The week of May 19th marks the launch of Carrie Butler’s PAY IT FORWARD project: HOW I FOUND THE WRITE PATH. This unique (and most exiting!) blogfest—will culminate in Carrie and her accomplice, PK Hzreo, compiling participants’ posts into an ebook to help other writers on their path.

“I want to compile a free e-book for writers who are just starting on their road to publication, using advice from the most brilliant, up-and-coming voices in the industry: you guys! Here’s what it would involve:

Please write a letter/note to yourself when you first started writing toward publication. The only thing I ask is that you keep it under 800 words, including as many (or as few) of these elements as you like:

– A lesson you learned the hard way
– Something you didn’t expect about the industry (positive/negative)
– A writing-related resource you could never do without now
– One thing you’d change about your journey
– One thing you’re glad you did
– Your number one tip for pursuing publication
– Anything else you feel is worth passing on”

For all the delicious details and to sign up, go here.




I am thrilled to report Spring has finally arrived in my neighborhood. Despite moderate temps for the past month, there’s been nary a bloom or green blade of grass, but finally, the tide—or should I say the season?—has turned:









As I worked on my letter for the above mentioned HOW I FOUND THE WRITE PATH, I started thinking about some of the bad advice and really off-the-mark feedback I’ve received over the years. I’ve had some beauts. The most bizarre feedback I ever received came via a contest. The agent who judged my submission commented that I needed to do more research on how museum loading docks work. Um… really? I worked operations for a major museum for five years and one of my responsiblities was staffing and training the loading dock operator position. So much for writing what you know. Fortunately I was already agented at the time, so I shook my head and moved on.

The single worst piece of writing advice I ever received? Read only your genre so you know what you should be writing. Sure, its important to know your genre, but reading genre teaches you formula. Reading amazing authors teaches you to write. Far better advice for any writer who cares about the writing? Read everything!

What is the worst piece of writing advice
or feedback you ever received?





All images Copyright © 2014 VR Barkowski. All rights reserved.