Top 5 Best Dressed Writers of All Time

When reading a book, you as a reader tend to only think of the characters. You look into every detail, such as what color their eyes are, what they’re wearing, or a much more significant detail, such as what they’re actions are conveying about how they’re feeling. But have you wondered about the person who created that character?

Fran Lebowitz

Fran Lebowitz, an American American author and public speaker, is known for her two essays: Metropolitan Life (1978) and Social Studies (1981). Lebowitz was inducted into Vanity Fair’s Best Dressed Hall of Fame in 2008. In 2014, she was voted by Vanity Fair the “Best Dressed Woman Author.” Fran Lebowitz’s style is very unique, not many women are seen with the same je ne sais quoi.

On the right, Lebowitz is seen wearing a men’s suit and jacket designed by Savile Row Stalwarts, Anderson & Sheppard. Surprisingly enough, Lebowitz pulls off this traditional men’s look very well. Judging by her accolades, a thing or two can certainly be learned from Lebowitz about fashion.

Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith

Another author who has influenced the fashion world is Zadie Smith. The author of White Teeth was voted #4 on Vanity Fair’s “Best Dressed Women Authors,” alongside Fran Lebowitz. Smith has a distinctive style, accompanying headscarves with black, framed glasses in the name of Jenna Lyons. Smith is also a woman of mixing and matching prints and often wears very feminine dresses that are brightly colored.

With an entirely different style preference than Lebowitz, Zadie Smith teaches us how to defy the rules of mixing and matching (because bright colors aren’t all that bad). Learning from these two women and comparing their fashion senses, you need to dress however you feel. It all boils down to expressing yourself!


Tom Wolfe

In the men’s world of fashion, one man has seen it all. Tom Wolfe, known for The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and his collection of essays, is still a dapper man at the age of 83. Voted #1 on Vanity Fair’s “Best Dressed Men Authors,” Wolfe hasn’t shaken his wardrobe up in quite some time. A white suit, alongside a pair of two-toned spats, and a Homburg hat has become more like a uniform for Wolfe. Dressing like a man from the early 20th century, Wolfe proves that a man can rock a classic look, no matter what age.

Another man who has been around long enough to see the evolution of fashion is James Salter. Salter was known as a “minor writer” for most of his career until 2013 when All That Is was published. At the age of 88, Salter dresses elegantly in cream-colored suits. The look can be easily re-created with the same elegance Salter gives.

Richard Ford, who is also dubbed as a “Best Dressed Author” by Vanity Fair, enjoys a more simplistic look compared to Tom Wolfe. Ford, who is often regarded as a quintessential post-war American writer, is known for The Sportswriter, Independence Day, and Canada. Ford often wears American denim or khakis, pairing it with a blazer made of a strong material, like tweed or suede. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author dresses plainly, yet he looks sophisticated.

Fashion can be a tricky thing. It’s even trickier to master it. We are told to express ourselves in any form. For those who want to express themselves in the form of fashion are often faced with challenges. There are some rules when picking out clothes to wear, such as no bright colors, no mixing and matching prints, or don’t dress plainly. The authors defy these rules and still look good doing so.

Plan Your Own Virtual Book Tour (Guest Post)

Okay, so when I first heard the phrase “virtual book tour”, I kind of rolled my eyes at the cheesiness of the entire concept. I figured it was yet another ploy to make people pay for a ridiculous service that was pumped up to sound valuable and in reality was just a waste of money.

I found websites for several companies offering to plan virtual book tours for authors and they charged a good amount to do so.

Along with book trailer services, which oftentimes set authors back several thousand dollars for a thirty second promo video, I figured virtual book tours were kind of a gimmick and dismissed the whole idea.

While it made sense for established authors who already had a following, I didn’t think it made as much sense for self-published authors who were less known.


That was until I realized that I had already done a virtual book tour myself, back in 2010 after publishing my memoir Sex, Drugs & Being an Escort.

Of course, I didn’t hire a company to do this for me. I didn’t have the budget for that kind of shit, so I did it all myself. And yeah, it wasn’t THAT easy and it DID take a good chunk of time.

