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Freelance writer, blogger and author. Committed to impactful storytelling. If you want the full story, visit me: www.edamurray.com

Eleven days before Michigan recorded its first confirmed case of COVID-19, my daughter was born. My wife and I spent the first week adjusting to parenthood and welcoming friends and family into our home to meet her. The last thing on my mind was embracing permanent remote work.

By the end of that first week, the world began to change. People were talking about what was now being deemed a “pandemic.” States throughout the country were announcing new cases. By early the second week, after those first local cases were announced, it became evident that life was going to be…


If you told me a few years ago that in 2020 I would be subscribing to physical magazines again, I would have called you crazy. After all, by 2015 I had already ridded myself of my outrageous cable bill and went exclusively to streaming. When Apple released its News+ service, I was one of the first people to give it a try (more on that later).

Though I was always reluctant to succumb to ereading books, with other digital services I have typically been eager to try out the next new thing. Why, then, as we near 2021, am I…


Making the decision to publish your manuscript is one of the most important you will make as a writer. It’s a choice that takes a very personal process — writing a book — and makes it very public.

As you move forward, remember the simple statement that writing is art, but publishing is a business. As an artist, your talents lie in creating engaging and entertaining prose, but you are about to enter a whole new world. This publishing world is about making money.

Sure, as a writer, you may look at it differently. Publishing is a way to get…


You know him now. He has a Pulitzer Prize. Two, actually. His books continue to find themselves on bestsellers lists, and one of them was selected to Oprah’s Book Club.

Back in the spring of 2013, I had never heard of Colson Whitehead. One afternoon I found myself in the small auditorium at the University of Michigan where novelist Peter Ho Davies taught my English course.

I was only weeks from graduating with a communications degree, too far down the road to add English as a second major, but with a passion for reading and writing. I knew squeezing in…


Have you ever seen Midnight in Paris? The Ernest Hemingway character in that film would surely disagree with my approach to the blogging mistakes I made when first starting out and how to help others avoid these blogging mistakes.

In a late-night scene at a bar, Hemingway is sipping a drink while he talks with Owen Wilson’s character. Wilson asks Hemingway to evaluate his manuscript, to which Hemingway responds, “You don’t want the opinion of another writer,” and then, “Writers are competitive.”

This is where I disagree with this Hemingway character. Good writing can be a sea that lifts other…


You probably began using the five-paragraph essay when you were a child in school, just learning to organize your thoughts on paper. The premise is simple: Create an outline for an essay that has an introduction paragraph to state your thesis, three supporting paragraphs and a concluding paragraph.

You probably also thought that the writing form wouldn’t follow you into adult years — yet, here we are, and online the five-paragraph essay is more common and useful than ever.

Have you noticed? The most common articles online are typically “how-to guides” or listicles. How are they structured? An intro —…


Most people agree that short stories are typically under 10,000 words — usually under 7,500 words. Novels are works of fiction longer than 40,000 words. But there is a type of short book that gets lost in between, somewhere in the range of 15,000 to 40,000 words, and is often overlooked. These short books are novellas, and they are the perfect way to spend quiet afternoons and can be read in a day.

Some people read faster than others, but the general consensus is that most adults read between 200 and 300 words per minute, meaning a short book of…


My daughter’s birth was scheduled, which helped lessen the stress. For a few weeks, we knew there would soon come a day when we woke up, showered, got dressed and drove to the hospital to change our lives forever.

That morning itself was entirely familiar and entirely strange. I remember taking a few photos — one of our quiet living room, one while sitting in the glider chair in the nursery — that I now look back on with envy. Everything was quiet and still. Peaceful.

When we arrived at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, it was just…


Though we may not notice it as frequently today in the 21st century, yellow journalism runs rampant. But what is yellow journalism and where did it all start?

In the mid-1890’s, there was a fierce newspaper battle raging between the New York World and the New York Journal. At the helm of each was a powerful man who ran the paper like a shark. For The World it was Joseph Pulitzer, and for The Journal it was William Randolph Hearst — undoubtedly two names you’ve heard before.

The two couldn’t have been more opposite. Pulitzer was a Hungarian immigrant who…


Over the years I have read plenty of reviews left by readers. On Goodreads. On Amazon. On social media. On various websites. Some of them have been positive: “It’s the kind of story, the kind of author, which this reader can thoroughly recommend.” Others, far more sour: “Overall, I was not pleased.”

Whether these reviews are just or warranted is not the question I am interested in tackling here. Rather, what I want to help answer is this: Should authors be reading reviews, good or bad, left by their readers?

Surely there is a pros and cons list that can…

Ed A. Murray

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