This week’s top writing advice from around the web for Jul. 30, 2023

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

I subscribe to more than 175 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

Self-Doubt by Steven Pressfield

Self-doubt is simply resistance — and that the stronger it is, the more certain we can be that we are on the right track. In other words, resistance knows more than we do. Resistance knows how potentially good our work-in-progress is. Steven Pressfield is the author of The Legend of Bagger Vance and other novels as well as The War of Art and other non-fiction books about creative success. Check out his Amazon author page here. StevenPressfield.com offers weekly articles as well as a free mini-course about the business of writing.

The Wall Of WTF by Tiffany Yates Martin

Getting past the Wall of WTF starts with understanding that it’s just a stage—a normal one in the process of creation. That feeling of “WTF am I even doing?” This article is about how to get past that. Tiffany Yates Martin has spent nearly thirty years as an editor in the publishing industry, working with major publishers and New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling and award-winning authors as well as indie and newer writers, and is the founder of FoxPrint Editorial and author of the bestseller Intuitive Editing: A Creative and Practical Guide to Revising Your Writing. FoxPrint Editorial offers online courses, workshops and presentations, and advice to authors.

Podcast: Writing From Your Shadow Side With Michaelbrent Collings by Joanna Penn

Bestselling fantasy and sci-fi author Michaelbrent Collings talks about how to use what you’re scared of to write better stories that resonate with readers, and how to acknowledge your shadow side and bring aspects of it into the light in a healthy way that serves you and your customers. 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.

Other motivational advice this week:

The art and craft of writing

Five Ways To Restore Tension by Chris Winkle

Strategically placed hooks will keep audiences interested through the end. Strategies include announcing that dangerous tasks are ahead, accelerating deadlines, taking away assets, powering up the enemies, and creating new obstacles. Chris Winkle is the founder and editor-in-chief of 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.

Edge Of Their Seats by Laurie Schnebly Campbell

Whether you’re writing a coming-of-age story, a serial killer thriller, a quilting cozy, a paranormal epic, a historical romance, or a children’s bedtime story, you want there to be enough tension to keep readers eagerly turning pages. You can create tension by raising questions and leaving them unanswered until later in the story. Romance writer Laurie Schnebly Campbell is a former counseling therapist and runs writing workshops and, during the day, writes and produces videos for an advertising agency. Check out her website, BookLaurie.com, or follow her on Facebook at @laurieschneblycampbell or Twitter at @booklaurie. Writers in the Storm is another great site for writing advice, with a group of regular contributors and guest writers who post frequently. It is very well worth following on RSS (direct Feedly signup link here).

Video: An Epic Subtext Technique In Stories by Stavros Halvatzis

The subtext technique is the cover-up, which can be deployed via a change of subject, or an outright lie, or misdirection, or asking a question to deflect suspicion, or using intimidation or threats to make people stop asking questions. Stavros Halvatzis is a writer and writing teacher. Get Writing is Stavros Halvatzis’s YouTube channel. For more advice like this, check out StavrosHalvatzis.com or follow him via his RSS feed (direct Feedly link here).

Podcast: Lessons From Content Editing by Oren Ashkenazi and Chris Winkle

Which problems are most likely to sink a story? This week, the Mythcreants team — who are about to celebrate their ten-year anniversay — talk about fundamental issues, along with why they happen and what authors can do about them. 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.

Video: Drafting Unforgettable Characters In Claude by Jason Hamilton

How to use the new free Claude AI chatbot to help with character creation. Jason Hamilton is a fantasy author. Check out Hamilton’s site, MythHQ. You can also follow him on Twitter at @StoryHobbit and on Facebook at Jason Hamilton. The Nerdy Novelist is a YouTube channel focusing on using AI to write and market books.

Other writing advice this week:

The business side of writing

Successes And Strengths In Self-Publishing With Jasinda And Jack Wilder by Rachel Wharton and Joni Di Placido

Bestselling fantasy authors Jasinda And Jack Wilder talk about using a newsletter to reach readers, using a pen name in multiple genres, and how the indie publishing industry has changed. Rachel Wharton is the author engagement coordinator at Kobo Writing Life. Joni Di Placido is the author engagement specialist at Kobo Writing Life. Kobo Writing Life is the writing advice site from the people behind the Kobo reader. For more like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (directly Feedly link here).

Video: How To Optimize Your Author Business by S.D. Huston

SEO for Authors author Estelle Van de Velde talks about optimizing image files names, long-tail keywords, optimizing social media accounts, pros and cons of LinkTree, getting a Wikipedia page and other aspects of search engine optimization. Fantasy author S. D. Huston is also a military war vet and a former college literature professor and writing coach. Check out her website at SDHuston.com. The S.D. Huston YouTube channel features interview and advice related to writing and publishing.

Video: The Key To Selling Books On Social Media by Shelby Leigh

The key to selling books on social media is the hook, according to this author, who’s sold over 40,000 books on TikTok and Reels. I’m guessing she’s got this down to a science. What’s even more impressive is that she writes poetry books. Shelby Leigh is a bestselling author and digital marketer who’s worked with over 2,000 authors to help them promote their books through courses and one-on-one coaching. Find out more on her website, ShelbyLeigh.co. Marketing by Shelby is a YouTube channel focused in book marketing tips.

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.

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. 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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