Fare Thee Very Well

First off, I’m going to be signing books at two book festivals in New York’s Hudson Valley that are coming up in the next few weeks. Details are here on the website on the Appearances page. And there will be a couple of events coming up for my new book, Sparrows in the Wind, which will be released on October 25th, so please keep an eye on the page.

Second off, I’ve decided to stop posting to the blog for a while at least, leaving open the possibility of starting up again. I’ve loved writing to you here for over thirteen years, and I’ve been delighted to watch the community that’s developed and how helpful you’ve been to each other. By now, though, I think I’ve touched on every major writing issue more than once, which you can search for right here. And I’ve invented enough prompts to set off a lifetime of writing. Please know that the prompts are for you to use—you don’t have to worry about copyright issues if you do.

For now, I’m going to leave the blog open on this website for you to continue conversations, and I’ll keep an eye on what comes in. A special shoutout here to Christie V Powell, who has commented often and always helpfully. Thank you!

For those of you who, like me, are worrywarts, I’m fine—and busy, working on a new book (the medieval murder mystery) and getting used to and loving our new puppy, Tess.

The thread that’s run through most of my posts on every writing topic has been the damaging effects of being too judgmental about our writing. Self-criticism hobbles us and gets in the way of finishing our stories. We—you!—need to find a way to put the judgments aside. Could be a spell that you recite every day before starting. Could be writing down the criticism on a slip of paper and stuffing the paper into a piggy bank. Could be hanging “For Fun” signs around your laptop or wherever you write. Or something else, which you can suggest in the comments.

Every writer on earth makes mistakes. There’s no such thing as a perfect book. We get better as we go along, and as we revise—the most important part in my writing universe. And I can’t end without saying that lists of possibilities are this writer’s best friend.

Have fun, and save what you write!

  1. We’ll all miss you, Gail!
    (The ‘Have fun and Save what you write’ had me in very near tears, and I don’t know why. 😥😔)

  2. Thank you so much for faithfully running this blog and interacting with your readers for so many years! I have never (that I remember) posted a comment, but I’ve come here many times to seek advice and just to see what you’re up to. I’m glad you’re leaving it up for us to come back to.

    Self-criticism has been an enormous struggle for me, and for a long time I practically stopped writing creatively at all. I’ve only recently picked it up again, and hearing your voice championing me through these blog posts means so much. You’re so encouraging and practical; you make writing feel less intimidating and much more fun. Thanks for encouraging us to do what we love and recognize our own creativity.

    Thanks again, Gail. You rock!

  3. This blog and your books on writing have hugely influenced my writing life. You’ve always been so helpful and inspiring. It meant a lot to me when you made the effort to read something I posted a link to and responded with words of encouragement. Thank you for providing a place for this community of writers to share and learn from one another. I wish you the best with your puppy and with your new book!

  4. ReaderandWriter says:

    I have found this blog so very helpful!! I am writing a book and every time I get with the dreaded Writer’s Block I come here to see what advice you have given. I have enjoyed this blog so much, I’ll miss it! Thank you so much for everything you have written both books and blog.

  5. Thank you for writing this blog for so long! I’ve been following it since the beginning – you gave me my first writing advice when I was a child and are still one of my biggest inspirations! Thank you for making this young writer want to write!

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