A Writer’s Biggest Struggle – Procrastination? Perfectionism? What?

Every so often, you stumble across a story, saying, or joke that perfectly sums up your feelings at that moment. For me, I was fortunate to open an email from Howard VanEs, President of Let’s Write Books, Inc. I felt like he read my mind. Like Howard, I’ve experienced setbacks due to procrastination, perfectionism, and lack of confidence sharing my work. He granted me permission to reprint his email. I bet you’ll uncover some of your writing obstacles as well. A True Publishing Story (Names have been omitted to protect the innocent!) by Howard VanEs, President of Let's Write Books, Inc. It took me ten years, two months and seventy-two days to write and publish my first book, but with … [Read more...]


Months ago, Stephanie Chandler from Nonfiction Authors Association reached out to interview me for their Teleseminar series. I am privileged to share a sneak peek at my interview, TELESEMINAR: STACEY GUSTAFSON – HOW TO ADD MORE HUMOR TO YOUR SPEAKING (AND BECOME A STAND-UP COMIC). But hurry! It's available for free on May 15. EVENT DATE: MAY 15, 2019 | TIME: 10AM PT / 1PM ET https://nonfictionauthorsassociation.com/teleseminar-stacey-gustafson-how-to-add-more-humor-to-your-speaking-and-become-a-stand-up-comic/ What’s Nonfiction Authors Association (NFAA)? https://nonfictionauthorsassociation.com A vibrant educational community for aspiring and experienced writers to connect, exchange … [Read more...]

Write Funny Using Simple Tools

Want to write funny? Then you must immerse yourself in humor. Read the works of hilarious writers, like David Sedaris and Nora Ephron. In order to understand the cadence of a perfect joke, watch comedy sitcoms, such as Modern Family and Black-ish. Pay attention to a comedians' timing and delivery. Notice their facial expressions and body language. Once you understand the structure of a single joke, you’ll have no problem writing a longer humor piece. Check out the following tools in order to improve your humorous writing skills. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqXDwFSa0rs Read Funny Books 46 Hilarious Books Guaranteed To Make You Laugh Out Loud Want a fun new read to dive into? … [Read more...]

5 Signs You’re a Writer Not Just a Hack

Do you have any of the 5 Signs You're a Writer? Then you may have what it takes to be the next J. K. Rowling, James Patterson, or Dave Barry. 24 Signs You're a Writer Signs You're a Writer Writers zone out in public and get accused of not paying attention. We’re called dreamers, quirky, compulsive, and creative. We collect words like churlish, debacle, and hootenanny in notebooks to be used at the next opportunity in a short story or novel. Writers discuss punctuation marks like Oxford commas, em dashes, and hyphens with unusual enthusiasm. Ever hear of the Sarcmark, question comma, or acclamation point? What are some obscure punctuation … [Read more...]

Erma Bombeck and Friends, You Inspired Me

We find inspiration in nature, yoga, TED Talks, pets, music, books, travel, and more. But for me, the greatest source of inspiration can be found at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, the only one dedicated to humor writing. It’s held every other year on the campus of the University of Dayton, fondly called the Dayton Riviera. We celebrate the spirit of Erma Bombeck, a suburban housewife, syndicated columnist and author of 15 books. Her sayings like, “There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child,” touched the heart of America and covered their refrigerators. http://humorwriters.org The Presenters This year’s presenters included Liza Donnelly … [Read more...]

How to Be An Emcee When You’re Stupid Like Me

Ever wonder how to be an emcee? If you’re considering being an MC or the Master of Ceremonies at an event that means that you’re the host for the performance or party. Your responsibilities include speaker introductions, announcements, audience engagement, and general storyteller. You’re kind of the jack-of-all-trades plus the court jester. It’s fun but to do your best, you need to learn the key essential elements. My second chance to be an emcee for the PTA went better after learning the basic steps. I prepared and rehearsed my seven-minute bit in front of the mirror and to my husband. You benefit by practicing in front of a live audience. Then the big day arrived. After the host … [Read more...]

Quotes from Writers at Erma Bombeck Workshop

Dozens of award winning authors, playwrights, actors, entrepreneurs, agents, speakers and bloggers flooded into Dayton, Ohio for the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, a workshop dedicated to humor and human interest writing. Each day, the workshop began at 9 a.m. and ended at 5 p.m., with lunch breaks featuring greats such as Amy Ephron, Kathy Kinney and Cindy Ratzlaff. The fun didn’t end there. We were treated to keynote speakers during dinner such as Roy Blunt, Jr., Leighann Lord, and a one-woman staged reading of Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End, starring Barbara Chisholm. Not trusting my own memory, I wrote down the quotes from  writers during the sessions. Alan Zweibel Original writer … [Read more...]

Tips to Make Screenplay into Movie – Authors Anonymous

I met David Congalton, Hollywood screenwriter and talk radio personality, at the monthly Tri-Valley Writers meeting. He shared his experience on "Tips to Make a Screenplay into Movie." His first feature screenplay, Authors Anonymous, staring Kaley Cuoco, is a hilarious and honest look at writers' critique groups. Authors Anonymous According to his handout, Authors Anonymous is about a weekly read-and-critique group of unpublished writers chasing literary dreams and supporting one another. Things become complicate when one member suddenly snags an agent, a book deal, and a movie deal, and a very famous admirer in quick succession. Grab a popcorn and snuggle up for a lighthearted evening … [Read more...]