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Point of View: The Wonderful, Terrible Act of Writing

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I realized long ago that it’s possible to hold two entirely contradictory thoughts in your head at the same time, both of them equally valid. For instance, I can hear about a fellow author’s success – let’s say they won a contest that I also entered my own book into (and lost). I can be thrilled at their success and sad for my own loss. Both of these things are valid, and one doesn’t negate the other. That’s how it is with my relationship with writing. There’s nothing I’d rather do than be writing, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do … Read more

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Point of View: The (Questionable) Wisdom of Writing Four Things at Once

Man with lots of ideas - deposit photos

My therapist thinks I have ADHD tendencies. That’s a fancy way of saying that I’m happiest when I am multitasking. I love round-robining through three different things at once, doing a bit on each until I wrap all of them up with pretty bows on top. Another way of saying this is that I’m a high-functioning ADHDer. I’ve learned to work with those tendencies, and to make them work for me. This came up again recently in my writing life. I’ve been stalled out on my latest WIP, my first “Forever Cycle” novel that seems to have me stuck in … Read more

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Review: Suck a Little Happy Juice

Suck a Little Happy Juice - J. Scott Coatsworth

Just got a great review for Suck a Little Happy Juice from D.B. at Paranormal Romance Guild: Get It On Amazon | Universal Buy Link Unlike most of my reviews, this book isn’t fiction therefore it required me to rethink how I usually review books. So, bear with me as I review my first non-fiction book: Theme: Writing is hard, but it’s also sorta fun. My initial thought was that the author must’ve truly enjoyed writing this book. There’s a lot of humor embedded throughout, which made reading it a lot more fun. This was especially important for me, since for the … Read more

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Point of View: It’s the People

friends - deposit photos

It’s been a rough few months. We’ve recently lost a couple friends to cancer, and found out a couple more have it too. Other friends are fighting unknown maladies that have reduced their lives to misery. My Mac died, and was in the shop for two agonizing weeks before it finally came home. I broke my arm for the second time in October, and then Mark and I got a really bad cold in December. Facebook temporarily kicked me off, scaring me half to death. A great job I really wanted didn’t even bother giving me an interview, and I … Read more

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Cover Reveal / Preorder: Suck a Little Happy Juice

Suck a Little Happy Juice - J. Scott Coatsworth

I’ve finally gone and done it. I’ve gathered all of my copious columns on writing, typed out on my blog (and a few other places) over the last eight years, and have mashed them into a book for indie writers. 🙂 And yeah, the title. I decided on it years ago, when I wrote a column of the same name. The key passage: We need to bottle up all those great things [that happen to us as writers] and put them away, ready to be opened at a later date when things don’t seem quite so rosy. When imposter syndrome … Read more

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Point of View: You Can Go Back (But Should You?)

Back in Time - Deposit Photos

Frasier is back. We saw the previews a month or two ago, and were convinced that it was going to be a total train wreck. But we’ve watched the first three episodes now, and it’s actually not bad. The show’s tone picks up pretty adroitly where the original series left off, and if it’s not quite as fresh as it once was, it’s still fun to settle back into Frasier’s world, as comfy as Martin Crane’s chair. And last Friday we watched Beverly Hills Cop and Flashdance back-to-back, and it was fun to travel back the 80’s again, my formative … Read more

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Point of View: Becoming Italian

Italian Heart - Deposit Photos

I’m not Italian. Not even a little bit. And yet I speak the language (almost fluently!) and love almost all things Italian (y’all can keep your Timpano). The food, the culture, the history and the people all fascinate me, and some of our best friends are actual Italians living in Italy, whom we talk to on Zoom on a weekly basis. So how did I become (almost) Italian? And why? Back in elementary school, I was fascinated by other cultures, especially Native American ones. I grew up in Tucson, in the heart of the southern Arizona desert, steeped in both … Read more

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Point of View: You’re Only as Thick as Your Skin

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“The truth is, publishing will break your heart, but you can’t let that stop you. You need to be tough. Really tough, or take your scribbles and go home. Becoming a writer isn’t a stroll through the park, with bluebirds singing and cute animals running by your side. It’s the freaking Thunderdome. Bring armor.” —Jamie Lee Moyer, Author and Editor Publishing is famously called the lowest paid profession for a reason. And writers, especially newbie ones, are at the bottom of the barrel. There are literally millions of us, many quite talented, and with the ease of indie publishing these … Read more

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Point of View: Break the Rules

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So many rules. Every part of our lives is governed by them, and sadly writing is no exception. There are rules of grammar: 
If you made it through high school English and you want be a writer, you probably have a pretty decent handle on these rules. But there are others, too. For instance, formatting rules, which can shift and change over time: There are many more… for standard formatting guidelines, check out William Shunn’s formatting guides online—these have become industry standard
. There are rules for characters: There are many more of these that the typical writer picks up in … Read more

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Point of View: Building a House

house made of books - Deposit Photos

In writing, there are many different forms, or structures, to choose from when you decide to write something new. Which one you use depends on the story you want to tell. It’s like building a house. Maybe you have one person’s story to tell, something that takes place over a fairly short period of time. You might choose to build a small studio apartment, where everything has its place and nothing that isn’t necessary is included. That’s a short story, usually anything up to 15,000 words. Maybe you want to tell the story of a couple characters, but still over … Read more