How to Write Your Novel in a Month

It’s National Novel Writing Month! (or NaNoWriMo, the worst abbreviation ever). Every year, fiction writers across the country take a pledge to write 50,000 words of a novel by the end of November. That’s about 150pgs. I encourage everyone who’s thinking about writing fiction to join today! I joined on November 1st. I’ve written every day since then. Here are my tips to get in on the action. 1. Say out loud that you don’t have to write 50,000 words. Just get started. It’s okay to join and see what happens from there. 2. Don’t wait until you have the …

Make Sunday Count

I think the weekends are prime time to get shit done. There are hours upon hours of time on the weekend to do anything. Weekends are huge for me in terms of writing my novel and getting a jump on homework. While I love binge-watching a series, it doesn’t feel right when there’s work I’m avoiding. Everyone can relate. It doesn’t feel right to spend all day doing nothing if you’ve got stuff you wanna make happen. You’ve got goals, and you need to be realistic about what it takes to reach them. If you’ve got packed days during the …

Can I Use the N-Word?

I don’t use the N-word. But in Mad City (set in Miami), I have black characters and I want to use words black people use, which include the N-word. However, I feel weird being a white guy and using the N-word in my fiction. It feels a little bit like I shouldn’t be able to say it. I spoke with a black history professor and he told me its fine as long as I use it in a realistic context. I’m curious to hear what you all think. Is anything fair game as long as it’s realistic or is there a …

Don’t Hate Trump Supporters

Here’s an unpopular opinion: we shouldn’t hate Trump supporters. Yes, he and many of his supporters are guilty of racism, sexism, homophobia, you name it. But we have to listen to them. There’s a reason why Trump is so popular. His supporters have legitimate economic complaints and Trump has tapped into that rage. The lower and middle class of the United States feel betrayed by the political and economic elites, and they are right. The rich have too much of the pie and are using Washington to grow the monstrous slice they already have. Free trade agreements that Hillary Clinton …

Grief and Growth

There’s a line in Tuesdays with Morrie (which I have not read) that says, “Death ends a life, not a relationship.” It’s very true. I lost my father in May to cancer and it’s hard to deal with sometimes. You’ll probably experience it in your lifetime if you haven’t already, but it’s not something to be afraid of. It can be a huge opportunity for growth and self-discovery. It mirrors lots of other experiences in life. Whenever you’re deeply hurt, you feel the need to withdraw and close up. Grief has taught me that the best response in those situations …