153 – Skillz

Here at the end of January, I take a mini look back at the first month of the decade and talk about writing habits, reading habits, Alexa skills, Medium and more.

[1:20] My Short Story Reading Challenge, The Bradbury Method, my method.

[9:30] Good luck to the NYC Midnight contestants

[10:00] New ways to access StoryADay content – Medium & Alexa

[10:55] 10th Anniversary 

[11:46] The StoryADay Podcast

[14:00] February’s theme at StoryADay and what’s special about Leap Day


If you want to know more about Alexa skills, contact Raphael Schaad on LinkedIn

Here’s a list of my favorite stories from January 2020


Ready to write today, not “some day”?

152 – Reboot Your Writing Resolutions

It’s not a character flaw. If your resolutions have slipped and you haven’t kept up all those big plans you made for this year (already!), it’s not that you’re a loser. It might just be that you haven’t built the behaviors into your day in the best way. 

This week I apply the Fogg Behavioral Method to real writers’ problems and help them troubleshoot (and fix!) the most common sticking points. 

Free downloads:





Ready to write today, not “some day”?

151 – Language and Culture with Seumas MacDonald

Languages evolve from the cultures that produce them, which offers a fertile world for writers to explore, whether you are writing contemporary, realistic fiction or futuristic and fantasy worlds.

This week I talk with Seumas MacDonald a linguist and ConLang (constructed languages) expert, about language, culture and how you might think about using linguistics in your fictional worlds.


Do you already think about spoken language in your writing? What was your ‘aha moment’ from this podcast? Join the discussion:


Ready to write today, not “some day”?

150 – Habits, Writing, and the Fogg Behavioral Method

Tiny Wins (a combination of Tiny Habits and Epic Wins) and how you can use them to reinforce your good habits, along with an explanation of Stanford University researcher BJ Fogg’s Behavioral Method — a framework that explains why we do what we do (and sometimes don’t!)

The Fogg Behavioral Method

Fogg Behavioral Model Graph illustration
Find out more: https://amzn.to/36rmTDx

148 – Terrific Titles or How To Hook Your Reader

A title is the sizzle that sells your story, but too many writers still struggle with this important part of the writing process. 

Today’s podcast helps you level up your title game.


Get the free download: https://stada.me/500titles

Get Tobias S. Buckell’s It’s All Just A Draft (clicking this Amazon affiliate link helps support this podcast) https://amzn.to/2PH31Fu


Ready to write today, not “some day”?

147 – Let The Yeast Do Its Work

This week’s podcast features a clip from an episode from two years ago, in which I talked about the different cycles in a writing life. And I apologize in advance for making you crave some freshly baked bread…

Annual Review Worksheet

Try this StoryADay Annual Review Worksheet to help you review your year, assess which phase you’re in, and plan for the future.

Voice Assistants with Raphael Schaad

Today I talk with Raphael Schaad about audio and voice assistants and all the opportunities (and pitfalls) for authors. 

Raphael Schaad

Raphael, who works with innovative entrepreneurs who are interested in tapping the power of voice-interaction, talks with me about how writers can take advantage of these powerful new technologies.

Continue reading “Voice Assistants with Raphael Schaad”

Episode 145 – Ending Strong

It can be hard to write endings (So many logistics! So tired from writing the whole story!), but the ending is the thing that sends your reader off into the world feeling good about your story…or deflated because you let them down.

Paisley 10k Finishing Line

In this week’s episode I talk about the importance of endings, and a powerful way for you to think about them so you can delight your reader.

Also:  I talk about StoryADay’s writing prompts for November and my impressions of the 2019 edition of the Best American Short Stories anthology, edited by Anthony Doerr.



Mirror Mirror Writing Prompt

Penny For The Guy Writing Prompt

A writing prompts about openings & endings

The StoryADay Reading Room series

Browse the archive of 590+ writing prompts

Mastering The Middle – Episode 144

Last week in the podcast, I shared five tips for a successful NaNoWriMo. Lots of people have told me it helped get them through the first week so: yay!


In this week’s episode I talk about the difficulties of reaching the middle of creativity challenge at the exact same moment you reach the midpoint of the novel.

(Short story writers, stay with me because a lot of what I’m going to talk about applies to you too!)

You are not imagining things: this is hard. The middle of a novel is the notoriously hard, and the middle of the challenge is hard for different reasons.

The Midpoint of the Challenge

The midpoint of the challenge is tough because you’re tired. The novelty has worn off. You’ve started to question why are you ever decided to put in all this work. And you may feel that your story isn’t worth the effort.

Allow me to help.

Continue reading “Mastering The Middle – Episode 144”