and where to seek assistance. Because we have so many easy, inexpensive career-building tools at our fingertips. And because it has never been easier to locate and make the most of everything we need to succeed in the short run and the long run.”

More at

Make Your Own Rules for Success

Here’s an old bon mot:

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

— W. Somerset Maugham

Use it as your motivation to make your own rules, find your own path, and make 2012 the year you move your writing ahead.  Get an article published, research the requirements for a book proposal or charge ahead on the path to seeing your book published. A year is a long time, and that time will be filled with a myriad of obligations and surprises. How you use your time to push closer to your goals will detemine the outcome for you at year-end.

I’ll get off my soapbox now!
Best regards,
Helen Gallagher

Reminder: Dec. 15th deadline for contest

Hippocampus MagazineEvery month Hippocampus Magazine offers a writing prompt contest online.

Here’s the link – – Look over previous entries, and mark your calendar for Dec. 15 for the next prompt.

Pajama Marketing will repeat this post on Dec. 14 as a remind…

A gilft list to let you escape into your writing!






Surely after all the festive holiday events this month, you’ll be longing for a couple quiet hours to write. Promise yourself you’ll grab your notebook or laptop and settle into a quiet writing time.

And, if you’re wondering what to ask for for a holiday gift, instead of another sweater, here are my top suggestions for inspiring your creativity. Print, forward or tweet this list of my top five suggestions to be sure you get these goodies from your family and friends this holiday season:

1. The book, The Story Within: New Insights and Inspiration for Writers, by Laura Oliver. Unusual in that it grabs you from the first page, and is styled as a how-to writing guide but reads much like a memoir. Available locally and nationally.

2. A subscription to Writer’s Chronicle magazine, where you won’t see the same old concepts repurposed in two bigger writing magazines. (

3. A one-year membership in Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network (

4. Bylines 2012 Calendar — a weekly desk calendar for writers. For me, fabulously motivating, with writer profiles, lists, events, and a great motivator to track submissions, manage deadlines and stay inspired. You can even be a contributor for the 2013 edition.

5. The book, Pilgrimage, by Annie Liebovitz. Now this is an indulgence, a huge book of photographs and essays, but it is very special. The famous photographer made a list of places that had meaning and were on her life list. And the result is inspiring beyond belief. The full-page photos beg to be touched, and the images will stay in your mind forever. From the view out Emerson’s bedroom  window, to Emily Dickinson’s house, to the unbelievably tiny desk where Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women, to the fantasy of your own get-away to explore life… It’s all in this lovely book. Available locally at The Bookstall via this link.

Need a writing prompt?

Hippocampus MagazineEvery month Hippocampus Magazine offers a writing prompt contest online.

Here’s the link – – Look over previous entries, and mark your calendar for Dec. 15 for the next prompt.

Pajama Marketing will repeat this post on Dec. 14 as a remind…

Are you writing yet? National Novel Writing Month is underway.

Search the archive here for the NANOWRIMO category, down the left side of this blog, to read a bit of history and the fun of NANOWRIMO from 2009. I don’t have much time this year, but I’m already dipping into the e-inkwell to get some pages done every day.

Don’t feel that you don’t have time, just jump in this year and meet your minimum goal:

Make yourself write every day.


That’s really the appeal of National Novel Writing Month. You needn’t turn out a novel but its fun to have goals.

Please comment here to let us all know if you’re participating this year, and how you’re doing.

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