Amy Isaman's Blog

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5 Ways to Ensure Your Book Adds to the Conversation in Your Topic
This afternoon my 20-something son Facetimed me. We talk on the phone and text ...
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How to Organize Research for Your Book
If you're writing a book, at some point, you'll need to research, whether it's ...
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The Benefits of Writing a Book (beyond the sales)
When we think of writing a book, we often think of the final product ...
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Discovering Your Writing Process: how to find it and why you should
One of the greatest surprises of my mid-life existence is that I've discovered that ...
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Does this “flow”? A checklist to check for and create flow in your writing.
Every writing teacher or coach ever has had a student ask this question, "Does ...
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Should you write a nonfiction book?
Writing a book is hard work. It's an investment of time, money, and creative ...
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How do you know if you’re ready for (or even need) a book coach?
Book coaching involves an investment of time, money, and even emotions and personal growth, ...
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Some Thoughts on Creative Resistance
Ever felt like you wanted to write, you really really did, but it just felt hard? ...
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What is your WHY for writing your book (and why it’s important to know)?
I'm writing this post because I am over all the BS you read online ...
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Why I Do Compatibility Calls
A Compatibility call is an initial zoom call that I hold with people who ...
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My Journey to Becoming a Book Coach
I'm sharing this book coaching journey for several reasons: Owning what we're doing, naming ...
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Writing Talent IS a Thing
Last week while scrolling Instagram, a post popped up that declared, "Reminder that 'writing ...
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Content Pruning: Keeping your blog content fresh and relevant to your audience
I love to play in my garden. Every spring I head out around Mother's ...
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Tackling Edits: How to Revise & Cut Thousands of Words to Improve Your Writing
My eyeballs hurt, a deep ache after finishing the micro-edit on The Fiddler's Son. ...
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How does one become a writer?
I’ve been thinking about this question because as a writing and book coach who ...
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Looking Back, Lowering my Writing Expectations, and Writing More!
You can listen to this post as a podcast episode here. Lower your writing ...
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5 Strategies to Seamlessly Tie in Back Story
[originally published May 2015; updated Dec. 2021] This week, I was talking to some ...
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What are the types of “voice” in writing?
Understanding the concept of "voice" in writing can be tough because voice itself can ...
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How long should writing your book take?
We live in an Amazon Prime, Netflix, fast food, "I want it NOW" kinda ...
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Thinking Partners, The Wife of Bath, & Sovereignty
One of my dear friends, who's also a book client & official "thinking partner," ...
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5 Ways to Start Your Writing Sessions Strong
Starting a writing session is often the hardest part, the part that takes the ...
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Start your Story Strong: 6 Strategies to Write a Great First Line
Starting a new story or novel is one of the most exciting parts of ...
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The Ultimate Guide to Overcoming Writer’s Block
Guest post by Nicholas Rubright: Writer's block is a common ailment among writers and ...
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How to Write Chapter 1: Include the 4 C's and a Q
[originally published 11/2014; updated 5/2021] Starting a new project is often the most exciting ...
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Show don’t tell: adding descriptive details to strengthen your writing
If you're a writer you've probably heard the phrase "show don't tell" or add ...
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Book Writing Strategies for Aspiring Authors that Actually Work
20 Writing Strategies Aspiring Authors can Use to Plan, Write, and Finish their First ...
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Give yourself TIME to develop ideas & avoid Writer’s Block
You've probably heard of "writer's block." It's a common "thing" in the writer's world.  ...
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You are Your Best Audience
Let's talk about your audience and WHO you create for. I had a big ...
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Why Collaboration Matters and How to Find Collaborators
How are you doin' out there? Me? In all honestly, it's been a little ...
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Finding Fresh Ideas (when everything’s already been done)
Did you know that when it comes to our artistic work there are no ...
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Demo Day for your Brain (no sledgehammer required)
Do you watch HGTV? I love the house renovation shows, and they all start ...
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Idea Generation: Getting to Your Best Ideas
How do we come up not only with ideas, but how do we come ...
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When uselessness is…useful
Years and years ago I wrote a blog post about table runners. I'd been making ...
