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The Writer

The Writer January 2021

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Since 1887 The Writer has provided the motivation, writing techniques, expert tips and compelling author insights that turn good writing into great writing. We’ll help you become a better writer, find markets for your work, understand the business of writing, follow industry news and trends, reach your goals, and more!

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United States
Madavor Media, LLC
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
coming in from the cold

Each year, when temperatures dip and the days start getting shorter, a primal urge to start stocking up for winter hits like clockwork. My pantry fills with dried beans, cellar vegetables, herbal tea, and hearty grains. Closing the freezer door soon becomes a daily struggle, what with all the squirreled-away summer produce I’ve stashed there. Brand-new yarn and puzzles and games arrive to ward off boredom in the months ahead. I’ve long suspected these purchases are more about making myself believe I’m ready to face a long winter versus actual preparedness, but each year I look forward to the ritual nonetheless. This year, of course, feels very different. We’ve already learned how to weather a pandemic in spring, summer, and fall, when at least the outdoors provided a brief and relatively…

1 min.
this month on writermag.com

Don’t miss our fall short story contest This contest will be over before you know it! Submit your best work of fiction in 2,000 words or less before Dec. 8 for your chance to win $1,000 and publication in our magazine. Enter now at writermag.com/contests. Want even more contests? Download our free Winter Guide to Writing Contests to see dozens of contests happening this winter for writers of every genre. Find it on our website under the “Resources” tab. Resolute writing prompts Every January, we post a slew of resolution-minded exercises and prompts to help dust off your skills and get back into the regular habit of writing. Join us at writermag.com/writing-inspiration/writing-prompts. STAY IN TOUCH Put our free e-mail newsletter to work: Check out our weekly newsletter, which offers highlights from our website and the magazine and…

3 min.
home [office] improvement

1. WORKSTATION ON WHEELS Tiny apartment? You still deserve a proper workspace. This affordable, mobile option is both sleek and space-efficient, allowing you to stow it away out of sight when your workday ends. $124, wayfair.com 2. LAPTOP STAND-TURNED-MOUSEPAD Free up limited desk space for your monitor with this vertical laptop docking stand. When not in use, it folds flat into a mousepad. $24.99, moft.us 3. UNDER-DESK BICYCLE Craving more movement than a standing desk allows? Try an under-desk exercise bicycle, which allows you to pedal off some calories while you power through your manuscript. $79.99, target.com 4. STYLISH FILING CABINET Papers piling up now that you work from home? Keep things organized without feeling too corporate with this modern-looking filing cabinet from Poppin. $269, poppin.com 5. EYESTRAIN-PREVENTING GLASSES Spending long hours in front of a computer screen can do a number on…

6 min.
got a shiny new idea?

It’s a new year already. Can you believe it? Let’s jump right into it: No matter how many think pieces you’ve read on how New Year’s resolutions don’t work and how it’s pointless to set big ones, you probably have some goals in mind for 2021. Maybe you’re even thinking of doing something like starting a publication or writing a new book or essay. Guess what? I have some tips for you that will work no matter the size of the shiny new thing you’re contemplating. In the last half of 2020, I started a platform designed to help highlight marginalized voices, made and began to roll out a workbook designed for better inclusivity among membership organizations, and was part of a team that created a new website designed for women. Along…

5 min.
“we have to band together”

A full-time freelance writer for four years, Maressa Brown wants to “lift others up to pursue this type of work” and live the life she used to dream about while tethered to a desk in an office, chasing what she mistakenly thought was the model New York writer’s life. Then she heard about legislation in California for AB5, which would cap a freelance writer’s contribution to an outlet at 35 articles a year. If the writer wished to continue, they had to be considered an employee. Brown, who lives in West Hollywood and whose writing has appeared in The Washington Post and InStyle, knew it was a flawed law, one that would derail the life she had built. Her response: “Oh, hell no.” So, Brown started a Facebook group. California Freelance Writers United…

11 min.
new year, new goals

I have a specific writing project in mind, but I haven’t started it. Well, January is going to be the month you start. Sound good? Here’s how to apply some structure to the situation. Ask yourself: What’s stopping me from writing this? Fear? Is it not knowing where to start? Not knowing how to start? If it’s fear: Look for ways to take pressure off of the situation. Try calling your draft-in-progress “Untitled Document 1.” Remind yourself that you’re new at this project – it’s OK to be a little concerned about how you’ll fare. But just like trying anything new, eventually it’s time to put that fear aside and dive in. If you’re afraid of publication, gently remind yourself that you have many steps to take and drafts to revise before you…