Justin Cox
Co-Founder of The Writing Cooperative ➡️ Connect at JustinCox.com.

Write Now

How emotional investment helps prevent writer’s block

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Photo courtesy of Jennifer Waitte
Write Now provides a glimpse into how different people write for a living. Today's edition features Jennifer Waitte, award-winning journalist, editor, and author.

Jennifer Waitte. I am a former journalist, feature writer and editor. I now focus my writing efforts on fiction. I live in Napa, California, where my husband and I own a winery. I am also a competitive equestrian.

I write fiction! My work is literary and character driven. With my second novel, I am delving into writing narrative fiction. I started as a creative-writing kid, then studied journalism in college, then went on to a career in magazines, then went back to creative writing. I’d like to go back to being a kid again, but that doesn’t seem to be panning out. I love writing fiction. …

📝 This Week’s Goal: Celebrate your November accomplishments.

NaNoMriMo, the 30-day sprint to 50,000 words, wrapped up yesterday. Whether you undertook the challenge, a modified version, or set your own November goal, take a minute and reflect on your results.

If you met your goal or won NaNoWriMo, congratulations! That is an amazing accomplishment and you should be incredibly proud.

If you didn’t quite make it, don’t get down on yourself. Look at where you were on November 1 and where you are today. If you wrote 10,000 words or 10, it’s still more than you had at the start of the month. …

Write Now

Why this novelist always leaves a writing session with an unanswered question

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Photo courtesy of Carol Orange
Write Now provides a glimpse into how different people write for a living. Today's edition features Carol Orange, author of A Discerning Eye. 

Carol Orange, novelist. I live in Chicago.

I write fiction. My style is descriptive, mysterious and deep. I began writing when I was in elementary school. After college I worked as an editorial assistant at Random House and was introduced by my editor Jason Epstein to his polished authors. William Styron was the one who influenced me the most, particularly his novel Sophie’s Choice. I abhor violence so I don’t write about it viscerally, although I will refer to violent behavior. I do love what I do. I forget about time when I write. I also love to read. …

📝 This Week’s Goal: Let your favorite writers know you’re grateful for them.

It’s Thanksgiving week here in the United States. While 2020 is not the year we all envisioned, there is still a lot to be grateful for. Namely, we’re grateful for each of you.

We’re grateful you trust us for support and encouragement. We’re also extremely grateful you share your amazing ideas and advice with our community.

Thank YOU for being part of our community.

👀 Read more from The Writing Cooperative on gratitude.

To All The Writers Who Are Better Than Me: Thank You by Taylor Foreman
Read Story >>

How A Writing Residency In The Arctic Forced Me To Be Grateful by Chelsey Flood
Read Story…

Apple’s latest base-model computer brings powerful performance at a bargain price.

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Photo by Joey Banks on Unsplash; edited by the author.

Since moving to a full-time work-from-home environment back in March, I’ve upgraded almost everything about my home office. Sit-stand desk: check. Ergonomic chair: check. Calming paint color: check. Computer: nope.

Everything I do — from a full-time 9–5 job, managing The Writing Cooperative, and my freelance writing — is on an almost six-year-old 13” MacBook Pro. Don’t get me wrong, the computer is still a reliable machine and fully capable of all the things I threw at it, just not always quickly.

Reviews of the new M1 system-on-a-chip were too impressive to ignore. Last week, I jumped in headfirst. When it comes to buying a computer, two things matter: performance and cost. …

Write Now

How growing up with 27 cousins taught this writer to develop stories

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Photo courtesy of Florence Kraut
Write Now provides a glimpse into how different people write for a living. Today's edition features Florence Kraut, author of How to Make a Life.

I’m a native New Yorker, raised and educated in New York City and living currently in Westchester County. I have a BA in English and an MSW in social work and for my professional career I worked as a clinician, a family therapist and finally CEO of a family service agency before retiring to write and travel widely.

Beneath my social work persona there was always a writer. I have always written…stories, essays, unpublished novels stuck away in my file cabinet…even an odd poem here and there. …


📝 This Week’s Goal: Embrace the pun and start writing!

2020. What a year. While there are still a number of weeks left, we’re ready to start looking forward to what comes next. It’s time to launch our final writing prompt of 2020.

We’re calling it 202Done! Pronounced twenty-twenty-done, this prompt is the perfect pun to kick off 2021. We’re looking for your best advice and stories to propel our readers into the new year. There are a lot of directions you can go with this. For example:

  • 202Won: How did you find success in 2020 that can help people set themselves up for a productive 2021?
  • 202Fun: What is a unique tip or trick you discovered this year that kept the joy in your writing practice? …

While we experience the longest year ever, we may miss something significant: the rest of our lives.

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Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; photo edited by the author.

During the fifteen years I worked with teenagers, I often encountered kids who had their whole lives planned out. I’d let them explain it all to me — what classes they’d take in high school, what college they’d get into, what degree they’d earn, and what job they’d get after that. I’d listen, smile, and respond, “What if none of that happens?” Responses ranged from blank stares to combative denial.

I didn’t ask the question with malicious intent. Instead, I wanted to help kids learn life doesn’t often go as planned. “What if you can’t take the classes you want,” I’d probe. “Yeah, it’d suck. But, maybe you end up in an elective you enjoy more than this thing you’ve planned. …

Write Now

How an author and literary agent champions inclusive stories

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Photo: Kim Scholl
Write Now provides a glimpse into how different people write for a living. Today's edition features Eric Smith, literary agent and author of The Girl and the Grove and Don’t Read the Comments. Follow Eric on Twitter.

Hey there! I’m Eric Smith. I’m a literary agent with P.S. Literary and an author of Young Adult books. I’m based out of Philadelphia but grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey. In my agent life, I work on a bit of everything, but as an author, I’m mostly in the YA space.

I write Young Adult books that are contemporary and blend a little bit of magic or sci-fi into them. The Girl and the Grove is a YA contemporary novel about an adoptee who discovers she maybe has a magical origin story in a city park, while Don’t Read the Comments is about two teens who meet in a sci-fi video game that maybe is a little too high tech to exist just yet. …

📚 This Week’s Goal: Treat yourself to a great read.

How’s your NaNoWriMo going? If you need some encouragement, pop into our Facebook Group and join our weekly check-in conversations.

Notice something different? Our newsletter is now This Week In Writing! Each week, we’ll bring you a quick note of encouragement and support to keep you writing.

This Week In Writing I interviewed an amazing panel about their favorite books of the year. The entire conversation is a lot of fun. Use the recommendations to fill up your personal reading lists and provide a few gift ideas for your family and friends. …

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