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Your idea is calling…pick up (or sit down)
This week in a writing circle, one of the topics we were discussing was ...
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Writing for Clarity
I've spent much of my career teaching writing, whether it was in a formal ...
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The Creative Gap
Here's an encouraging video with Ira Glass' wisdom to keep going on your creative ...
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Finding Clarity
Let's start this post with an easy question since your brain may be quaran-tired. ...
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Questions leading to more questions and ultimately, wisdom
There is not only an epidemic/pandemic of virus out there. There's an epidemic of ...
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Comparison
I got together with some of my biz besties yesterday. We were talking about ...
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7 Strategies for Breaking Through Creative Blocks
[Originally posted April 2013; updated Jan. 2020] Before we dive into creative blocks, I ...
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What is gratitude?
November is the month of gratitude in the US. We are to live this ...
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Giving Yourself Permission is Bull#@&!
Unfortunately in our world, full-grown adults still require permission to en-JOY life or to ...
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Creating Space to Write
Last weekend, I BLEW it.  I had the opportunity to travel to Taos, New ...
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The Power of a Smile
Here's a "funny" for you..."What did the 0 say to the 8?" Read this ...
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Are you letting JOY lead?
July has been a month full of adventures, growth, and self-discovery. The first weekend ...
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The Power of Doing Nothing to Feed Your Soul (and creativity)
This spring, I started on my newest novel…and have made very little progress. My ...
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Facing Fear Head On & Blasting Through
This happy 4th of July, when we left for a visit to see our ...
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#truth – You will never complete your to-do list
This whole idea about NEVER totally finishing my to-do list was an epiphany I ...
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Create Your “Ta-Da” list
Let me start this post by saying that a TA DA list is NOT ...
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Are you brave enough to be a beginner?
Starting something new can be terrifying, especially for those of us with, um, some ...
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Banish the Guilt of “Guilty Pleasures”
I was listening to one of my fav podcasts this week and the host ...
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22 Ideas for going on a Date…with Yourself
Have you ever taken yourself on a date, to enjoy your own company, unwind, ...
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10 Lessons on Having More Fun from 40 Days of Play
Focusing on playing and having more fun for the past 40 days has been ...
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How to use Play & Joy to Stop People Pleasing
This is a BIG one for me and it's a habit I have that ...
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Playing Everyday, for 40 Days
Last year on my 48th birthday, I went for a run, came home, said ...
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Writing Again because…I am a Writer
Oh, I've been missing you, blog. I started this blog in March of 2011, ...
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Should You Listen to Music While Writing?
This past spring, I went to two education conferences where speakers discussed the neuroscience ...
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Lose “Said” & Try Action Tags in Dialogue
Dialogue is one of the most fun parts of a story to write. We ...
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Writing Dialogue: How to Develop (and Hear) your Characters’ Voices
I've been hard at work on my latest novel and am enjoying getting the ...
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Six Strategies to Get Past Your Worry and Fear of Criticism
Every now and again on this blog, I feel pulled to venture into inspirational ...
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Does your mindset keep you from following your heart?
The book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success is a fascinating look at how ...
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Boost Your Creativity: Writing By Hand
'Tis the holiday season and many of us wish for the latest in technology: ...
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No More “Shoulding” on Myself
The past few months have been some of the most difficult of my life. ...
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Writing (or not) in Crisis
I haven't posted on this blog in several weeks because, as some of you ...
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The Beloved and Oft-Misused Semi-colon
I'm not sure why it is that teen writers love the semi-colon, but they ...
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Resistance – Writing Even When Life Gets in the Way
There's a myth to long lazy summer days. Because I teach, the school year ...
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Some Basics of Showing Writing
Great descriptive writing combines all of the senses: sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound. ...
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9 Strategies to Enhance Your Creativity and Break Through Blocks
School is all about rote memory, conformity, and following the rules. But when we’re ...
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What is a Character Arc?
Is a character arc a giant boat for characters that Noah built? Or perhaps ...
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How to Use Word Clouds to Guide Your Revision
We all tend to have our favorite "go to" words that we like to ...
