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Photo by Picsea on Unsplash

One of the most common questions I get from fiction writers is, “Where do I begin?”

The writer is overwhelmed, feeling lost, and maybe very frustrated.

They have a story in them, but nowhere to put it.

Coupled with this overwhelm is the confusion about all the ways to write stories — story maps and structures galore.

Which brings them back to: “Where do I begin?”

I too had this confusion and overwhelm until I figured out — through lots of writing different kinds of ways and different kinds of stories — that every story has an inherent structure.

Since I’m an intuitive writer, I had thought story should…


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Photo by Richard Gatley on Unsplash

One of the hardest things for me to know is what I really think and feel.

Not because I just don’t know.

But because I think and feel so much and I’ve learned much of it doesn’t originate from me, with me.

Sound weird? Good.

No, all right, I’ll drop my defenses a bit.

I’m so used to being misunderstood. By that I mean, I have experiences I have no reference points for, so no words for, so it’s hard to talk about them, put words to them.

Is that because the words don’t exist? No.

It’s because, as I…


Wash (Serenity by Joss Whedon)

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Photo by Joel & Jasmin Førestbird on Unsplash

This is one of my favorite lines from Serenity, Joss Whedon’s film that followed his TV show, Firefly. (Browncoats unite!)

This is said by the Hoban “Wash” Washburne, the pilot, as he’s faced with slipping through enemy lines.

For me, Wash is talking about facing your fear and acting anyway.

… about knowing your goal, as clearly and as specifically as you can.

… about taking action and trusting yourself.

… about being wholly in the moment — come what may.

I’m not necessarily talking about bold actions. …


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Image from Pixabay by Roland Pippes heidelberg

Confession: I only work on my own novel about one to three hours a day — the creative parts I mean, whether those parts are planning/brainstorming, writing the first draft, or editing.

The rest of the time I’m of service, helping my clients by editing their books, or coaching, or teaching, or business planning, or marketing my services (or novels), or doing the administrative details of running my two creative businesses.

I’m fine with this.


Get Your Book into the Hands of Your Readers

A woman writing
A woman writing
Image created on Canva by Beth Barany

In this post, I’ll share a few publishing tips to help you get your book into the hands of your readers.

Getting published is comprised of lots of steps, but luckily there are clear pathways to your chosen destination.

Whether you want to traditionally publish or publish your books yourself (self-publish), there are resources out there for you.

I was recently interviewed by Paul G. Brodie of the “Get Published Podcast” who specializes in helping nonfiction authors publish their books.

I shared my tips for writing and marketing for indie fiction authors, and shared about one of my favorite novels…


Finding the Courage to Move Forward

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Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash

By the time I was ready to publish my first novel, I knew I needed to start thinking about marketing too.

But I was scared.

I felt like a young child daring to reveal her precious art up to the whole world. I was small and they were huge. And their response mattered a lot.

How was I going to get the courage to move forward with my marketing when I felt petrified?

In my mind, I knew that marketing was important. I knew I needed to take steps.

But in my heart that had poured so much into my…


Know Thyself

“Know thyself.”
— Attributed to Socrates, among others

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Image from Pixabay

This is the tenth and last Spark adapted and updated from my book, Overcome Writer’s Block: 10 Writing Sparks to Jumpstart Your Creativity, I’ve syndicated on Medium.

You can read the whole book here on Medium, or buy the entire ebook at Kindle or Smashwords.

Surprisingly, creativity is one of those things that even really creative people think they don’t have. Some of my clients have told me this about themselves. Such a major misconception.

We are all creative.

And I am here today to share with you how to bring your creativity process more into…


Writing Deep: Write 3,000 words a day*

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From khamkhor on Pixabay

This is the ninth Spark adapted and updated from my book, Overcome Writer’s Block: 10 Writing Sparks to Jumpstart Your Creativity, I’m syndicating on Medium.

You can read the whole book here on Medium, or buy the entire ebook at Kindle or Smashwords.

Writing Deep: Write 3,000 words a day*

When it comes to writing deep, you will find you can write a lot. By clearing the path from your desire to write, to the action of doing so, you can be the creative being you are meant to be.

*3,000 words a day may be a good goal for you, or writing 500 words may be…


“Every day and in every way, I am becoming an artist.”

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Gate by James DeMers on Pixabay

“Every day and in every way, I am becoming an artist.”
— adapted from Al Franken’s Stewart Smalley on Saturday Night Live

This is the eighth Spark adapted and updated from my book, Overcome Writer’s Block: 10 Writing Sparks to Jumpstart Your Creativity, I’m syndicating on Medium.

You can read the whole book here on Medium, or buy the entire ebook at Kindle or Smashwords.

Awareness: Knowledge is Power

Knowing your creative process, and knowing what stage you’re in, helps you be a better artist — by adding more awareness and understanding to your life.

In this article, by creative process I mean the…


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Country by youngae heo on Pixabay

Once upon a time there was a writer who wanted to write a novel, but didn’t know where to begin.

Everyday, she sat down to write but didn’t know how to start the story.

One day, she realized there had to be a better way and reached out for help.

Because of that, she found the Plan Your Novel: 30-Day Writing Challenge live workshop.

Because of that, she planned her novel with ease.

Until finally, she wrote her novel with confidence.

And you can too!

Beth Barany

Writing teacher. Science Fiction/Fantasy award-winning novelist. Get “10 Ways to Generate Ideas While Stuck Inside” free e-book: http://bethb.net/10waysinsidebb

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