However, the results I was able to pull off made it worth the effort and the hours I had to put into land all the interviews, reviews and appearances across the web. Because of that, it turns out, is exactly what it means to go on a virtual book tour, my friends. I just didn’t know that at the time, so I didn’t think of it as one.

But as I came to learn, it definitely was. The only real difference was that I didn’t pick out set dates for my tour, it was more of an ongoing tour that lasted for several months and I didn’t secure all of the online appearances beforehand. Instead, I sought out the opportunities and managed to book dates on a case-by-case basis.

You can do this too, and I am going to help you out by telling you exactly what I did.


The first step to planning a virtual book tour is scouting out the different online “venues,” you are going to pitch your book to, so to speak. The best way to start this process is by heading over to Google and punching in your genre + book reviews.

Here are a few more search queries to try:

  • genre + book blogs
  • self-published book reviews
  • get your book reviewed
  • book review blogs

That should be enough to get you started. As you find blogs, be sure to bookmark them because you’ll be coming back to this list in the next step.


Once you’ve put together a list of at least 20 book review blogs, revisit each one and read the review policy. There are really only three questions you need to find answers to by reading their review policy.

  1. The first is whether or not they accept submissions from self-published authors.
  2. The second is whether or not they are accepting submissions at all (many of them are swamped with requests and have to close submissions for a while to catch up).
  3. The third question to answer is whether or not they review books in your genre.

Get an idea of what type of books they prefer to read by checking out a few of the other reviews posted on their blog before you contact them.


book-tourNow that you’ve read the policies on all the blogs in your list, cross off any of them that are not a good fit based on this new information. Once you’ve narrowed your list down to the most appropriate blogs for your book, the next step is to start sending emails.

In my opinion, your best bet is to always personalize each email you send to a blogger about your book. Keep in mind that these people get tons of emails on a daily basis, all from new authors just like you who are probably desperate to get their book in front of someone in exchange for some exposure in the form of a review.

Basically, this means you need to stand out, for good reasons. Mention them by name, be friendly and make it obvious that you not only read their review policy but also have spent some time on their blog by reading other reviews and do your best to build some rapport immediately. Your response rate will be much better if you do.

Offer to send them a review copy of your book if they are willing to post an honest review. Make your story sound intriguing and build interest if you want them to consider reading it.


As you begin to contact bloggers, you need to start a new spreadsheet to track your responses. You’ll be using this spreadsheet not only for reviewers but also for hosts of online radio shows, producers, journalists and anyone else who you correspond with regarding your virtual book tour.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, I have included a template at the bottom of this post which is based on the exact one I used myself when I was promoting my book.

Essentially, you need to have the following:

  • Person’s name
  • Email address
  • Date you first emailed them
  • What type of contact they are (reviewer, etc)
  • Address of their website/blog
  • A column with a Yes/No option to indicate whether you receive a response

The very last column is for results from those who do respond to your email. For example, a blogger writes you back and agrees to review your book. They may or may not give you an approximate date, so that would go in the results column obviously. Feel free to edit the template to best suit your own needs.


If you thought your work was done, think again. Each blog will be different and some will expect some sort of guest post or may even offer to run a giveaway for your book, so be aware of this and try to accommodate the blogger’s wishes.

Remember that they are doing you a favor by choosing your book over the thousands of other stories pitched at them for your specific dates.

Basically, give their readers something valuable or entertaining for free and subtly promote your book at the same time.

But don’t limit yourself to book review blogs. You can also find tons of publicity opportunities by pitching your book to other media outlets, such as press release distribution and online radio shows or podcasts that need guests.

For press release distribution, I highly recommend Go with the standard package and optimize your press release for SEO first, of course.

The best part about this is that it will have the media coming to you and requesting an interview, rather than you having to go out and ask. However, these people are bombarded by pitches all the time too, which means your press release really needs to shine brightly to get their attention.

For radio shows and podcasts, I recommend using to find shows that want author guests and experts in different fields. Subscribe to their RSS feed and check it daily.

