We all have something to learn from each other

Image by Gordon Johnson — Pixabay

With the mass of articles on Medium and everywhere else all offering advice, it might seem like everyone is suddenly an expert. If anyone is starting out (a beginner, or with just a few years' experience) their advice is dismissed. I’m not saying we should just buy into everything someone says, despite them having little or no experience, but if you reach the point where you think you can only learn from ‘experts’ you might miss out.

You can be an ‘expert’ but not know everything

To excel in any subject or perfect a skill, you have to start somewhere. This could be anything like formal education, reading books…


If you want to sell your book

Picture by Free Photos — Pixabay

After the cover, the blurb of your book is the thing most people will look at. I’m mainly thinking of a specific blurb as I write this, but I won’t share it here because of copyright. However, it could be one of many blurbs, or a mix of mistakes from several others. Some of these things will be obvious, but many writers still make these mistakes with their blurbs.

Making spelling mistakes

We’re all human and we make mistakes. But if you don’t double or triple check your blurb it could mean you miss errors. …


An analogy for life

Photo by author (Amanda Steel)

Bad things happen in life, and we often have little or no control over them happening. However, the way we react to these unfortunate events shapes who we are and the lives we lead. I got to thinking about this when someone online was complaining. I’ll call him ‘G’.

G likes to complain about everything, but his recent complaint was about the rubbish someone had dropped outside his house. We’re talking about a couple of empty takeaway containers. So, although it’s not nice, it’s not as if a rubbish truck came along and dumped its contents on his doorstep. …


Gripping and thought-provoking

Image created on Canva

David Jackson has a way of making the reader feel something (good or bad) for his characters, even the killer. I read his book, The Resident, last year. In fact, it was one of my favourite books of the year. The Rule focusses on a different kind of killer; the accidental kind.

Daniel is a grown man, at least in body. However, his mind is on the same level as a child. He’s innocent, but doesn’t know his own strength. …


Reflections during a walk by the canal

The image was taken by the author

Like anyone else, if you ask me what makes me happy, my first response might be money, success, or my dream job. But if you break it down, what does that mean?

Letting the big stuff get in the way

I took a walk along the local canal, having just been disappointed by my weekly weight loss. I had lost weight, but only a little compared to previous weeks. I was also thinking about work. As a freelance writer, my work pays below minimum wage, and I often feel like I should be doing more. …


You’re never too old to learn, but that’s only true to a point.

Image: Canva

As someone who only gained my BA degree in my late thirties, then went on to graduate from a Creative Writing MA at the age of forty, I can tell you what graduating later in life is like.

Internships are Not an Option

For many people graduating, they are in a position to do an unpaid or extremely low paid internship. Of course there are always exceptions, but younger people are more likely to live with and have the support of their parents than a forty-year-old graduate.

For me, an unpaid internship…


Fiction (final chapter)

Cover created by Amanda Steel

I stand in the park that I used to walk through to get to where I lived as a karma. In my current form, it just leads to the other side of the park. It’s raining and early evening, so there’s nobody around.

“Boss, or God, or whatever?”

There’s no response.

“You said it was up to me, so I need to change back. Then I can go to the police, admit to being a vigilante and confirm that everything on the memory stick was from Larry’s computer.”

I stay where I am, knowing how he likes to make me…


Fiction

Cover created by Amanda Steel

I feel everything going black, recognizing how I used to feel when I blacked out as a ghost.

Someone is holding onto my hand and I hear talking, but I can’t make out the words. I try to focus on what is going on around me. Forcing my eyes open, I see Jonathan staring at me. The light above me is getting brighter. I wonder if we’ve gone to heaven, but of course, that doesn’t make sense.

“Hey, you’re in hospital. You might be a little out of it. …


Probably not by asking on Facebook

Image: Canva

A common question I come across is where to find a publisher. The answer is complex, and longer than I have time to write each time someone asks. So, I’m writing it here instead.

Magazines

Lots of countries around the world have magazines aimed at writers. These include The Writer, and Writer’s Forum. My personal favorite is Writing Magazine.

This is based in the UK, but you can subscribe from outside the UK. The opportunities listed inside include those from book publishers, agents, poetry magazines/journals and short story publications. So, whatever you write, you can…


Fiction

Cover created by Amanda Steel

“Emma, what are you doing here?”

“I don’t have long, but I wanted to talk to you.”

“This way,” I say, guiding her towards the small meeting room, knowing it’s empty for the next hour.

She refuses my offer to sit down, pacing the floor instead as she says, “I did it, I paid Tim Frey to kill my sister. He told me his name was… Well, that’s not important. The thing is, even though I never said the exact words, he made it obvious what I was agreeing to. I went to the police station and tried to own…

Amanda Steel

Author, editor of Printed Words, co-host of Reading in Bed (podcast). copywriter and ghostwriter. https://amandasteelwriter.wordpress.com/

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