Articles about Writing Better by Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman is the writer’s writer and a great authority on the business of writing better. We’ve curated a few articles that could be helpful to you if you aspire to be a better writer and better at the business of writing. 

Copyediting Jobs: How to Estimate Hours and Pricing

“Copy editors are known for perfectionism. But while there’s no end to the fussing you can do, there’s a limit to what someone will pay you to do it.” In this guest post, CMOS contributing editor Carol Saller explains how to determine what your time is worth.

Why Self-Publishing Authors Should Consider Establishing Their Own Imprint

Imprints aren’t just for big publishers; any self-publishing author can invent an imprint under which to operate. In this guest post, consultant and author David Wogahn explains the many ways that an imprint can help your branding and marketing.

A Short and Sweet Beginner’s Guide to Securing Amazon Reviews

It’s been proven by research: reviews help drive book sales. And reviews on Amazon can help your book turn up more often in customer searches. So you want reviews—great reviews—but they need to be authentic. Here’s how to get them.

Context: When a Story Demands More Than Plot

Sometimes a story demands more than just a plot. You may want to create a context, a descriptive background that sheds light on a story’s meaning.

9 Ways (and 2 Rewards) of Marketing Your Own Book

Authors who want to sell their work must often do the marketing themselves, and some methods are easier than others. In this guest post, essayist, memoirist and short story writer Beth Alvarado discusses the ways and reasons why you should take an active role in marketing your own book.

How to Plan a Book Reading That Delights Your Audience

Reading your writing in public can be daunting, but the audience is your ally. Keep them engaged with these planning tips from public speaking coach James Nave and workshop leader Allegra Huston, co-authors of How to Read for an Audience: The Stuff Nobody Teaches You.

Jane invites some of the most gifted experts to write for her blog. Some of her information is next level. Enjoy reading.



Toni Morrison and Paule Marshall Quotes for Inspiration

Within the space of days, we lost two beloved authors: Toni Morrison and Paule Marshall. To memorialize them and remember them, we have curated quotes by both. You can use them for personal inspiration or to share with your social networks.


A person can run for years but sooner or later he has to take a stand in the place which, for better or worse, he calls home, and do what he can to change things there.

Paule Marshall


My very first lessons in the art of telling stories took place in the kitchen . . . my mother and three or four of her friends. . . told stories. . .with effortless art and technique. They were natural-born storytellers in the oral tradition.

Paule Marshall


Once a great wrong has been done, it never dies. People speak the words of peace, but their hearts do not forgive. Generations perform ceremonies of reconciliation but there is no end.

Paule Marshall


I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge – even wisdom. Like art.

Toni Morrison


If you want to fly, you have to give up the things that weigh you down.

Toni Morrison


A friend gathers all the pieces and gives them back in the right order.

Toni Morrison


Do you have favorite books by either author? Share them with your followers and ask for theirs. There is something comforting about knowing someone else shares an interest too. 


A Few September Observances to Remember on Your Social Networks

Labor Day was September 2, but there are few September observances that could be of interest to your followers and friends on social media. You can create memes or post articles related these observances.

Observances lasting throughout September:

Library Card Sign-up Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15-10/15)

National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

National Passport Awareness Month  Link

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month Link

Women’s Friendship Month

Shameless Self-Promotion Month


Weeklong Observances:

National Historically Black Colleges & Universities Week: 15-21
National Indoor Plant Week: 15-21

Banned Books Week: 22-28 


Daily Observances:

Random Acts of Kindness Day or Be Kind Day: 1  Link 

National Food Bank Day: 6  Link  (First Friday)
National Lazy Mom’s Day: 6  (First Friday)
Stand Up To Cancer Day: 6 Link 

National Writing Date Day: 7 Link 

National Day of Service and Remembrance: 11 Link

National Clean Up Day: 21 Link  (3rd Saturday)
National Dance Day: 21 Link 

World’s Alzheimer’s Day: 21 Link

American Business Women’s Day: 22

National Women’s Health & Fitness Day: 25

Ancestor Appreciation Day: 27

Rosh Hashanah: 29 (Sundown)


Hopefully, we have helped you with the question of what to post on your feeds. If you have an observance not listed, please share in a comment. 


7 Quotes about Perseverance to Share with your Social Networks

We all need inspiration while running this race called life. Here are 7 quotes you can put on memes or simply post as an update on your social networks. We think your followers will appreciate them.

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” 
― A.A. Milne

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” 
― Maya Angelou

“There are times to stay put, and what you want will come to you, and there are times to go out into the world and find such a thing for yourself.” 
― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

“It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.” 
― Winston S. Churchill

“Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings.” 
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

“I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.” 
― Abraham Lincoln

“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.” 
― F. Scott Fitzgerald

Be inspired and remain motivated. You are not alone in this journey. If you have a favorite quote, please post it in a comment. Thank you.

