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If you’ve been following me long enough you know about the Jot Conference, even if you don’t live in the US or Michigan. It’s a one day free conference that celebrates the love of writing. It’s a place of encouragement and growth and connection.

This next Jot will be considerably smaller than the previous conferences because of the venue. But that does not mean it will be any less impactful to your writing career.

This Jot will be intimate and accessible. You’ll be able to interact with the presenters and encourage each other by sharing the mutual joy we have.

I hope you come with questions and are prepared to share during the breaks and after the presentations.

Great life happens in community.

I hope to see you there.

Sign up here!

Click here for location and time.

Previously posted on

10 Reasons to Attend The Next Jot

jot_logoJot is a week and a half away! I hope you have signed up HERE to claim your seat.

As we’ve moved locations, I’d like to offer you 10 reason to make the trip a hour and fifteen minutes south.Jot will be small and intimate this year.

  1. Jot will be small and intimate this year. If you wanted to connect with other writers, this would provide an excellent opportunity.
  2. A change of pace can shake us out of our comfort zones. This provides a new venue and a tremendous atmosphere.
  3. You’ll get home late, probably around midnight. This might seem like a reason not to come. I get it. But if you refer to number two, this makes sense. A drive at midnight when the moon is high and the air is crisp. Sounds inspiring doesn’t it?
  4. You get to explore one of the best use book collections in the region. Endless books in an old store font in a quaint downtown.
  5. Three Rivers has several parks. If you come early you can head out the back of the bookstore, cut across a parking lot, and cross a bridge to an Island. Across the street is another and in between a coffee shop.
  6. If you like to hunt for antiques or shop fair trade. There are several stores downtown that will satisfy this itch.
  7. It can be a getaway. You could head down for an early breakfast, peruse the shops, grab lunch, check out the free bind at Lowry’s or buy a book, get coffee, sit under a tree near the river to read, take a nap, eat dinner, and then enjoy a writers conference. What more could you ask for in a relaxing day?
  8. You’ll hear great content capped by an interview from the editor of a literary magazine.
  9. You get to hear great content for free. Enough said.
  10. You’ll meet other aspiring writers. Collaboration is the key to survival in the writing life. Jot would not be possible without it. Be bold and say hello. You might find a writer friend that will last years.

What Do You Love Most About Jot?

Jot is roughly two weeks away! (September 12th 6-10PM in Three Rivers, MI) Our free one night writers conference will feature – journal editors, acquisition editors, bloggers, poets, poetry editors, marketers, novelists, flash fiction writers, and you!

We’re thrilled about meeting with other writers both new and familiar and sharing the love we have about the written word.

Jot is and will always be about you, the attendee. If you’ve been to a Jot conference before, would you take a moment and answer one of the questions below in the comments section? This will help new Jot attendees get to know the event before it begins.

Click here to register and claim your seat.

Thank you and we hope to see you in a few weeks!

Have you been to Jot before? What was your experience?

What do you love most about the Jot Conference?

Did a speaker or workshop help you in anyway? Tell us how!

What have you learned from Jot?

How did you hear about Jot?

What success have you experienced since attending Jot?

Write Characters Your Readers Will Love To Hate

I like most real people. I don’t often have day dreams of killing anyone. But if you asked me about Thomas from Downton Abbey or Professor Umbridge from Harry Potter or The Governor from the Walking Dead, my blood boils.

Photo Credit: KayVee.INC via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: KayVee.INC via Compfight cc

I keep waiting for them to get hit by a car or a spell or turned into a zombie! I mean come on already!

I know I’m a horrible person. But aren’t the writers of these books and shows genius?

There you are, hoping for something good to (finally!) happen to the character you love and cherish, and suddenly so and so knows your character’s dark secret or shady past and they can use it to their advantage. Your audience groans (maybe even throws your book! That would be grand, eh?).

This is the power of good fiction. This is the unfortunately life of the characters your readers will love. Inevitably, maybe even for reasons beyond their favorite character’s control, a bad dude gets to have power over them or even have their day.

This is the fun part. This is why your readers will keep reading. What will happen next? Will this greasy or terrible person use this nugget of power now or will they hold onto it and use it when the moment is best for them and worst for the character your audience roots for?

This is why I keep reading and watching.

This is why your audience will too.

Grab Your Seat At The Jot Conference Today!

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Jot is less than one month away! We cannot believe it. I hope you are as excited as we are.

Because of the location change we need you to do us a favor and go and sign up individually.

You can do that HERE.

Again, it’s free per usual! It is on Saturday, September 12th from 6-10pm

Click here for information about the bookstore.

Click here on why we moved for this Jot. 

Click here for the Jot presentation schedule

What can you learn from this years’ Jot? Glad you asked.

You’ll learn how to write like a viking, blog with passion and persistence, edit out those horrible lines that keep breaking your readers’ focus, and about poetry from a poetry editor of Structo Magazine.

Most of all you’ll have a chance to meet with other writers and gain some excitement and momentum to do your own work.

Don’t forget to share on your social media channels!


What Is Your Favorite Writing Tool?

I am the king of Post-it notes. They are on my wallet, my cell phone, and there is one on my computer now. Somehow, I always find myself with a billion ideas and no way to collect them all.

Sure, I could put them in a note book and squint at them later or store them in a word file or Google document that I’ll never open, but I wanted to SEE them. I wanted to be able to lay them down side by side and also track my writing progress.

Thus enter my favorite writing tool – my white board.white-board-1206708-m

My wife was at the office supply store and discovered they were wicked cheap and on sale. I’d love a nice frosted glass, trendy one, but I’d also like to not change my one year olds’ diapers. I have to understand what is necessary and what is me just wanting a cool new toy.

The reality is that having that writing software/tool is not going to make me better. Working hard consistently is. And now I have a place to keep track of my progress and flesh out ideas thanks to my wonderful bride.

I’ve hung the white board next to my bed so I can review tasks every day before I go to sleep and remind myself of upcoming goals and deadlines. I can also gaze at it as I doze off and make a mental note to get up early and get to work.

What is your favorite writing tool? How do you stay organized and on top of your tasks?

Do You Struggle To Find Time To Write?

For various reasons, our books are not done.

The task of writing a 60,000-100,000 book is akin to climbing Everest tomorrow, without any training.

But, let’s break this mountain down.

Writing is about rhythm. Get up every day or write at lunch or before you go to bed.

Photo Credit: pichenettes via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: pichenettes via Compfight cc

If you wrote 400 words a day. (this blog post is 146 words)

You’ll need about 30 minutes. (one less episode of__)

If you do this every single day. (this is your dream remember? show a little tenacity!)

You’ll be done in 250ish days. (100,000 words in less than a year!)

This draft will certainly need some TLC (You have 115 days to plot/edit!)

But it will be done. (And you’ll feel like you can do anything)

Food for thought.

No more excuses.

This is your dream.

Writing is hard work, not dancing in a field of lilies.

Don’t give up.

Write 500 words today.