November is the Fall Writing Challenge

November is the Fall Writing Challenge… and The Write Focus has got every writer’s back.

November is writing only, 50,000 words in one month.

Fall on The Write Focus podcast is a series entitled “Enter the Writing Business” Check it out on the TWF website: Click here to go the current posts.

New Publications!

1st and 2nd are TWO Planners for Serious Writers. Visit the links for views of the interior of both planners.

Writing Nest: A Project Planner for Writers

Cover by Deranged Doctor Design
  • Plan those writing goals.
  • Nest the projects; hatch as you achieve them.
  • Celebrate victories; analyze challenges.
  • Soar with Success with the Writing Nest.

Find the Writing Nest here.

Word Trekker: A Writer’s Word Count Planner

  • Write more than ever before.
  • Plan Projects. Plan Weekly Tasks.
  • Track Words. Track Progress.
  • Use the Triple Crown of Hiking as Motivation.

Find the Word Trekker here.

3rd is this ebook / paperback AND coming soon, the audiobook.

A Messy Miscellany For Writers 

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.


Rewind ~ the Fall 2021 Writing Challenge

Welcome to the Fall Writing Challenge from The Write Focus.

We focus on productivity, process, craft, and tools. October is Preptober for November’s National Novel Writing Month, known commonly as NaNoWriMo. December will include the steps needed to turn November’s rough draft into a publishable work.

That’s our focus here: inspirations to keep you writing and knowledge to solve your writing issues along with guidance through the publishing process. We’re for newbies who want to become writing pros and veterans who are returning to writing after years ago.

Thanks for listening to The Write Focus!

For more links and resources, visit  .

Write to us at

Links become live on the day of the podcast broadcast.

October 6 ~ Challenges / click for more info.

October 13

October 20

October 27












Celebrate *Discovering Your Author Brand*

Brands identify quality work with artistic effort. They serve as a stamp of approval for the customer.

It’s the anniversary of Discovering Your Author Brand, the guidebook for developing a writing brand for yourself as writer, for your book, and for your series.

cover by Deranged Doctor Design

Here’s something not sexy. A brand for writing is a contract with the reader.

Here’s two more.

  • Brands identify quality work with artistic effort.
  • They serve as a stamp of approval for the customer.

Yeah, yeah. You’ve heard that before.

Look around, and you’ll spot lots of flash-bang presentations on creating author brands. As more writers become self-published and traditional writers try to increase their marketing, the Author Brand is a hot topic.

Everyone talks about it. Few people can explain how to do it or give instructions to follow.

Well, gee, here’s another book, too. How is Discovering Your Author Brand different from the other books in the marketplace?

1st ~ It’s packed with examples based on highly successful writers.

Face it, in today’s marketplace, our competition is our peers and every other writer who has come before us. Agatha Christie is still selling. Ray Bradbury is selling. Arthur Conan Doyle sells. Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot was made into a Will Smith movie over two decades after Asimov died.

These writers aren’t on the best-seller lists; only new books earn places on those lists. But Christie and Bradbury and Doyle and many, many more writers are competition for everyone else entering the marketplace. And they have the cachet of quality that new and recent writers struggle to achieve.

So, we’ll look at successful brands and analyze the secrets of their success.

2nd ~ Discovering Your Author Brand understands that the browsing readers will only give a few nanoseconds to our books.

So, we explain the three main glances that hook the readers before they swim down the river. We also look at the keys to unlock those glances. With the right keys, the brand is revealed, and the door to the reader opens.

To help with the keys and glances, we have worksheets (charts!) to help you discover the brand for book, series, and your author persona—because the first leads to the last.

3rd ~ We have something the other books don’t have, another way to catch the attention of that swimming reader. Video trailers!

Advertising claims that consumers have to see something seven times—7!—before they’ll buy. Static ads and promo posts are all well and good, but we writers need an extra oomph to get that seventh look. Enter the video trailer.

Have you ever wanted to set up a video trailer or a brief clip, currently big on social media sites like TikTok and Instagram? Have you hesitated because you don’t know where to start?

We have an easily adaptable script as well as guidance on settling the debate between music and narration. (We pick music!)

Discovering Your Author Brand is packed with explanations and examples. Book 7 in the Discovering set, the manual is designed for new writers on the journey to becoming totally professional.

