October 13, 2016

Helping Writers: Writing Coaches, Guest Posts, & More!

Apple on books with text: Deepen Your Craft with Resident Writing Coach Jami Gold (at Writers Helping Writers)

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I’m a huge fan of Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi’s work. They’re the genius duo behind the Emotion Thesaurus, the Positive and Negative Trait Thesaurus books, the recent Urban and Rural Setting Thesaurus books, and the Writers Helping Writers (which started as The Bookshelf Muse) and the One Stop for Writers websites.

Yeah, geniuses. *smile*

I’m lucky enough to have been friends with them since early in their Bookshelf Muse days—long before their first book released. I wrote an entry for their old Bookshelf Muse version of the Weather Thesaurus about dust storms and monsoons all the way back in 2011.

Since then, we’ve helped each other out many times over the years. In 2012, we celebrated the release of Emotion Thesaurus with a Random Acts of Kindness Blitz. In 2013, I gave writers advice in their Amazing Race event, helped them launch their then-new Writers Helping Writers site, and shared four common writing problems that their Emotion Thesaurus can help us fix. In 2014, I shared my tips for easy image editing on their site. And just one year ago, I cheered them on for the launch of their One Stop for Writers site.

In return, Angela and Becca have both shared their expertise and knowledge with all of us in guest posts here. Angela’s talked about using subtext to reveal characters who lie, and Becca has given us tips on how to use the Trait Thesauri books and how to use settings to create a mood.

I don’t say any of that to brag about connections but to highlight just how awesome I think they are. *smile*

The WHW Resident Writing Coach Program

I also wanted to share all that background so you’d understand how Holy Cow! excited I am to join their Writers Helping Writers site as a Resident Writing Coach! Woohoo! Yay!

If you didn’t see their announcement, check it out:

“One of the best ways to evolve one’s writing skills is to experience a variety of teachings and viewpoints.

Really, we’re all looking for the same thing: the brightest nuggets. The best bits of writing help.

We put our heads together and identified some of the best sources of writing information online… And then we begged bribed asked if they would like to join us here at WHW as resident writing coaches.”

And wow, did they ever assemble a fantastic group. I’m on the list with Michael Hauge, James Scott Bell, and a bunch of other super-talented authors. *looks again* Michael Hauge, you guys! I love his work!

So yeah… I’m a wee bit excited—even though my first guest post there isn’t scheduled until December. *grin*

Now It’s Your Turn!

Speaking of guest posts, my blog usually falls into the “I invite those I want” camp for guest posts. When I think of a blog topic that I don’t have the experience or knowledge to tackle, I reach out to someone who does and ask if they’d like to guest post.

But to help me out during NaNoWriMo, I sometimes open my blog to guest post proposals. Each time I’ve put out a call, I’ve received fantastic proposals that I was proud to include here at my blog.

I also love giving a boost to others by letting them “borrow” the audience of a “Top 100 Websites for Writers” blog here at the same time they’re helping me. Some of the guest posts from my previous proposal calls have been shared over 1000 times!

(And that’s not counting the usual online and newsletter readers, which also number in the thousands, or the ongoing exposure through my blog’s popularity with search engines.)

So I’m doing a call for NaNo November again. *smile* Have an idea for a guest post? For the next two weeks, hit me up through my Contact Page with a proposal for what you’re thinking.

I run topics here that cover all aspects of writing, from craft and publishing advice to the ups and downs of writing life. As long as the post will add value for my readers (no promo-only posts), I’m happy to take a look at all ideas.

NaNo Project Time: What Should I Do?

So that brings me to talking about NaNoWriMo. I love participating in NaNo every year, but I’m not sure what story I should work on for the month this time around.

Due to delays from all my health issues this year, the release of the next book in my Mythos Legacy series has been pushed back throughout the year but will be out soon. Now, though, I have to decide what to work on next.

  • Should I work on Book 5 of the Mythos series, which will be about a pair of assassins (she’s a siren and he’s a sniper)?
  • Or should I kick off my new novella series with gargoyle heroes, which is a spinoff of the soon-to-be-released Book 4?

I don’t know. I mean, on the one hand, assassins—one a siren—but on the other hand, when my beta readers and editors read my Book 4, they all said “Please tell me you’re turning this into a series!” All the characters are chattering to me at once, and I’m not sure how to prioritize them. What should I do?

Does anyone else have this problem? Maybe we can help each other. *smile*

Which project should work on—my Book 5 novel or my novella spinoff? Are you participating in NaNo this year? Do you know what you’re working on, or do you need feedback? Do you have any questions about guest posting for me? And lastly, how cool is the WHW Resident Writing Coach Program? *grin*

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Comments — What do you think?