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Ten Essential Writing Tools
Writing a story, poem, or a novel is a major undertaking. It would be ...
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5 Strategies to Find Great Ideas for Your Stories
Coming up with great "story worthy" ideas can be tough. In fact, it can ...
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Who do you need to be a better writer?
We all have tools to help us write: a computer, writing books, and a ...
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Eight Strategies to Get Over the Fear of Sharing your Writing
Your heart races, your hands shake, you want to run, scream, hide! Glancing behind ...
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Becoming Creative
They say that every story has been told. As writers, then, we must somehow ...
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Sentence Structure Matters
Next to your individual word choice, your sentence structure is the basic building block ...
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Work on Your Writing Strengths
As a writing teacher, I've spent a lot of time helping students improve. Because ...
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6 Ways Writing Partners can Help Us Become Better Writers
Do you belong to a "writing group"? Or, if you don't have an "official" ...
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6 Comma Rules You Need to Know
It's finals week here which means that I've been reading essay after essay, marking ...
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How should you set yearly writing goals?
Can you hit your writing goals? This is that time of year when everyone ...
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Spelling Matters
Why does spelling matter? If you spell correctly, readers take you seriously. If you ...
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Hitting the Writing Wall and Blasting Through
How many new pieces do you start in a year? Can you even answer ...
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Avoiding Adverbs
I’ve been to several writing conferences and read many books and articles on writing. ...
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Why do Writers use Writing Prompts?
Writers often use writing prompts allow them to find a way in. "In?" you ...
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Grammar Geek – how to punctuate dialogue
Most every story has dialogue, so its important to punctuate it correctly. Readers expect ...
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Grammar Geek – Passive vs. Active Voice
Passive vs. active voice is something that writers talk about often but what is ...
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Research- Decide, Record, and Cross-Check
A wise user of the internet once said “Writing is a funny thing. At ...
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One Strategy = Unlimited Writing Ideas
We live in the "Information Age," and as writers, we can use this to ...
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Is a Writer’s Notebook Necessary?
This was the question on a poll I ran. Most respondents said that you ...
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Grammar Geek – How to Punctuate with Quotation Marks
I've been spending quite a bit of time this vacation relaxing, perusing the net, ...
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Grammar Geek – Quotation Marks, Commas, and Periods
I've been spending quite a bit of time this vacation relaxing, perusing the net, ...
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What do you do with Feedback?
You shared some of your writing with a friend or group. People read it, ...
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Feedback: The Secret to Making your Writing Great
Getting feedback on your writing is the (sometimes scary) process of sharing your writing ...
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Where does Creativity come from?
This is an interesting question, one that I have been pondering for several months ...
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Critique Like an Expert in 7 Easy Steps
You’ve read a story on WTW. You may think its great or you might ...
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Proofreading vs. Editing: What’s the Difference?
When reading one another’s writing, high school students will almost always point out grammatical ...
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Forgetting Fear
I got back from Sedona yesterday, and my husband commented on the picture of ...
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Every Story HAS NOT Been Told
The idea that every story has already been told or every message has been ...
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Fear of Finishing
Last week I pulled out a bunch of fabric to start a new quilt.  ...
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How do you say a word without really saying it?
I had an interesting conversation with one of my students this past week.  He ...
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I’m Free (from an outline that is)
I’m at the point in my story where I’m no longer glued to my ...
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Where do scenes come from?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as I’ve spent the last two ...
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Books at Night
As a lover of books, bookstores, color and design, I fell in love with ...
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Six Benefits of Writer’s Block
I’ve been suffering from writer's block, which is really just the feeling that everything ...
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Un-learning – “If it’s too easy to create, it can’t be any good.”
My mom started back to college in 1975, the same year that I started ...
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Just . . . Keep . . . Writing
I’ve read lots of books on writing over the years, but I’ve always read ...
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“Any road will get you there.”
Earlier this week while my students were working on their final projects, I asked ...
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Where do stories come from?
This is an interesting question, one that I have been pondering for several months.  ...
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OMG! I’m writing a novel . . .
For the last six years or so of my life, I’ve known that I ...
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