10 Podcasts that Inspire

Many people are finding that by listening to podcasts, they are not only inspired by some information gleaned, but also more productive. Here are 10 podcasts that focus on a number of things from business to creativity to giving advice. We’ve linked them as well as copied and pasted their descriptions below. 

Habits & Hustle is a podcast that uncovers the rituals, unspoken habits, and mindsets of extraordinary people. Our team then synthesizes that information for listeners to take ACTION with free, fillable PDFs.

Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer features business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. Feifer, Entrepreneur’s Editor in Chief, pulls these stories out so other business can avoid the same crippling problems.

Rethinking Weight Loss From NPR For better or worse, people think about their weight. We explain the science of weight and weight loss to help put you on a road to body acceptance — and better health.

Hidden Brain From NPR Shankar Vedantam uses science and storytelling to reveal the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, shape our choices and direct our relationships.

The Credits From Georgia Public Broadcasting In each episode of The Credits, host Kalena Boller meets someone who works in Georgia’s multibillion dollar film industry. Kalena works as a location manager on major film and television projects.. With more than 40 credits to her name, her credits include AMC’s The Walking Dead and FOX’s Star. This podcast is Kalena’s love letter to the people whose names you may see in the credits at the end of a movie or TV show, but don’t really understand what they do.

A Way With Words This National Public Radio (NPR) program discusses language examined through the lens of history, culture and family. The podcast is rich with detail and exciting storytelling, and typically runs for about an hour.

Beautiful Writers Podcast features conversations with some of the most well-recognized writers in the world. Host and writer Linda Sivertsen interviews best-selling authors Elizabeth Gilbert, Rob Bell, Glennon Doyle Melton, and Brene Brown. Episodes are typically in-depth and include personal anecdotes from creatives in the business.

The Kindness Project on Spotify This fun father-daughter podcast imparts inspiring personal stories of kindness and the ways simply being nice to others makes positive changes in our world. The hosts, through giggle-filled conversations, heartfelt storytelling, and insightful guest interviews, cover how to be kind to others through everyday acts of kindness, charity fundraising, and more.

NPR host Guy Raz presents “TED Radio Hour,” a popular show that uncovers the emotions, insights, and discoveries that make us human—including how being kind to each other contributes to the greater good. 

And coming soon on Spotify: Higher Ground Media podcasts produced by the Obamas. 

What’s your favorite podcasts? Post links in the comments, please. Thank you.

August is a Great Time to Refresh for the End of the Year

In a blink of an eye, it will be December 31, and that is scary. No pressures to accomplish anything before 2020, is there? Well, you can use this month to do a few things that are invigorating, inspiring, and preparation to finish the year well. 

  • Budget to take new professional headshots and portraits for your website. 
  • Purge your closets and drawers of fall and winter clothing that are in excellent condition but too small or too big. Parse some out to shelters, missions, thrift stores, and even family and friends. Make space for anything you might need to buy new. 
  • Plan a fall get-together or event. 
  • Check the fall schedules of local arts organizations, and plan an outing or two to the theatre or opera or symphony. 
  • Create a library or public event that allows you to showcase a talent or skill with others. 
  • Figure out which causes you will support either with your money or as a volunteer before the end of the year.
  • Schedule at least one day per month to doing nothing at all. No household chores. No running around. Nothing. 

Last but not least, dream. Use this month to dream big. Create a secret Pinterest board and post an online visual reminder of those dreams. 

Refresh. August is a great time to refresh. 

Tips to Becoming Relatable on Your Social Networks

Time is a major factor why most authors and creatives don’t post regularly or only post marketing materials on their social networks. We get that time is precious. But we also understand that people don’t buy your book or work, they really buy you. Here are some tips to becoming more “real,” human and relatable to your followers. 

  1. Post photos of you actually doing something that they would also do. For example, if you are at the grocery store, post a quick photo of something that caught your interest. Ask your followers a question about that object or activity. 
  2. Share a humorous meme or graphic that shows your sense of humor. 
  3. Engage followers using a household chore. For example, show your mop or broom, and ask them which they prefer to do or not. Maybe you can express your least favorite chore for the sake of conversation. 
  4. Post memes or graphics with no pictures that pose singular statements or questions. For example, a simple graphic with the question “How was your day?” can be inviting. Another reading, “Today was a good day” can be equally as inviting. 
  5. Pick a day a week to “like” and acknowledge followers on a single post. Let people know that you value the time they take to read your posts and comment. 
  6. Repost some of their content on your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds. Thank them. 
  7. Tag some of the loyal followers on a post. Let them know you see them and are grateful for them. 

Your engagement with social media followers can potentially brighten someone’s day. All fans like to be acknowledged. They also like knowing that you are flesh and blood like they are.