Want to Write Better? Listen and Observe

Want to Write Better? Listen and Observe

In January, my dad sent a text saying that Bae and I “were made for each other.” It’s the kinda thing the best man says during his wedding toast.  I could practically hear John Legend in the background singing Made to Love. (It’s the kinda thing a writer learns...
Three Ways to Elevate Your Pitch Game

Three Ways to Elevate Your Pitch Game

I’m not ashamed to admit that I carry copies of my book Famous! How to be the Star of Your Show around in my bag, like a mixtape rapper selling CDs at the gas station. Why? Because I’m always ready for the big pitch. Shout out to rappers who’ve nailed this...
This Is What Nora Ephron Taught Me

This Is What Nora Ephron Taught Me

Sometimes it takes a minute for a documentary to hit me. This was the case with Everything is Copy,  Jacob Bernstein’s tribute to his late mother Nora Ephron. I had watched it weeks ago and it burned slowly in my subconscious. Maybe it had something to do with...
Write For Yourself, Not Your Cousin Peaches

Write For Yourself, Not Your Cousin Peaches

A few weeks ago, I hosted my #BeTheStarOfYourShow Workshop at Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brooklyn and this question popped up: How do you silence the critics and write for yourself? Side note: This isn’t your Grandma Joyce’s workshop. It’s based on my book Famous!...
The $64,000 Question: What Should I Write?

The $64,000 Question: What Should I Write?

I’m going to stretch the truth a bit and say every English teacher has heard a student ask: What should I write? And many teachers have responded: “Write what you know.” I call it WWYK. For many writers this bit of wisdom falls into the best/worst advice ever...
Get Off Your Butt: Be a Productive Writer

Get Off Your Butt: Be a Productive Writer

Being productive is challenging for me if there isn’t an immediate reward involved. It’s a sad but true fact I realized in 2014 when I sat down to write and self-publish Famous! How to Be the Star of Your Show for teen girls. Having a book deal and check in the mail...
First Drafts: The Ugly Side of the Story

First Drafts: The Ugly Side of the Story

My first drafts are ugly. They’re usually scribbled in a cheap, spiral notebook or on Post-Its. Once, I wrote an entire short story on a roll of paper towel because the dialogue just poured out of me. Well, that and I was too lazy to get my cheap, spiral notebook....