When you see a show that catches your eye and seems like a good fit, send them a personalized email pitch that makes it obvious you are just the person they are looking for to be a guest on their show.


Use Google Calendar to add your tour dates as you book them. Setup email and text message reminders for several hours in advance, just to be sure nothing slips your mind.

Be professional and have a quiet space for phone interviews, to avoid background noise. Call in on time, be polite and all that common sense stuff that is expected in such a setting.

This stuff is all really easy to do, folks. There really isn’t much more to it.

The only real value that a virtual book tour service has to offer is saving you the time you would spend on booking your own tour and they may have a slight advantage in some cases due to their media connections. Of course, this becomes truer when you just go out and hire a devoted publicist or publicity firm to handle your promotion.

But this is for authors who don’t have the budget for that kind of stuff… at least not yet, that is.


Guest blogger Ashly Lorenzana is the author of Speed Needles, and can be found on Facebook and Twitter @ashlorenzana.

How to Become a Full-Time Writer in 3 Months

Being a writer is no easy-feat. You have to deal with a lot of things, and the most common one is being stuck at your 9-5 while trying to make a career out of writing. It is hard to do especially since your day job will take up most of your time — leaving you little to no time to practice your craft.

Realizing that you want to write full-time and leave your day job is easy. However, there are a lot of things that you have to consider. The most important thing you have to ask yourself before leaving your day job is if you have enough money to survive while you are looking for writing jobs. In most cases, your answer will be no, but the perks of being a full-time writer will haunt you. Perhaps the most attractive ones are having complete control of your time and doing what you love to do. My biggest piece of advice: save up at least 3 months worth of financial backing prior to quitting your job.

Becoming a full-time writer will require patience on your end, but it can be achieved in 3 months if you are willing to work hard and invest time for it. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you be a full-time writer.

  1. Train to become a writer. This is a no-brainer. To become a writer you should at least know basic English and grammar. Your road to becoming a full-time writer will not progress if you have a poor grasp of spelling and grammar. If you are confident with your writing skills then you are already done with this step, if not consider reviewing basic language and grammar lessons. Some great places to start are the Cambridge English Test and the Exam English Test. The latter is a bit more comprehensive than the former, in my opinion.
  1. Own the status of being a full-time writer. Once you are confident with your skills, own it. Affirm your talents and believe in yourself. Only when you start believing in your talent will you be able to confidently churn out amazing content. Set realistic income goals for yourself to accomplish in the next two weeks, month, three months, six months, and year!
  1. Know your strengths and weaknesses. As a writer, you will have your set of strengths and weaknesses. Differentiate the subjects that you can write about, and the ones you can’t. You don’t have to write about every subject, but you do need to readily identify at least three subjects that you are most able to write accurately, intelligibly, and passionately about. This will become your field of expertise – something that you can use as your selling point. For example, because of my 15+ years as a writer and 10+ years as a publisher, I’m able to write about writing, poetry, English, literature, and publishing with no hesitation. 🙂
  1. Set-up your profile or portfolio. Before you start sending out proposals or applying for freelance work, ensure that you have a very presentable portfolio or profile. Remember that this will be the first thing that your prospective clients will see, so it has to reflect your talent in writing. If you don’t yet have a portfolio, start with a few blogging platforms such as Medium, Thought Catalog, and SB Nation. Since you are just a new writer, many companies will be hesitant to throw writing jobs at you unless you provide them sample work. This will show them your writing skills and if you have what they are looking for.
  1. E-mail possible clients or sign-up for websites catering to freelancers. Once you feel that you’ve built your portfolio to an impressive level, reach out to potential clients. Starting up your writing career means that you have to take time to email possible clients or even sign-up for websites that cater to freelancers. Don’t be shy in emailing as many clients as you can, remember you are not the only one reaching out to them. Some websites that are specifically for freelancers include FiverrElance, iWriter, and OdeskWriter Access, and Content Writers.
  1. Know how to deal with rejection. Getting rejected or not hearing back after you have sent out e-mail is normal. Don’t let this get you down, this is the norm. Instead, continue reaching out to more clients and continue doing guest posts or populating your own blog. Sooner or later you will receive writing jobs. If you don’t hear back from a potential client, follow up with them in a week. If there’s still no response, then move on. You don’t want to work for someone who doesn’t respond to emails anyway. 😉
  1. Network with other writers. Getting to know fellow writers will help you get around. They may even help you get writing jobs or inspire you to continue applying. Networking with other writers can be as easy as joining an online group on professional sites such as LinkedIn, or even joining a local writing group.
  1. Continue developing your craft. Even if you have started getting writing jobs, it is equally important to keep on developing your writing skills. Keep reading about subjects your write and attend seminars, conferences, and workshops to help further enhance your skills.

