The Ericksons

Category Archives: Writing

These are posts related to writing.


Amazon has made writing reviews easy

Last week I shared some of the reasons we should write reviews of the products, books, and services we purchase. This week we will look at one of the easiest and most popular places to do this—Amazon.com. The online retail giant has helped make reviews a routine part of shopping online. In fact, it has become such an integral part of the shopping experience that 72% of Americans will wait to make a purchase until after they have read the reviews.[1] Thankfully, Amazon has made writing reviews easy.The first way that Amazon has made writing reviews easyWhen you finish reading Read more…


writing a review

When you buy something on Amazon (or any other online retailer), do you skip reading the reviews, or do you use them to help you decide whether you should hit the “buy” button? Do you make a habit of writing a review for books, products, and services you buy?Over 95% of us check the reviews before buying. In fact, if a product or business has at least 5 positive reviews, a customer is 4 times as likely to purchase than if there are fewer. [1] Yet, 31.5% of consumers say they never get around to writing a review.[2]  Reviews are Read more…


It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I encourage you to check out their website and even sign up for the IWSG Newsletter. This month I will be discussing when people ask a favorite or least favorite question about my writing, as I answer the Insecure Writer’s Support group question for January 2nd.What is your favorite and least favorite question people ask you about your writing?I don’t really have a least favorite question about my writing. But there are some that I love.  Here are some of my Read more…


Your Goal's Timeline

Today we’re going to talk about putting a deadline on our goals and incorporating them into a reasonable timeline. Then, we will combine the timeline with the other elements we’ve been looking at for the past month, in our “Goal Posts” series, and write some SMART Goals. For a general overview of what SMART GOALS are, check out this post that I wrote a year ago.SMART goals are written based on criteria using the pneumonic acronym SMART which stands for the following:S=SpecificM=MeasurableA=AchievableR=RelevantT=TimeWe will take all of the elements of your SMART goal and combine them.We will start with the first Read more…


It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I encourage you to check out their website and even sign up for the IWSG Newsletter. Today, for the first time, I won’t be answering the optional #IWSG question of the month (How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?). I just couldn’t come up with an answer. And, after all, it is “optional.” But I encourage you to check out some of the answers the other fabulous insecure writers have written. I will be writing about empathy.One Read more…


Social Anxiety Introvert

There are thousands of phobias and fears in the world. Most of us only have one or two, and they are as individual as we are. I once knew a woman who was petrified of cotton balls. I’m not joking. I witnessed one of her employees trap her in her office by simply putting a cotton ball on the office doorknob. All it took to free the woman was to remove the offending fluff ball. What’s the scariest thing of all for me? Social interaction. As I conclude this month’s frightening series on authenticity. I’m going to talk about my Read more…


Some writers you may have the ability to let ‘er rip and say whatever you darn well please. Or maybe you question your conscience about whether certain things are appropriate to include in your fiction writing, or not. Things that might be sensitive include:Violencecontent of a sexual naturevulgar languagebiographical information which could harm the reputation or sensibilities of another living (or dead) personanything else that the particular writer is afraid to share authenticallyGenreSometimes it all comes down to the genre. There are certain genres where taboo topics and anything graphic is a strict no-no. For example, the first 3 items Read more…


It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I encourage you to check out their website and even sign up for the IWSG Newsletter. Today I’m going to explore self-publishing with print-on-demand, as I answer the #IWSG question for October –How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?Anything you have ever gone through will affect who you are personally, and as a writer. It will certainly color your writing in subject and tone. When life isn’t going well, it can be tempting Read more…


Creating a realistic setting

Creating a realistic setting doesn’t happen automatically when you write a story. Yet it’s one of the essential components to draw readers into your story so they can walk among the characters. Today I’ll share some ways you can simplify building this imaginary world and make it more real for your readers.Composite Method of Creating a Realistic SettingSometimes to get the perfect setting you need to combine aspects from different places you know or imagine. For example in a fictional town I created, I based the one in Litchfield, Minnesota, the town where my mom’s side of the family lives. Read more…


character's appearance

Think about the last book you read that had great characters. How were the characters described? Did the author go into great detail about each character’s appearance, or did they write more of a character sketch, allowing the reader to fill in the details?The best characters are usually approached the second way. It seems contrary to our instinct as writers, to be vague in describing things like a character’s appearance, but it’s actually the better approach. There are a few reasons for this.Describing a character’s appearance stops the story.Rather than moving the story forward, everything comes to a screeching halt Read more…

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