A Messy Miscellany for Writers crowds in information about
- craft and process,
- productivity and tools,
- writing crimes to avoid,
- the how-can’s and why-should’s of writing guidance,
and much more. Offered by M.A. Lee and The Write Focus podcast.
Miscellany: separate writings on varied subjects collected in one volume.
What makes this miscellany of writer guidance so messy?
- A scattering into the many areas of writing, original sketch to final draft, revision to publication
- Writing professionally, both process and attitude
- Ways to maintain productivity and keep the writing fresh
- Tools that writers find helpful
- References to help writers grow
- Writing as a long-term career
- Necessity of promotions and marketing
These miscellany chapters first appeared on The Write Focus podcast; that’s another reason for the word messy. Five chapters come from episodes in the podcast’s first year, another five from the second year, and four others began the third year.
01: Resolve to Be a Writer ~ Once writing becomes not only a resolution but also a devotion, what steps do we take to achieve our devotion?
02: 7 Newbie Mistakes ~ Every successful writer begins with failures. The trick is to rise above the mistakes. That takes awareness as well as solutions to overcome them.
03: 3 Notta Mistakes ~ These could easily have turned into failures. I lucked into avoiding them. Here’s the reason they’re mistakes and how we can avoid them.
04: Write the Book, part 1 ~ Every writer needs a process to achieve that first goal, a finished manuscript. Here’s guidance for the initial steps, the flailing of the middle, and how to reach the last word of our goal. (For more detailed information, please consult 12: Revision Is a Process.)
05: Write that Book, part 2 ~ What’s needed after we type the last word of our manuscript? We have three more steps to complete and plan before we send our newly finished book into the reading world. (For more detailed information, please consult 13: Edit & Correct and 14: Publish & Promo.)
06: Horror Stories for Writers ~ We’ve all heard the list of no-no’s that writers shouldn’t do. In avoiding these, we sometimes tumble into five other horrors. Here’s guidance on avoiding these career-killers and how to fix them if we stumble into their mucky mire.
07: Gifts for Writers ~ No, not sticky notes or nacky pens. The best gifts for writers touch the heart, inspire the soul, and motivate the brain. We suggest opportunities that bring beaming smiles to writers’ faces.
08: Four Recommended Books for Writers ~ These improve our writing world. Keep them as ready reference all through our writing careers.
09: Three Essential Tools for Writers ~ These don’t include writing software. Not only are these tools, but they’re also essential habits. They create long-term success and prevent stress.
10: Three Films that Writers Need to Study ~ We deal in words. Why am I recommending films? Well, films begin as words, and they’re a quicker study than novels. I present how to choose films to study then launch into my recommended three chosen for their writing craft skills and the reason those skills are important.
11: Five Writing Crimes to Avoid ~ While these aren’t potential career-killers like the five horrors, they can slow our journey to success. These are crimes we’ve all heard to avoid as well as solutions to fix them—and not once do we include the classic “Show, not tell”.
12: Revision Is a Process ~ So many people tout revision as a key to improve a manuscript draft. Few tell us how. Revision needs a critical brain and these four major steps.
13: Edit & Correct ~ These two harsh words are often confused with revision. They’re not revision, yet they’re just as critical. Even writers unsure of grammar and punctuation as well as MS style have necessary work before sending the book into the next stage.
14: Publish & Promo ~ We’ve reached the final stage. What do we need in place before we publish? How do we plan for our promotional marketing, in amount and cost?
Work through these 14 topics of A Messy Miscellany for Writers, and be well prepared when you declare yourself “a published writer pursuing long-term success”.
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A longtime tinkerer with words, M.A. Lee published her first novels in 2015 and continues to write and explore the world of writing. As of this date, under her three pen names, she has over 50 titles.
A Messy Miscellany for Writers is her ninth non-fiction book. She also has three planners for writers, each with a different focus: for newbies, for writing projects, and for a word-count tracking throughout a year.
Since 2020, she has hosted The Write Focus podcast, which offers ideas for fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. The heart of the podcast is productivity, process, craft, and tools. The summer series includes interviews with other writers.
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