Don’t Be Drab: How Your Art Can Influence Your Fashion

Many authors are fluent in many subjects and because they write about different topics and in different styles, they need a unique wardrobe to accompany their writing. With such a variety of techniques, styles, languages, and genres, why should our fashion taste be the same?

UntitledEclectic writers, listen closely. The key to pulling this style off is having a ton of confidence and being yourself. An eclectic writer often wears vintage clothing items. To better accompany this look, include cowboy boots with lace. This eclectic look uses a bright colors and prints, each balancing each other out, not breaking the mix and match rule. Choosing this style also provides comfort and somewhat sophisticated look.

5569NBLACKEBAYMAIN_zps3259660eThe “sexy” writer and the business writer can merge into one group. If the clothes worn are too revealing, then agents and editors may not take you seriously. Both writers wear skirts and button down shirts along with heels and panty-hose. While these styles should be worn with confidence, caution should be exercised as well. If too revealing, a “50 Shades of Grey”-esque scenario might occur, and nobody wants to be fetishized or blamed for any sexual harassment that may take place. (It sucks, but it is a reality… unfortunately.)

f3f6d56dce1f0a6ca488196524ea2dd8If you have been in the writing game for quite a while now and have connections, this style is for you. The casual writer is a look of both clean and comfortable, but not suitable for the event. Wearing every day, comfortable clothing, you will, as a writer, present yourself as someone who has enough a ton of confidence. You may impress everyone around you by your style, giving off the “I don’t need to impress anyone” aura because of the simplicity of your outfit and what you’re wearing. Because it makes you look like you know what you’re doing and like you’re part of the “in” crowd, this look will be especially effective for you.

UntitledThe exact opposite of the casual writer, the dressed up writer, is presented as a more serious writer who sticks to their promises. They often wear fancy dresses or even three piece suits. Much to one’s surprise, ladies can pull off the suit look off. If you decide to take after this type of writer, you will end up demonstrating that you take your job seriously and play no games. If you want your outfit to trigger conference faculty to treat you with a more gentle touch than otherwise, this is the perfect look for you!

UntitledLast, but not the least stylish, is the funky writer. Funky writers often wear ripped or skinny jeans with concert t-shirts and a more 21st century haircut. The funky writer’s wardrobe and outfits can be degrading if you’re trying to appeal to an older audience. Although you may have lost the older generations, you will not lose the younger generations. Because your style may be thought of as the average teenager’s style in today’s world, you may be able to speak to them and get your point across to them better than you would have with the older crowd.

We have the ability to control what we write and make it our own, so we should be able to control what we wear. When it comes down to picking an outfit, we need to consider what kind of writer we are, and what kind of writer we want to be perceived as.

What do you wear? Do you unconsciously rock any of these styles, or do you take the world by storm in a style of your own? Be sure to share in the comments below!

Is Joining A Writing Group Important?

As a writer, new or not, you have a lot of ideas running on your mind. Ideas that you want to put into writing and showcase to the world. There will be times though that you will experience getting stuck on a certain part. You will even experience the fear of starting or sharing your work because you are afraid it is not as good as you think it is. You may also experience not getting the support that you need from your loved ones to be the best writer that you can be. You can’t expect them to always understand your needs or how you think because you are a writer and they likely are not.

Will this be an indication that you need to spend more time alone? Absolutely not. This is just an indication that perhaps it is time for you to join a writing group.

