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How to Write Without Approval: Reasons to Keep Writing When it’s Tough

Posted in anxiety, Creative Writing, creativity, discipline, fairy tales, fear, finishing your novel, genre fiction, Getting published, Independent Publishing, Learning to Write, Literature, living the dream, making a living as a writer, motivation for writers, novels, overcoming fear, Productivity for creatives, Rejections, self publishing, self-doubt, Storytelling, transcendence, Truth, and writing life

I imagine once you’ve a horde of adoring fans hanging on your every word, and swathes of bookstore real estate burgeoning with your work – if you’re Neil Gaiman or Stephen King – you don’t worry about approval. You have it. But the need for approval is real…

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Crippled by Doubt and Paralyzed by Fear: Overcome Anxiety and Keep Writing Anyway

Posted in anxiety, creativity, discipline, fear, finding time to write, finishing your novel, Freelance writing, living the dream, making a living as a writer, mindfulness, motivation for writers, overcoming fear, self publishing, self-doubt, transcendence, Truth, writing books, and writing life

Right now I’m scared. I’m finding it hard to sleep at night and there’s a background of anxiety against which I play out every day. I’ll tell you why. But first things first as they say. I’ve written thousands of words on this blog recommending a disciplined, persistent…

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The Origins of Urban Fantasy in the Literature of Classical Antiquity

Posted in Classics, Culture, fairy tales, fantasy, Fiction, folklore, folkloric motifs, genre fiction, mythology, Paranormal Fantasy, Storytelling, symbolism, and Urban Fantasy

I wonder how many readers of Urban Fantasy, or any fantasy literature, know how ancient its origins are? In a previous post I suggested Urban Fantasy began in the 1980s – nurtured by the writer and editor Terri Windling and inspired by Celtic folklore. While Windling’s contribution to the mythic…

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What is Urban Fantasy? Monsters, Transgression, and Kicking Ass

Posted in book covers, Culture, fairy tales, fantasy, feminism, Fiction, folkloric motifs, genre fiction, Literature, mythology, Paranormal Fantasy, and Urban Fantasy

While fantastical stories set in urban environments appear in 19th century literature (think of Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula in London or Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein) and even as far back as antiquity (consider the adventures recounted in Apuleius’s Golden Ass), the genre which we recognize today as ‘urban fantasy’…

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How to Become a Professional Writer: Help and Advice to Get You Started

Posted in Commercial Writing, Creative Writing, creativity, discipline, Editors, Freelance writing, Getting published, how to be a prolific writer, Learning to Write, Literary agents, Literature, making a living as a writer, motivation for writers, Productivity for creatives, prolific writer, Publishing, writer's workshop, writers, Writing for Money, writing life, and Writing Tips

  What Do You Need to Be a Writer? Professional writing is one of the most challenging, interesting, enjoyable, and rewarding jobs in the world. In my first year of writing full-time I didn’t earn enough to cover my costs. But I’ve been earning my living, albeit a humble…

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The Medusa Myth and Its Meaning: the Real Story of Medusa

Posted in anthropology, Culture, feminism, folklore, folkloric motifs, medusa, mythology, symbolism, and Truth

I remember reading the story of Medusa, or at least one version of it, in my father’s edition of Bullfinch’s Mythology when I was a child. I glanced over the story again when studying Ovid’s Metamorphoses in Classics at school. But as will be the case with many of my generation, the most…

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Why Do Writers Use Metaphors? How Metaphors Ignite Your Reader’s Imagination

Posted in conflict in fiction, creativity, fairy tales, fantasy, Fiction, genre fiction, language, Learning to Write, literary devices, Literature, metaphors, mythology, novels, Storytelling, symbolism, transcendence, Truth, Writing a novel, and Writing Tips

I think it’s fair to say without metaphor most prose would be very poor, fiction far from fantastic, and poetry impossible. Most of us remember being taught about metaphor and other literary devices at school. A few of us may have deepened our understanding of such things at…

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