When You Put Your Book Aside for a Year

June 7, 2012

Tonight I opened my manuscript, my travel memoir, my baby. The date stamped on the Word doc told me the last time I made edits to Please Send Pants was nearly a year ago, in July 2011. I can hardly believe it’s been a YEAR since I looked at my book. I opened it because […]

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How Writing Differently Can Strengthen Your Craft

January 31, 2012

Four years ago, a few writer friends and I got together in Houston for a Modern Love brunch. All avid readers of The New York Times column, we vowed to each write our own essay and share them aloud. A Modern Love critique group. I only wrote half my piece. But over the next few […]

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How long does it take to write a book?

July 13, 2011

Over lunch recently with a pair of travelers who are considering writing a book, one asked me how long it took me to write mine. “More than a year,” I told him. “I worked on it full time for a year, then revised while getting my social-media business up and running.” “A year?!” he said, […]

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Audio: Travel Writing Teleconference

June 14, 2011

The National Association of Memoir Writers‘ recent teleconference on travel writing got some gears turning in my head — so I figure it might be useful for you, too. More than 300 people signed up to listen live or get this audio after the event! If you missed it, here’s the audio for when you […]

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Teleconference Thursday Night on Writing Travel Memoir

June 9, 2011

If you’re into travel writing and memoir, consider joining this free teleconference tonight with the National Association of Memoir Writers. At 7pm EST, I’ll be a guest for the discussion, along with literary agent Elizabeth Evans. All you’ve got to do is register today and dial in tonight. Here are the details.

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How to Turn Writing Your Book into an Education

June 8, 2011

I was out to dinner recently with two journalists-turned-MFA-students, asking what they’ve learned so far in the classroom. And it occurred to me that even though I didn’t earn a degree, writing my first book has been an education. It has hit me only in the last couple of years, after realizing just how far […]

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So you want to write a travel memoir?

April 21, 2011

Considering writing a memoir about your travel adventure? Check out this piece I wrote for Briefcase to Backpack about how to write a book about your travels: When travelers hear I'm writing a book about backpacking solo through Africa, they often confess that they, too, have dreamed about telling their travel story. “But I don't […]

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Q&A: Travel Writer Doug Mack on Importance of Voice

April 11, 2011

Whenever you have a goal, one of the best ways to succeed is talking to people who have already done it. Their road map might not be right for you, but you’re likely to gain at least one piece of insight that will help you on your own journey. That’s why I’m always psyched to […]

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Mira Bartok’s The Memory Palace = Amazing

March 14, 2011

I don’t often cross-post between here and my book blog, What Lexi Reads, but y’all are likely to be interested in this one. Remember Mira Bartok, who visited us here in 2009 for a Q&A about her blog, Mira’s List, and grants for writers? Her book is out: The Memory Palace. It’s about growing up […]

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How to finish your book (or accomplish any dream)

February 9, 2011

Last week I called the cable company to ask how much it would cost to get Internet installed in my apartment. (Until now I’ve managed to use my apartment complex’s access.) The guy on the other end of the phone tried to give me a price for both Internet and cable. “Oh, I don’t need […]

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