A writing group is comprised of people who are equally as passionate as you are about your craft. People who can provide you the support that you need during challenging times. Like-minded people who understand you and what you are going through.

You may be hesitant in joining a writing group for many different reasons, but the benefits of joining one can outweigh your doubts.

  • Finding your support group. At times, you will be faced with many different difficulties as a writer. From experiencing the writer’s block to feeling down because of a lack of understanding from your friends or family, your writing group will be there for you. They know what you are going through because they have likely experienced it.
  • Improving your skills. In joining a writing group you will be exposed to many different types of writers. You may even get acquainted with an editor or a highly experienced writer who can give you honest feedback for your work. In sharing your work with the group, you’ll get a fresh set of eyes to review your work. You will receive their honest opinions, builds, and valuable advice which will be beneficial not just for you but for your work as well. This perhaps is one of the most important reasons why one should join a writing group.
  • Getting valuable information. Aside from helping you further improve your writing skills, you’ll also get exclusive information on the latest ins and outs, conferences, talks, workshops, and contests that you can join. You’ll receive tips from your fellow writers which can help you further build your name as a writer or help you become a better writer.
  • Getting published. Since you are in a group with other writers, chances are they have their own blog or they are affiliated with publishing companies. You’ll get a chance to be a guest blogger or be published for a work you shared in your group. Aside from this, your group will also be your source of encouragement to help get your work finally published.
  • Free Promotion. If you do have a published book, article, or a blog your fellow writers from the group can help spread the word about it. This gives your work extra mileage for free.
  • Staying motivated to finish your work. Everybody needs a bit of encouragement every now and then. Even the most seasoned writer will face hard times that will discourage them from finishing what they have started. Taking part of w writing group does not just mean finding comfort with like-minded people and building your connections, it also means giving and receiving encouragement. You will have people who will persistently ask you for updates about the novel or article you are writing. Being part of a group also means taking part in mini-exercises that help you stay on track and train your mind to meet deadlines.

Being part of a writing group is highly beneficial not just for new writers but for seasoned writers as well. Look at it as being part of a community that has the end goal of helping you the best writer that you can be.

10 Books Every Writer Must Read

You know how the saying goes… “every great writer reads”… or something like that. As much as I’ve read throughout the years, I will say that I’ve never been more motivated, challenged, or creatively stimulated than after I’ve mentally engaged in a good book. I’m not just talking about your average Homer, Shakespeare, or Faulkner; I’m talking a variety of authors and genres – from Zane (urban fiction) to Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (academic nonfiction), Toni Morrison (American classic), and Langston Hughes (poetry). While those were great to use as examples of what an ideal final product should look like, I believe most writers, like myself, need to learn the technical skills and refine our ability to convey our messages to our readers. Here, I compiled a list of books that are very effective at teaching writing. Read them at your leisure!


downloadThe Elements of Style is a prescriptive American English writing style guide in numerous editions. The original was composed by William Strunk Jr., in 1918 and published by Harcourt in 1920, comprising eight “elementary rules of usage”, ten “elementary principles of composition”, “a few matters of form”, a list of forty-nine “words and expressions commonly misused”, and a list of fifty-seven “words often misspelled”. It was much enlarged and revised by E. B. White for publication by Macmillan in 1959. That was the first edition of so-called Strunk & White, which Time magazine named in 2011 one of the 100 best and most influential books written in English since 1923.


ES&LIn Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former editor Lynne Truss, gravely concerned about our current grammatical state, boldly defends proper punctuation. She proclaims, in her delightfully urbane, witty, and very English way, that it is time to look at our commas and semicolons and see them as the wonderful and necessary things they are. Using examples from literature, history, neighborhood signage, and her own imagination, Truss shows how meaning is shaped by commas and apostrophes, and the hilarious consequences of punctuation gone awry.

Featuring a foreword by Frank McCourt, and interspersed with a lively history of punctuation from the invention of the question mark in the time of Charlemagne to George Orwell shunning the semicolon, Eats, Shoots & Leaves makes a powerful case for the preservation of proper punctuation.