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Jami, you are far too good to Becca and me–I am so glad we found each other all those years ago, and your support has been so amazing–we sure appreciate it.

It is wonderful to be able to have your brain at our blog, because you have so much terrific writing insight. Becca and I look forward to the terrific posts that are going to come from getting so many experts together. 🙂

Serena Yung
Serena Yung

Hmm maybe the gargoyle novella series? It can be refreshing to do something new: I believe you’ve been writing mostly novels recently? It might give you some different perspectives if you go into novellas now (even if you’ve written novellas before.) I say this because I mainly work on novels (actually, novel series, hehe), but lately, I tried my hand at flash fiction for this writing contest a friend shared with us. Unfortunately the deadline was in six days and I was behind on my course readings, so I decided to just work on the flash fic for myself. I’m so used to writing uber (excessively) long stuff that it felt so interesting and enlightening to write a flash fiction story! Okay, admittedly, this story grew into a short story, which later became a novella, and is still far from done, sigh. It’s a little over 100 pages now (about 300 words per page). >_< Btw I'm not saying this to brag about my story lengths, just feeling a bit annoyed that it seems like I don't have the ability to write anything short, lol. Yep, I'm nano-ing! I realized that if I type on the comp with my eyes closed, I can write 3,000+ words an hour! Which is amazing because I can only type 1300-1500 ish words on my phone, or write a bit over 1000 words by hand in an hour. What a huge difference!!! Closing my eyes helps me (mostly) resist correcting my errors as I…  — Read More »

becca puglisi
becca puglisi

It’s hard to believe we’ve been in cahoots for so long! I’m so grateful that so many talented, generous, and kind authors have been brought into our lives along the way. So glad to be able to partner up again 🙂

JC Martell
JC Martell

Was happy as a cat on catnip to see your name on the coaches list!

Cathy Brockman

Congratulations on being s resident coach on Writers Helping Writers. I am excited to see how it works.
I too am
Struggling with my NANO choice too. Good luck. Go with the spinoff lol


You will make a fantastic writing coach! I’ve always admired your never-ending sage advice and how down to earth you are. Congratulations!

As for nano, I’m going to have to skip this year. Other projects are too overwhelming for me, unfortunately. But as for what to work on, here’s another vote for the spin-off. The experience there may serve a helping hand with your main series! All the best?

Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara

Well done on joining the group.

Donovan Quesenberry
Donovan Quesenberry

Ya gotta love sniper movies especially when the sniper is a lady (yeah, you want the dude to snipe). Just sayin’. Couple of movies lately with sniper ladies, Precious Cargo and Sniper Legacy. The ladies stole the shows. As for an idea to pitch, I have learned quite a bit about writing as I did editing and critique during our writing meet-up here in Raleigh. Focusing on being a good editor for others helps me to look at my work more closely. Writing and critiquing are two different skill sets, but enhance each other. So something along the lines of the relationship of critical writing and critical editing? Is very “kewl” to be a Resident Writing Coach. You will be awesome sauce! Having a lady sniper in a story is like walking into a room full of writers and shouting … chocolate!


[…] P.S. Don’t forget that I’m taking guest post proposals to help me out during NaNoWriMo. Check out the details here! […]


Jami, Many congratulations on becoming a Resident Writing Coach. Your blog is one of my first go-tos when I have a question about writing. Through your blog, I’ve learned working the beat-sheet. When I’m struggling with a particular point, I come here to see what suggestions/advice/experience you have to offer. We’re in completely different genres (I write Sci-Fi), but most of what you share can be applied and/or translated in my work. I’m not singing your kudos to “brown-nose”. 🙂 I think it is very important for this sometimes incredibly solitary profession, to really STOP and sit in that moment. You’ve reached a new level. You’re a Resident Writing Coach. That is fantastic. I am beyond excited for you. 🙂 Regarding the NaNo topic this year, I want gargoyles. I’ve only seen them (so far — and I tend to read more “Urban Fantasy” with some “Paranormal Romance” thrown in) two series which have had or featured gargoyles. I want MORE! They are the unsung champions, heroes, romantic leads. They are (almost) virgin territory. Caveat: I’m probably just not aware of more than the two I know. The writing forum I was a member of recently closed. It’s left me at odds for a “home” to turn to when my writing questions know no bounds. I’ll be checking out Writers Helping Writers very soon! To Serena Young on being unable to write shorter pieces, I share this. I tried for a number of years to write short fiction, so I…  — Read More »


[…] since I didn’t even decide which story I was going to write until just before NaNo—meaning I didn’t complete the necessary research in advance—I’m not surprised […]


[…] P.S. Don’t forget that I’m taking guest post proposals to help me out during NaNoWriMo. Check out the details here! […]

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