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Mentors

The way to level up and improve your performance is to get advice from people who have demonstrated an expertise in the area. Very few people have the courage to do that. Instead, we turn to people who don’t know any more about writing a book than we do.

By listening to them, we’re choosing to follow the collective wisdom of idiots. We’re building our careers on a foundation of ignorance. That sounds unduly harsh, I know. But if we think about it, and if we understand that idiot and ignorant both refer to a lack of knowledge, we see that it’s true. They’re all well-meaning people who want the best for us, but they can’t help us because they’ve never done what we’re doing. So why do we ask them?

The alternative is to turn our writing groups into study groups. We can choose to learn together. Who are the people you admire in this business? Do they have books on writing? Do they blog or offer courses you can take? How can you learn from them?

Two of my mentors are Steven Pressfield and Tim Grahl. They both have new books out today; The Artist’s Journey and Running Down a Dream. I encourage you to get them. It’s an investment in your career. It’ll help you do the work.

Valerie Francis

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

Well, you’re not going to believe this. Reece Witherspoon and I picked the same book for our February book clubs. Sort of.  Late last year, I came across THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE by Marie Benedict and was fascinated by the premise. Benedict writes historical fiction, much like Philippa Gregory,

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Valerie Francis

A Girl Named Howard

This month, rather than recommend one book to read, I’m recommending the entire body of work of one author because Anne Rice, who passed away December 11, 2021, single-handedly revolutionized the role of vampires in literature.  Yes, vampires.  And the impact she’s had is more significant than you might realize.

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Valerie Francis

The Christmas Bookshop

If you’ve had it up to your eyes with holiday preparations and are looking for a light-hearted story to escape into, The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan, might be just the ticket. The title is a bit misleading, in my opinion. Yes, there’s a bookstore. Yes, the plot unfolds in

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