Episode 1

Top 3 Writing Tips from America's Editor

The Muse shares her top 3 writing tips and calls for the retirement of the phrase "work–life balance."

Music licensed from Storyblocks: 

“More Jam Please” by Raighes Factory

"Cool Jazz Background (Trippy Trombone Version)" by Tencher Music

"Lofi Shop" by Amber Waldron

"Perfect Wave" by Oleksii Abramovych

"Waiting On - (with vocals)" by Neil Cross

Rosemi Mederos:

Intro: If you have plot bunnies coming out of your plot holes, it’s time for a writing break.

Intro music – TRACK: more jam please

Welcome to the first episode of Writing Break.

I’m your host, Rosemi Mederos, also known as America’s Editor, but on this show, you can call me The Muse. I’m a publishing manager and book editor who works with some of the Big 5 publishers. My favorite part of the publishing process is helping authors improve their writing. So, here we are, together, at last.

Yes, I want to make you a better, more informed writer, but I also want to make you feel a little less isolated as you work on your latest project. No matter where you are in your writing career, The Muse is with you.

In this inaugural episode, I'm opening up the treasure chest straight away and offering you my most precious gems. My top 3 writing tips. You can implement them immediately, for free, before this episode is even over.

The bookstore we are visiting today has a cafe, so let’s head there first for refreshments and to discuss some publishing industry news.

founded by Mitchell Kaplan in:

They do have wait staff here, so we can have a seat at one of the tables in the courtyard. I’m going to get a cappuccino and maybe a cupcake. You go ahead and get whatever you want. It’s on me. Once our order arrives, I’ll fill you in on some publishing industry news.

If you are a self-publisher, listen up. Podium Audio, one of the most successful audiobook publishers today, has decided to expand into e-book publishing. Podium’s core business remains focused on self-published, independent authors, and they seek out new talent through platforms like Discord, Reddit, Substack, Patreon, Wattpad, and Webtoon. They’re also interested in anime and manga.

At the end of:

In November of 2021, K-lytics issued a new trend report on ebook sales in teen and YA.

YA top sellers tend to remain so for a long time, and series do best. There’s no surprise there.

YA historical romance grew by 57 percent in the last year.

Science fiction and fantasy is the leading YA subgenre in terms of sales. Fairy tales and folklore adaptations are on an upward trajectory, with 32 percent improvement over the last year.

n a sales decline since early:

Not too competitive YA niches include social issues books, specifically fiction that deals with physical and emotional abuse, bullying, class differences, and loners and outcasts. One notable subgenre here is bully romance, where you’ll find series such as Boys of Briar Hall by Elena Lawson and Royal Elite by Rina Kent.

the Kindle store way back in:

Links to these articles can be found in the show notes of this episode on writingbreak.com.

I think it’s time to take a stroll among the books and check out an independent author.

Okay, so as wonderful as independent bookstores are, they don’t usually carry self-published authors, but we’re going to pretend they do on this show.

If you see a row of books with strong and sexy women on the covers, often featured with strong, sexy, and bearded men, you might be looking at books by Nicole Banks. Banks is a New York City-based author who writes in a few different genres, including mafia romance and romantic suspense. Banks’ diverse characters have substance, and her plots are intricate. Her latest book, which came out last week, is an erotic suspense called Sins of Seduction. If your Valentine’s Day left you uninspired, Sins of Seduction by Nicole Banks might do the trick.

In fact, this book could set off the smoke detectors, so let’s take it to the register and then head to the wine bar for my top 3 writing tips.

I have many more tips I'll be sharing with you in future episodes, but these 3 are my absolute top tips. I'll be counting them down because every story needs a little suspense.

Writing tip #3: Trust the writing process.

It takes time to get the words down. It takes time to get them revised. There's nothing that can be done about that. I always say that the second draft separates the writers from the authors. So take whatever time necessary to write the book as it needs to be written and to revise the book as it needs to be revised. And trust that the revision process will make you an author.

Writing tip #2: Trust yourself to get it done.

You’re going to feel all kinds of fear and doubt. That is a part of any creative process, and we can talk about analysis paralysis in future episodes. Regardless of your insecurities and time constraints, you have to trust in yourself. You will get it done.

Writing tip #1: Admit that you love to write.

Allow yourself to have fun. Writing is hard work. It really is. But it is an act of creative expression. As such, it should bring us immense joy. Unfortunately, we're conditioned to complain about creating or working as though our output doesn't count if it wasn't a miserable process. I would love for you to be immune to that and just have fun.

Cheers to that!

Now, let’s head to our final destination, The Overthinking Couch. This is my favorite segment of the show during which we overthink about something that’s on my mind, or, if you email me at podcast@writingbreak.com, we can overthink about something that’s on your mind.

Today we’re overthinking about the phrase “work–life balance.” For starters, it requires an en dash, not a hyphen. If you’re going to subject us to this demeaning term, use the en dash. Why do I think this is a demeaning term? So many reasons.

The concept of work being separate from life is absurd. Working is a part of life, and if you’re not working, then not working is a part of your life. Keeping it separate opens the door for abuse by employers who see the day-to-day existence of their employees as something that should be checked into a coat room before clocking in. It also encourages detaching yourself from your life at work, and next thing you know, twenty years have passed, and you have no idea what just happened.

The worst thing, the worst thing, about the phrase work–life balance is that treacherous binary thinking that suggests half of your existence belongs to work and the other half belongs to everything else. We’re expected to cram family, friends, hobbies, personal growth, fitness, health, passions, and explorations on one side of the scale with work—just work—on the other side of that scale. Well, that just doesn’t work for me.

I know corporate phrases come and go, and they are sometimes replaced with something worse, but I’ll take my chances on this one and hope that the use of “work–life balance” has an early retirement.

Well, you hard-working writer, we’ve reached the end of this week’s Writing Break. To recap, my top three writing tips are: Admit that you love to write; Trust yourself; and Trust the writing process.

Your top writing tip should be to listen to Writing Break every week. Please subscribe and tell your friends, your enemies, and your frenemies. In the next episode, we'll commit murder.

I'll talk about Killing Your Darlings and giving that overused piece of writing advice a makeover.

If you would like us to visit your favorite independent bookstore, feature your favorite independent author (yes, even if it’s you), or discuss something you’re overthinking, please email me at podcast@writingbreak.com.

Thank you for making space in your mind for The Muse.

Writing Break is hosted by America’s Editor and produced by Carolina Montealegre with technical direction by Gus Aviles. Visit us at writingbreak.com or email us at podcast@writingbreak.com.

About the Podcast

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Writing Break
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About your host

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Rosemi Mederos


Rosemi is the founder of America's Editor, a book editing company.