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Letter sent on Apr 15, 2017

The NW: A Newsletter for Ninja Writers

Hey, Ninja Writer!

Here are somethings I thought you might find interesting this week.


A (Long) Essay About Writing from Ann Prachett

Someone recommended this essay by Ann Prachett to me this week and I read it. It’s profound and I think you’ll enjoy it. Here’s a great quote: “Art stands on the shoulders of craft, which means that to get to the art, you must master the craft. If you want to write, practice writing.”


Take this free course, if you have any plan on making money online. (Or just want to try ConvertKit free.)

I’ve signed up for this free Product Creation Masterclass that my email server, ConvertKit, is putting on. I’m pretty excited about it. Plus more than 1000 Ninjas have signed up, too. So it should be super fun!

Even if you have no plans on creating a product, every writer needs an email server and there isn’t a better one out there. ConvertKit rarely offers a free month, so this is a good chance to check it out.


Speaking of email lists. I had an epiphany about blogs. (Spoiler: You don’t need one.)

Blogging is the next Blockbuster Video. For real. The May $3 Patreon Reward is a sneak peak at an upcoming Anti-Blogging for Creatives course and a Medium 30 Day Blogging Challenge for the month of May. We’ll have a private Facebook Group for sharing and supporting each other’s work. Read more about that here.


Starz has two of my favorite miniseries ever On Demand right now.

I don’t know what it is about Ken Follet’s Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, but I’ve read both books more than once and I absolutely love both mini-series. Starz is playing them On Demand right now and if you want to get lost in a great story, here’s your chance. (Actually, I do know what it is: Follet combines history and epic storytelling flawlessly. He makes building a cathedral sexy.)


If you’re anywhere near the Reno/Tahoe area.

There are still tickets available for the Ninja Writer’s Retreat at St. Mary’s Art Center in Virginia City. I’d love to hang out with you next weekend! The event is April 21 to 23. We’re going to have some kickass speakers and plenty of time for just hanging out and writing. Get signed up here.


Picture Prompt. Write about this:


#Ninjalife assignment for this week.

Sometimes we get into a huge rut, only reading the books we’re comfortable with. I thought a lot about discomfort this week and how much I’d like to train myself to push past it and not let it stop me.

I think that even small things, like reading a book that you might not otherwise pick up, can prompt us to be brave and poke at our comfort wall instead of letting it stop us in our tracks.

So pick up a book this week that you might not otherwise read. I’ve got a copy of Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott that I’m going to dive into. Books about spirituality are definitely something I normally shy away from, for a variety of reasons.


Marketing Idea

If you have a short story or even a novel that you’re comfortable offering for free, set it up at Instafreebie. The name is terrible, but the service is fantastic. You can do it for free, but if you pay $20 a month for the pro level of service, you can require an email address before sending the book out. Instafreebie is one of the top ways I’ve added to my email list in the last several months. I’ve added more than 2000 readers to my list since November.


Ninjas on Medium

A bunch of Ninjas are posting amazing things on Medium every week. I thought it would be fun to start promoting a couple of them every week. Head over, check them out, follow them, and give them some love with a heart.

Amy Crumpton started a new publication called Dear Amy. It’s brand new, but it looks like it will be amazing.

I loved this post by Shawn MacDonald (who writes as Allison Temple) about making mistakes when you first start.

Erika Sauter wrote about her love of food pictures from the New York Times.

If you’d like to be featured next week, make sure to share links to your posts on Friday in our Facebook group. (Only on Friday though. It’s our promo day.)


Here are some things I wrote this week.

Thank you so much for reading!

If you enjoyed this newsletter and you’d like to support Ninja Writers, share it with a friend or check out our Patreon page.



P.S. Here’s a quote I came across this week that I loved:

“I do not over-intellectualize the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.”
 — Tom Clancy

If you enjoyed this post, please consider scrolling down and recommending it with a pretty green heart. ❤ ❤ ❤

Shaunta Grimes is a writer and teacher. She lives in Reno with her husband, three superstar kids, and a yellow rescue dog named Maybelline Scout. She’s on Twitter @shauntagrimes, is the author of Viral Nation and Rebel Nation, and is the original Ninja Writer.