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The Military Writers Guild
Letter sent on Aug 16, 2015

Over the past several months I’ve the privilege of meeting an array of interesting people. With graciousness, members of the Military Writers Guild allowed me a behind the scenes peak into their lives. We’ve seen Ellen Haring in full bed head mode hammering out her dissertation every morning, seven days a week. We’ve jogged breathlessly along with Crispin Burke as he picked up running just so he could drink IPAs guiltlessly. We’ve traveled with Diane Maye to the Italian countryside and Floridian beaches in search of writing inspiration. We’ve even flew halfway across the world to brave the #thinktankthuglife of Natalie Sambhi (forthcoming).

I began this endeavor with a simple question: what is the syntax of good writers? To reveal the best formula of good writing behavior I needed to discover the commonalities of both good and bad behavior. This should reveal models of writing behaviors I could adopt or delete from my own behavior. To do so, I asked a series of questions about the rituals, if at all, that are part of their writing routines.

I asked what is their waking routine and how early they get up. I wanted to visit, albeit virtually, their writing space. I inquired into their note taking habits and research techniques. I peered into the methods with which they find inspiration, creativity, and muse.

With the symbiotic nature of writing and reading I caressed the shelves of a 7,000 book personal library. I asked what were they reading on their kindle at the moment. What genre of writing filled their earbuds as they ran with their Audible library? How would they discover the next book to read? Like a kid at Christmas, I unwrapped books they gave as a gift most often.

As I prepare to study their responses for commonalities, I invite you to read a select few highlighted below.

Please don’t stop there. I invite you to share these interviews with our vast network. Remember, promoting our members is a core mission of this Guild. The small acts of “Recommending” on Medium and sharing on Facebook and Twitter embodies the very nature of this Guild. Doing so affirms your bond with the very writers we’ve profiled.

I offer my deepest gratitude to those who gave up their time to participate in this project. Frankly a few of them risked their anonymity needed to balance their professional obligations. To think, Doctrine Man was hiding in plain sight just a few cubicles away.

Is there a writer in the cubicle next to yours? Share these interviews and you may find a kindred spirit just looking for a medium to tell their story.



Dan Ward shares: Simplicity is Not the Point and sometimes it’s the little rituals that bring the biggest inspiration.

We get comfy on Clausewitz’s Magic Bean Bag and learn all about Hendricks Gin.

We learn if you need speech writing, book writing, or serious writing advice, go find Susan Lovett in From a Personal Library of 7,000 Books

And editor extraordinaire Katie Putz harnesses the chaos of writing with Katie’s Golden Lasso.