Jan 212014
 

Kicking-In-the-Wall“When you hit a wall, kick it in.”

That’s the advice playwright Sam Shepard gave to musician Patti Smith early in her career. She had said to him, “I would go as far as I could and hit a wall, my own imagined limitations” and that was his response.

Sound familiar? This line from Smith’s memoir, Just Kids, inspired author Barbara Abercrombie to write Kicking in the Wall: A Year of Writing Exercises, Prompts and Quotes to Help You Break Through Your Blocks and Reach Your Writing Goals.

Inside are 365 five-minute writing exercises, a great way to jumpstart your writing for the new year. Dip in and pick Continue reading »

Jan 072014
 

Boxing glovesThis month, everyone’s thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Let’s try something less traditional than dieting and juice fasts. Let’s try challenging negative self-talk as writers and communicators.

I’ll start. I have beliefs that hold me back. I bet you have them too. I say these things subconsciously, and I believe them far more often than I should. I fear if I hear them often enough, they will become true. That’s a good motivator to do something about it.

The trick is to hear what the inner critic says and then reframe the self-talk to become more positive and accepting. That’s my Continue reading »

Dec 312013
 
Teaching in Dubai in October 2013, thanks to Food Blogger Connect.

That’s me, lucky enough to teach a food writing workshop in Dubai this past year, thanks to Bethany Kehdy and Food Blogger Connect. From there, I vacationed in Jordan and Israel. (Photo by Owen Rubin.)

At the end of 2013 — my fourth year as a blogger — I’m taking time to say how grateful I am to have you as a reader. Whether you’re a frequent commenter or you’ve never left a note, I’m thankful you’re here. 

To be honest, sometimes I’m surprised that anyone wants to read, considering how much Continue reading »

Dec 172013
 

Do you make a list of what to buy friends and family at the holidays? What about your own wish list?

On my desk is a list of names I wrote by hand on a long, yellow lined sheet. I’ve checked off all of them now, which is good because Hanukkah is long gone, and Christmas is a week away.

My personal wish list is new. I started it last year, buying myself one (pricey) book I’ve coveted in December, and vowing to do so every year. In 2012 it was the cookbook Plenty, since I already had Jerusalem, and have been enjoying both ever since.

This month I’ve been lusting for The Most of Nora Ephron, a collection of her work, published posthumously. Ephron was my writing hero: sassy, funny, and so right about women, love, and politics. At $35, it’s a tome, but I bet the pages aren’t as yellowed as her old paperbacks on my shelf. There’s a section on food writing, including Continue reading »

Dec 032013
 
Bagels-Tel-Aviv

Israeli bagels at the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv.

Wondering how to be more effective on social media, how to become a better food photographer, or whether to publish an e-book? You need the top links from my most recent newsletter.

But before you skip down to the list below, please sign up for the Will Write for Food newsletter. It’s free, and best of all, you’ll get only four emails per year. It’s filled with useful info for food writers, bloggers, recipe developers, cookbook authors and social media mavens. The next one’s coming out at the end of December, so sign up now.

1. A scientific guide to writing great headlines on Twitter, Facebook and your Blog. Great tips on how to be more effective on social media, based on writing that grabs people.

2. Along the same lines, read How to Write Compelling Titles for Blogs & Content. I like her Continue reading »

Nov 122013
 
Shakshooka-Israel

What is the most exciting way to tell people to make this dish? Julia knows.

You’re sick of writing “add” and “place” in recipes, aren’t you? (If not, you should be.)

Here’s help. Use powerful action verbs, the way that Julia Child did. I spent a pleasurable hour reading through Mastering the Art of French Cooking to Continue reading »

Oct 252013
 
Food-Writing-Workshop-Dubai

Food writing students at my Dubai workshop, working on a writing exercise on using the senses.

It’s been an incredible three weeks away, starting with a writing workshop in Dubai. Our group comprised local Dubai food bloggers and three students from South America, Lebanon and Pakistan.

Put on by Food Blogger Connect, the students feasted on Middle-Eastern food and high-end Asian each night of the two-day workshop. The second day featured photography and recipe writing tips by Ellen Silverman and Martha Holmberg.

Our workshop caught the attention of the local Dubai paper, which interviewed me and listed the top bloggers of Dubai, some of whom attended my class. That’s quite an honor.

Food Blogger Connect founder Bethany Kehdy, fresh from her fabulous cookbook signing in Lebanon, coordinated the first-ever Dubai workshop  with her sister Joslin Kehdy. Continue reading »