Purchase at Amazon or purchase at other online distributors

View the trailer at this link:

. ~ . ~ . ~ . 

Writer M.A. Lee has been self-publishing fiction and non-fiction since 2015. She has over 50 books published under her three pen names.


A Messy Miscellany For Writers

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”.

~ ~ ~

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.

Find yours here: (ebook) (ebook) (paperback)

Write Focus ~ Summer Podcast Series ~ A Mixed Miscellany

The series begins May 18.

We have various short topics to discuss. Compiling them into our Summer Series seems a smart idea. (Of course, what looks good on paper sometimes doesn’t translate to reality!)

Fiction / Poetry / Nonfiction / Interviews with Writers 

Thanks for listening to The Write Focus. We focus on productivity, process, craft, and tools. Our podcast is for newbies who want to become writing pros as well as veterans who are returning to writing after years away.

Looking for Links? All the way down!

Episodes links will not be active until the date of the episode passes!


May 18  Research / 3:21 / Episode 110

Research: a Ho-Hum topic? Not quite.

Research is necessary in all realms of writing.

Whether discovering the details that given veritas to our fiction, the details that we shouldn’t get wrong in commemorative poems, or just adding specific and elaborating details to our nonfiction, HUMDRUM RESEARCH is totally necessary.

The challenge comes in determining how many research details to use.

  • 1:11 Check-In
  • 2:50 Opening
  • 3:27 Challenges
  • 3:49 Fiction and Research
    • 4:31 Light Hand
    • 5:17 Active Use of Research
    • 5:52 Amount of Research to use
  • 7:26 Poetry and Research
    • 9:11 3 Chief Elements when presenting Occasional Poems
    • 9:16 4 Requirements of Song
    • 10:06 Public Ceremonies
    • 10:35 Writing for Independence Day
    • 12:50 Checklist for any poem / 10 To-Do’s
    • 13:46 Walt Whitman
    • 17:45 R. Waldo Emerson
  • 20:40 Nonfiction and Research
  • 21:40 Next Week
  • 21:54 Inspiration / Ezra Pound

May 25 Short Narratives, part 1

Having trouble with short narratives? Short stories? Narrative poems? Anecdotes in your blogs and essays/articles?

I had trouble. Free admission. I would launch into a story that I hoped would be 8,000 to 10,000 words only for the word count to top 20,000 or more. I was rather proud of myself when a planned short story ran less than 15,000 words.

My narrative poems ran longer than 5 or 6 stanzas. Think “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” length. For the blog I wrote, my example stories ran more than 15 to 20 sentences.

Too long. What’s that acronym? TL;DR. “Didn’t read.” Oops.

What was I doing wrong? Surely there’s a secret to short narratives? Guess what? There is! In this episode, I’ll share what I found.


  • 1:45 Opening
  • 3:28 Paul Simon’s “America”
  • 4:17 Avoiding the School-Taught Plot Pyramid
  • 5:15 Erle Stanley Gardner
  • 6:28 Lester Dent
  • 7:10 LDent’s Plot Formula
  • 8:32 The Basics
  • 12:00 Closing / Next Week
  • 13:00 Inspiration / Raymond Carver


June 1 Short Narratives, part 2

Success with short narratives? That’s our current goal. We’ve found Lester Dent’s Plot Formula.

We’re creatives, so we can adapt the formula to fit our genre needs. We know the four parts of the 4 movements. We’re writing fiction / poetry / non-fiction. What’s next?

The details, man. It’s all in the details … of the narrative.


  • 1:05 Opening
  • 1:52 Check-in
  • 2:55 Lester Dent’s Plot Formula
  • 7:21 Coincidence is a No-No
  • 8:04 Garth Brooks’ “The Thunder Rolls” with the Formula
  • 15:08 Riddling: a Tricky method to end any story
  • 15:53 Closing / Next Week
  • 16:28 Inspiration / Joyce Cary

June 8

June 15

June 22

June 29



Resource Links

Lester Dent’s Plot Formula / printable pdf /

Paul Simon’s “America”

Video of above  America – Lyrics – Simon & Garfunkel – YouTube

Garth Brooks’ “The Thunder Rolls”

Video of above “The Thunder Rolls”