This week’s top writing advice from around the web for Feb. 5, 2023

Reading Time: 9 minutes
(Image by Maria Korolov via Midjourney.)

I subscribe to more than 150 writing advice sites and gather the best posts for you every single Sunday. You can see all the previous writing advice of the week posts here and subscribe to the RSS feed for this writing advice series here (direct Feedly signup link).

Productivity, mood management, and battling the demons inside

The Problems In Your Writing Are The Problems In Your Life by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

An absolutely wonderful article about dealing with your personal problems in order to find yourself as a writer — from an industry veteran who knows what she’s talking about. New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch writes bestselling science fiction and fantasy, award-winning mysteries, acclaimed mainstream fiction, controversial nonfiction, and the occasional romance. At, Rusch offers her thoughts about the publishing industry and other topics.

Writing Discipline: Why Talent Isn’t Enough (And What You Need Instead) by David Safford

The mark of a successful writer isn’t their talent, but their discipline to write. David Safford writes adventure stories. Read his latest story at his website The Write Practice is an advice site from a group of writers. They also have a writing critique community and a newsletter. Follow The Write Practice on Twitter, on Facebook, or subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link).

Other motivational advice this week:

The art and craft of writing

Make Them Earn It by Philip Athans

Your characters need to earn the things they need to succeed in their own stories. Don’t let anything come too easily, and in most genre fiction, at least, anything and everything must feel that it came at the cost of significant effort. If not, it’s not worth including in the story. Philip Athans is the New York Times best-selling author of Annihilation and a dozen other books including The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Writing Monsters. His blog, Fantasy Author’s Handbook, is updated every Tuesday, and you can follow him on Twitter at @PhilAthans. Fantasy Author’s Handbook offers advice for authors of fantasy, science fiction, and horror.

AI In Publishing: What’s Really Going On? by Penny Sansevieri

Solid list of AI-powered writing tools for authors. Penny Sansevieri is the CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, an adjunct professor at NYU, and a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. Follow her on Twitter at @Bookgal and on Facebook at @therealbookgal. Her book, How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon, has just been updated for 2021 and is in Kindle Unlimited. Author Marketing Experts is a book promotion company. For more advice like this subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link).

Video: Being Original by J.P. Beaubien

Learn how to come up with truly original ideas that can help a writer ascend to the highest circles of avant-garde artistic achievement. J.P. Beaubien’s current project is a book series named Aeon Legion. Follow him on Facebook at @authorJPBeaubien and on Twitter at @JosephPBeaubien. Terrible Writing Advice is a very popular YouTube channel where J.P. Beaubien offers only the most sincere and genuine writing advice delivered with absolutely no sarcasm at all.

Why The Fights In The Witch From Mercury Are So Boring  by Oren Ashkenazi

Something has gone terribly wrong when giant-robot fights aren’t exciting. Oren Ashkenazi is a speculative fiction manuscript editor at Mythcreants. Mythcreants is my all-time favorite writing advice site. Get their RSS feed here (direct Feedly signup link) or follow them on Twitter @Mythcreants and on Facebook at @mythcreants.

Podcast: Interview With The Vampire Show by Oren Ashkenazi and Chris Winkle

The new Interview with a Vampire show on AMC is in a unique meta-conversation with both the book and movie. Oren Ashkenazi is the speculative fiction manuscript editor and Chris Winkle is the founder and editor-in-chief at Mythcreants. Mythcreants is my all-time favorite writing advice site. Get their RSS feed here (direct Feedly signup link) or follow them on Twitter @Mythcreants and on Facebook at @mythcreants.

Podcast: An Interview With Howard Tayler by Mary Robinette Kowal, DongWon Song, Erin Roberts, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler

In this episode the hosts interview Howard Tayler, one of the founding members of this podcast, and the creator of Schlock Mercenary. The first question: how did this twenty-year ride change you? And a later question: what comes next? Mary Robinette Kowal is the Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author of the Lady Astronaut series and other books and the former president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, SFWA. (now the Science Fiction Writers Association). Howard V. Tayler is the creator of the webcomic Schlock Mercenary. Writing Excuses is a podcast about the art and business of writing. Support them on Patreon.

