• Book Recommendations,  Writing Life

    What Writers Should Be Reading

    This is yet another super requested post and though I love to talk about the books I’ve read, I generally don’t tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t be reading. Mostly, that’s because reading taste is a personal preference. For instance, my fiancé won’t pick up anything that falls under fiction. He reads all the time – though it’s incredibly rare to see us ever reading the same book. With that said, writers should always strive to read beyond their comfort zone. Read experimental works. Read novels in verse. Read the books your grandmother can’t stop talking about. Or books about the history of a country you know nothing about.…

  • Writer's Block,  Writing Life

    Everyone’s a Critic

    Notes on Taking Criticism in Stride & Gleaning What’s Useful Lately, I’ve gotten a lot of questions and requests to talk about the rejection and criticism. As a writer, you’re bound to come up against it eventually. Whether you’re showing your stories to your next door neighbor or sending it off to the editor of your favorite magazine, you’re going to eventually come face to face with someone else’s thoughts about your work. That can be a frightening thing. Your writing might be personal or share some very intimate details about your life. It can be hard to hear that it’s is less than perfect. For that reason alone, I’ve…

  • Writing Life

    On Writing & Health Habits: Watch Your Form

    Health is one thing I don’t think I’ve ever really talked about. I mentioned it briefly in a recent post, but I think I only just scratched the surface. I’ve been writing this blog for what feels like now a very, very long time – has it been four years? Maybe. And I’ve also had carpal tunnel for about four years. Now, I know carpal tunnel isn’t such a big deal. For that reason alone, I don’t talk about it much. The reason I’m bringing it up now – I have carpal tunnel entirely because of some bad writing habits. So what did I do to give myself carpal tunnel?…

  • Writer's Block,  Writing Life

    Refocus on Writing Now: Overcoming Creative Burnouts

    As artists, sometimes we just burn out. Think writer’s block, but it’s more than just writer’s block. Like not a block, but an enormous brick wall. An exhausting creative rut. I’ve heard someone refer to it as an “Art School Hangover.” It’s a sudden crash that often comes after an intensely heightened period of creativity.  But now, I want to talk about getting past it.

  • Writer's Block,  Writing Inspiration,  Writing Life

    Hasn’t this Been Written Before?

    "Hey Lizard! I’ve read through all of your blog posts in the past days, but I still don’t have an idea what to do. Right now, I have lots of time to spend on writing. The problem being, that it doesn’t matter how polished my characters seem to be and how often I change my outline, the plot is still similar to a story I’ve read once, because the major issues are the same. It even reaches the point where I have the feeling that if I just change the character’s names, it’s that story. Any advice?"

  • Plot,  Writer's Block,  Writing Inspiration,  Writing Life

    “My Writing is Not Original Enough” & How to Get Over It

    “I’ve been working on this novel for a while but every time I’m getting some real headway with the story I always find myself saying hey, this sounds a lot like this show I love or a book or a movie and then it all just falls apart. Do you have any tips for avoiding taking plots and characters from other works around you instead of creating your own?”