AP_stylebook_coverThe Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law, usually called the AP Stylebook, is a style and usage guide used by newspapers and in the news industry in the United States. The book is updated annually by Associated Press editors, usually in June.

Reporters, editors and others use the AP Stylebook as a guide for grammar, punctuation and principles and practices of reporting. Although some publications use a different style guide, the AP Stylebook is considered a newspaper industry standard and is also used by broadcasters, magazines and public relations firms, in part because its style guidelines offer short-form advantages over other style manuals designed to save scarce print space, such as dropping the Oxford comma and using figures for all numbers above nine.[1] It includes an A-to-Z listing of guides to capitalization, abbreviation, spelling, numerals, and usage.


on_writing“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.


tjatmIn two previous books, Janet Malcolm explored the hidden sides of, respectively, institutional psychoanalysis and Freudian biography. In this book, she examines the psychopathology of journalism. Using a strange and unprecedented lawsuit as her larger-than-life example — the lawsuit of Jeffrey MacDonald, a convicted murderer, against Joe McGinniss, the author of Fatal Vision, a book about the crime — she delves into the always uneasy, sometimes tragic relationship that exists between journalist and subject. In Malcolm’s view, neither journalist nor subject can avoid the moral impasse that is built into the journalistic situation. When the text first appeared, as a two-part article in The New Yorker, its thesis seemed so radical and its irony so pitiless that journalists across the country reacted as if stung.

Her book is a work of journalism as well as an essay on journalism: it at once exemplifies and dissects its subject. In her interviews with the leading and subsidiary characters in the MacDonald-McGinniss case — the principals, their lawyers, the members of the jury, and the various persons who testified as expert witnesses at the trial — Malcolm is always aware of herself as a player in a game that, as she points out, she cannot lose. The journalist-subject encounter has always troubled journalists, but never before has it been looked at so unflinchingly and so ruefully. Hovering over the narrative — and always on the edge of the reader’s consciousness — is the MacDonald murder case itself, which imparts to the book an atmosphere of anxiety and uncanniness. The Journalist and the Murderer derives from and reflects many of the dominant intellectual concerns of our time, and it will have a particular appeal for those who cherish the odd, the off-center, and the unsolved.


download (1)Most people think that good grammar leads to good writing. But the truth is that while good writing may be technically correct, it’s also strong, concise, and specific.

This guide identifies the seven writing weaknesses that editors everywhere must fix again and again; in fact, almost all of an editor’s corrections on any piece of writing will come from the material covered in this book’s lessons. In an engaging solve-the-mystery format, you’ll solve these cases:

  • The Tantalizing Tale of Passive Voice
  • The Peculiar Puzzle of the Vague -ing Word
  • The Confusing Caper Concerning the Super-Long Sentence

You don’t have to wade through hundreds of pages of dry grammar references to improve your writing. Rather than memorize the picky details that very few people care about, learn what really leads to good writing in this easy-to-use and friendly book.


download (2)A succinct, engaging, and practical guide for succeeding in any creative sphere, The War of Art is nothing less than Sun-Tzu for the soul. hat keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do? Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative endeavor—be it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece? Bestselling novelist Steven Pressfield identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success. The War of Art emphasizes the resolve needed to recognize and overcome the obstacles of ambition and then effectively shows how to reach the highest level of creative discipline. Think of it as tough love . . . for yourself. Whether an artist, writer or business person, this simple, personal, and no-nonsense book will inspire you to seize the potential of your life.


download (3)The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Beloved and Jazz now gives us a learned, stylish, and immensely persuasive work of literary criticism that promises to change the way we read American literature even as it opens a new chapter in the American dialogue on race.

Toni Morrison’s brilliant discussions of the “Africanist” presence in the fiction of Poe, Melville, Cather, and Hemingway leads to a dramatic reappraisal of the essential characteristics of our literary tradition. She shows how much the themes of freedom and individualism, manhood and innocence, depended on the existence of a black population that was manifestly unfree- and that came to serve white authors as embodiments of their own fears and desires.