Other writing advice this week:

The business side of writing

Podcast: The Empowerment Of Selling Books Direct To Your Readers With Steve Pieper by Joanna Penn

What are the benefits of selling direct? Why might using your face to advertise your books be a good idea? What might be the future of selling direct? USA Today best-selling thriller author Steve Pieper talks about these things and more. Joanna Penn has been sharing writing and publishing advice since 2008 at The Creative Penn and is the author of Successful Self-Publishing and many other writing and publishing advice books. She also has one of my favorite writing advice podcasts, and you can subscribe to it on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, or Stitcher. The Creative Penn offers articlesvideosbookstools, and courses for independent authors.

Podcast: AI vs. Human Narration (Bryan Sings In This One) by Bryan Cohen and H. Claire Taylor

AI voices could win, despite being inferior. How would you use AI narration and human narration differently, and do you plan on trying AI narration this year? Bryan Cohen is an experienced copywriter, bestselling author, and the founder of Best Page Forward and Amazon Ad School. You can find out more about Bryan at H. Claire Taylor is a humor author and fiction strategist, as well as the owner of FFS Media. The Sell More Books Show is a weekly podcast focusing on helping new and experienced authors stay up-to-date with the latest self-publishing and indie news, tools and book selling and marketing strategies.

Video: Question The Premise: Write What Sells by Becca Syme

When we try to “write what sells,” are we really doing our best work? Some people do want to write what people want to read, and if that’s you, that’s fine. But the truth is, everything has the capacity to sell to someone if the execution is right. Becca Syme is a Gallup-certified strengths coach, author coach, and nonfiction author who’s coached more than 5,700 authors. The QuitCast for Writers is a video podcast where Becca Syme discusses what to keep, what to quit, and what to question, if you are trying to make a go of the author career.

Video: Priceless Publicity For Authors by Mark Dawson and James Blatch

SPF Foundation winner Halima Khatun explains how she combines her experience in PR with her new writing career and talks about how a new approach to PR can be beneficial for promoting an author’s brand and boosting book sales. Mark Dawson is a USA Today bestselling author who teaches courses about book production and marketing. Check out his website at James Blatch writes military thrillers. For more, check out his website, On the Self Publishing Formula show, Mark Dawson and James Blatch talk about building a career as a self-published author.

Podcast: The One Where Bestselling Author C.J. Tudor Explains Why It’s Better To Have No Agent Than The Wrong Agent by J.D. Barker and Christine Daigle

Law enforcement consultant Patrick O’Donnell joins the podcast as a guest host for this episode, which features an interview with best-selling novelist C. J. Tudor about finding the right agent, writing what you love no matter what, and her upcoming end-of-the-world thriller, The Drift.
J.D. Barker is the New York Times and international best-selling author of numerous novels. Christine Daigle writes steampunk, sci-fi and horror. Writer’s Ink is a podcast focusing on the business of writing.

Podcast: Agents by Matt Bird and James Kennedy

The hosts discuss their checkered history of getting agents, losing them, and finding new ones. Lots of helpful hints for the unagented. Matt Bird is the author of The Secrets of Story: Innovative Tools for Perfecting Your Fiction and Captivating Readers. Sci-fi author James Kennedy teaches writing and filmmaking and you can follow him on Twitter at @iamjameskennedy. The Secrets of Story blog offers in-depth, detailed advice about writing and structuring novels and screenplays.

Other business advice this week:

Am I missing any writing advice sites? Email me at [email protected] or leave a note in the comments below.


Copyedited by Melody Friedenthal

MetaStellar editor and publisher Maria Korolov is a science fiction novelist, writing stories set in a future virtual world. And, during the day, she is an award-winning freelance technology journalist who covers artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and enterprise virtual reality. See her Amazon author page here and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, and check out her latest videos on the Maria Korolov YouTube channel. Email her at [email protected]. She is also the editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business, one of the top global sites covering virtual reality.

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