Cool Writing Tips: A Month of What You’d Call Guidelines

Cool Writing Tips began as a month's worth of daily blog posts about writing.


Gradually the Tips grew into philosophical reads on writing + baseball, writing + rivers, writing + nature, and writing + life.


As one reader who read them in the original blog-alert emails wrote, "They're not just writing tips. They're also what you'd call guidelines for living."
Agreed—"guidelines" in the best, pirate sense of the word.


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In summer and early fall 2016, I emailed readers, writers, and artists writing advice every day for a month. Cool Writing Tips, I called them, because the days were blowing our minds with heat. Something told me I wasn’t the only writer in the world melting and sweltering as I struggled to put words on the page.

Later I collected the month’s worth of tiny, digestible bits of advice into this little book.

The Tips are not in any particular order. They show up here as they occurred to me. Some I wrote on the overnight AMTRAK to Utah. Some I wrote on the porch of a Starbuck’s that wouldn’t open for another three hours because I’d disembarked the train before dawn in Salt Lake City. Some Tips I wrote at home in Sonoma just as the sun caught the tops of live oaks up our hill.


The Tips expanded into philosophical takes on baseball and writing, rivers and writing, train rides and writing, and many other things and writing. As one reader wrote, They’re not just writing tips. They’re also what you’d call guidelines for living.” I like to think they’re “guidelines” in the best, pirate sense of the word.