Written with the artistic vision that has earned Toni Morrison a preeminent place in modern letters, Playing in the Dark will be avidly read by Morrison admirers as well as by students, critics, and scholars of American literature.


download (4)One of America’s most influential writing teachers offers a toolbox from which writers of all kinds can draw practical inspiration.

“Writing is a craft you can learn,” says Roy Peter Clark. “You need tools, not rules.” His book distills decades of experience into 50 tools that will help any writer become more fluent and effective.

WRITING TOOLS covers everything from the most basic (“Tool 5: Watch those adverbs”) to the more complex (“Tool 34: Turn your notebook into a camera”) and provides more than 200 examples from literature and journalism to illustrate the concepts. For students, aspiring novelists, and writers of memos, e-mails, PowerPoint presentations, and love letters, here are 50 indispensable, memorable, and usable tools.


download (5)On Writing Well has been praised for its sound advice, its clarity and the warmth of its style. It is a book for everybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day, as almost everybody does in the age of e-mail and the Internet.

Whether you want to write about people or places, science and technology, business, sports, the arts or about yourself in the increasingly popular memoir genre, On Writing Well offers you fundamental principles as well as the insights of a distinguished writer and teacher. With more than a million copies sold, this volume has stood the test of time and remains a valuable resource for writers and would-be writers.

Are there any books I missed? What books helped you develop your craft? Share your responses in the comment section below!

How to Conquer Writer’s Block

Have you wanted to begin your article or blog but can’t seem to progress after seeing a blank page? Are you riddled with lots of great ideas, but can’t quite figure out which one to use? Are you stuck on a certain part of your writing outline?

Unfortunately, aside from procrastination, you are probably experiencing the writer’s block – a hurdle in your creativity that prevents you from finishing your task.

Perhaps the most common occurrence of experiencing the writer’s block is in starting your project. You are faced with a blank page or paper and you experience either a lack of creative ideas or fear of not being able to write something you can be proud of. Every writer experiences it and most get overwhelmed. This often leads to procrastination that results to a poorly and hastily written post or article created just to reach your deadline. The article you wrote may just get rejected or you may get asked to re-write it over and over until it becomes good enough to meet your editor’s standards.

There are ways to overcome and conquer the writer’s block. Take time to read and try the different ways to conquer the writer’s block. Just remember that not all of what is shared below can work for you, so it is important to figure out which one helps you beat your writer’s block.

  • Don’t allow the fear of failure get to you. Instead of thinking about the negative feedback you might get from what you will write, think about getting recognition from it. Remember that it is natural to get asked to revise a few parts of what you wrote. In the case that your work gets rejected, do look at it as a way for you to learn. Take notes, review your work and try again.
  • Affirm your talents. Get up, look at your reflection in the mirror and read an affirmation. Repeat it three times or as much as needed until you believe what you are reciting or saying.
  • Calm your nerves. If you are just new to writing, you may get too excited or too scared. Listen to calming music, preferably one with no lyrics. Drink a cup of tea or something warm to help soothe your nerves. Your task may be overwhelming so tackle it one sentence at a time.
  • Take a 10-15 minute break. Sometimes you just need to take a break. Give yourself time to settle down. Perhaps you have overworked your brain cells and all you need is some down time. Do something that will help you de-stress, something that is not related to writing or to your writing task. Think of doing what you like to do or something that interests you.
  • Think of happy thoughts. Stop thinking first about meeting your dreaded deadline. Watch something funny, a viral video, or something inspiring to help lift your spirits after beating yourself up for getting stuck with a blank page in-front of you. This will be especially true when you watch babies laughing or animals doing funny things.
  • Set up your workstation somewhere else. Your mind may start churning out words for your article when you have a change of scenery. Working on a different station or looking outside your window allows your mind to drift away. Play your favorite song, daydream and let the ideas in while you are at it.
  • Get moving. Try walking up and down the stairs or go for a 5 minute walk around the block. After being active for even a short bit of time your mind will get re-charged ready to finish the tasks you have.

Try each one of the tips mentioned above and see which one works the best in helping you conquer writer’s block. Do you have any suggestions? What tips and tricks work best for you? Let us know in the comments below!