Print Release: Ink Dance: Essays on the Writing Life

Ink Dance: Essays on the Writing Life

A cup of inspiration, a dash of understanding, a bouquet of wisdom for writers new and old. From the desk of writer and editor Deborah J. Ross comes a collection of warm, insightful essays on “the writing life” – from getting started, negotiating with the Idea Fairy and creating memorable characters, to writing queries, surviving bad reviews, dealing with life’s interruptions and creative jealousy, to nourishing yourself and your creative muse. With space for personal notes.

This collection of my blog posts over a number of years ranges in topic from writing craft to daily rhythms and self-care to staying motivated over the long haul of a career. A number of readers asked for a print version so they could jot down their own notes. It’s available now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and your local bookstore through Ingram (ISBN 978-1-61138-757-5)

To whet your appetite, here’s an excerpt from the introduction by Mary Rosenblum, and table of contents:

This collection of essays guides you through the craft and career of writing with all the useful information of a shelf full of ‘how to’ books, but offered with the warm personal energy of a conversation across the kitchen table. 

From her advice on how to actually get started,  her craft and career tips, to her really excellent counsel on how to survive writing in real life and still nourish yourself and your spirit, this collection offers an in depth look at what it means to be a writer.

Every day. All the time.

While Deborah’s career has been New York oriented, most of what she has to say works for today’s author going the small press or Indie route as well. She speaks of the things that helped her succeed or got in her way with a refreshing personal honesty that invites us to examine our own behaviors. There’s a lot here for any aspiring writer who takes his or her craft seriously. No matter what you write or how you publish.

Read it, learn, and enjoy! You’ll come away nourished.


Table of Contents

Just You and a Blank Page

Getting Started in Writing

Negotiating with the Idea Fairy

Warm Ups

Open Here

More On Story Beginnings

Structure, Shape, and Interest

Do You Outline Your Novel? Should You?

Dream A Little Dream

It’s Only Fiction

Not Just Another Funny Forehead: Creating Alien Characters

Villains, Evil, and Otherness

Revenge and Retaliation

First Person Perils

Why Write Short?

Why Write Long?

Sexuality in Fiction

The Magic Notebook


Write It Again, Sam

More Thoughts on Revision

Critiquing Vs. Editing

Strategies for Dealing With Writer’s Block

Overcoming the Inertial Hump

Sam In Spades: Why Not to Revise

Career and Survival

Queries, Synopses, Pitches and Other Uneasy Friends

Pitches and Why I Should Care

Book Promotion Rehabilitation

Non Obnoxious Book Promotion, Part 2

Gate-Keeping in the World of Ebooks

Story And Self

Stages in a Writer’s Development

Blackberry Writing

When A Story Isn’t Ready

Series as Career Killer

How Gossip Can Trash Your Writing Career

Reviews: The Good, the Bad, and the Ignorable

Inner Voices

Surviving Dry Spells

The Magic Phone Call

Letting Go, Moving On

The Writer’s Life

Where Do You Write?

Writing Without Electricity


When Writing Friends Aren’t

Creative Jealousy

Encountering Wannabee Writers

The Lady (and Honorary) Writers Lunch


Exercise and the Older Writer


When Is It Enough?

Nourishing Yourself

Survival as a Writer (or Artist, or Musician)

Defining Writing Success as Publishing

Would You Write Anyway?

Zen Yoga Writing Practice

Nothing Creative is Ever Wasted

‘Tis the Season To Get Crazy


Community and Solitude

Cross-Training for Writers

On Writing and Healing

Writing Fears

Goals vs. Wishes

Settling In Meditation and Writing


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