How to Write Like a Pro

Professional story writers do not have a magic secret that no one else has. Rather, professional writers merely understand that in order to be a writer, you have to write every . . . single . . . day. Some days, this means trying to begin again, only now beginning where you last left off. Some days, you will not have inspiration at all. Yet, if you do the right preparation and you keep writing a daily habit, then writing will be fun.

Do you brush your teeth every day? Do you eat every day? Do you sleep every night? Do you walk outside – even if it’s just to your car – every day? Do you change every day?

These questions should be equal to a writer with the question: Do you write every day? Granted, there will be those erroneous day when you will not have time to put any words onto paper. Yet, this should be rare. In order to be a great storyteller with the written word, you need to write every day.

There’s a lot more that separates good storytelling from bad storytelling. But the first principal point is: Writer’s write.

So, how do you begin a story?

There are many things you have to do to prepare yourself for storytelling. One of them, though, is to figure out a schedule of days you will be able to dedicate more time and days you will be able to dedicate less time to writing. The point is to write every single day six days a week. Some days, you will only be able to spend ten minutes writing. Some days, you will only be able to write a few lines of dialogue. That’s okay. The trick is then to force yourself to write for an hour or so on other days.

Your fellow writer,

Joshua Reynolds

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An Encouragement: Who Else Wants Free Writing Tips and Resources?

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” ~Louis L’Amour

I want to encourage you today to write. No, I’m not asking you to sign up for my Writing Imagination Academy. Hopefully, you already have. If not, you know you can always do so at your discretion. As Ernest Hemingway once said, “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” And I trust your decisions.

Setting aside my desire to personally guide you through your story, I want to provide you with as many resources as I can – completely free. That’s one of the main focuses of this blog!

To start off, I want to Re-blog the top ten reasons of why the first draft of your story isn’t complete:

1. You began without preparation.

Before you begin writing your story, minimal preparation that should be done is: Research your story for accuracy (even if you’re creating a world yourself, you should be well aware of what other people are doing); Obtain reference images for your own inspiration; write about the images you have imagined; gain information like character names, places your story will take place in, and so on; and from your inspired and imagined images, create an outline.

2. You haven’t made writing a habit.

In order for your first draft to be written, you need to make writing a daily habit in your life. If you don’t, then you are not a writer but a dabbler.

3. Fear.

You’re too afraid of how your book will be received. For your first draft, it’s best to not think about such things at all. Think of it this way: Your writing is just you and your writing instrument.

4. Editing.

Something I learned years ago, if you want to get through a first draft, don’t edit!!! Write all the way through, and then you can go back and edit. That’s what drafts two and three are for.

5. Discouragement.

You become discouraged when you don’t see your book living up to your expectations. Don’t worry! Rarely, if at all, will a first draft live up to one’s expectations. Remember the quotes at the top of this email. The first draft is a stepping stone.

6. You’re writing too slow.

The longer a first draft drags out, the less chance you have of ever completing it. Why? Because we all have busy lives! Things come up, and soon, it can be easy to shelve your book project. Don’t do this! Write your first draft quickly.

7. Distractions.

Distractions are easy when you have picked the wrong writing environment. Try writing in a different sort of environment and see what happens.

8. Not knowing where to begin.

It is hard to begin some days. You sit down with your writing instrument in hand and don’t know how to get moving. At such a stall, go back to some of the material you collected before you began writing Draft One and look it over. Remember all your inspiration, and try to write about that on your page. After all, that’s supposed to be your story.

9. Having a dis-joint plot.

Sometimes, after writing for a while, you can realize the plot-line you came up with wasn’t the best and should have been tweaked in your outline stage. If this happens, don’t panic. Tweak the plot, but don’t go back to make everything match. Finish the draft. Then you can go back and revise.

10. Not enough words.

Vocabulary is something that can occasionally run dry. You find yourself repeating the same words. Sometimes, this is okay, but make sure that every scene is unique. Even if you mention the word “sunshine” in every chapter twenty times, talk about it in different ways: It’s spilling through limbs and boughs, shooting across the field, rising in the morning, gleaming through the window, beaming behind the mountain.

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You have completed all of my on-boarding blog posts of my products to date. Congrats!

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

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Do You Have the Courage to Read: Last Call to Action

This is it. This is the moment. The Last. . .Call. . .to Action.

You have a choice to make: Do what you’ve been doing (or worse, do nothing at all). You know where that will lead. No imagination. No inspiration. Wandering through aimless stories that exhaust you and lead you nowhere. Is that really where you want to go? Take a new action, and get a new result. Buy The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor. Finally immerse yourself in stories that will profit your life.

What do you really want for yourself? If you still have not purchased my books, I’m sending this post as a last reminder. Sure, I’ll remember to include their links in future posts, but my topics will shift a little to other writing aspects.

Do it. Take the course of action that will unlock the key to:

1. understanding what imaginative, inspirational, and wholesome stories are.
2. You will be able to spot in your local library what a good story is and what it isn’t.
3. You will enjoy your life much more and be more content.
4. You will have a deeper imagination and love for the outdoors and for stories that use them.
5. You will have started on a path to a much . . . healthier . . . life!

Purchase these stories today:
The Williams House at Amazon
Treasure on the Southern Moor at Amazon

Always your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

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Spend 8 Weeks and Write a Novel that Exceeds Your Expectations

We have reached the moment of decision. I know what I’m asking of you. Believe me, I’ve asked it of myself multiple times. It’s that moment when I realize I’m going to take the plunge to write my next book. And trust me: There is nothing so thrilling and adventuresome as the process of crafting your own imagined story!

You have a choice to make: Do what you’ve been doing (or worse, do nothing at all). You know where that will lead. An unfinished book. Embarrassment. Negative reviews. And dissatisfaction with your own manuscript. Is that really where you want to go? Take a new action, and get a new result. Apply for Writing Imagination Academy. Finally get the story you have imagined in your head to a completed manuscript that will exceed your own expectations.

8 weeks. A completed first draft. A road to having your story revised and ready for publication.

. . .or . . .

Several years – still an unfinished manuscript – lost confidence from your friends – and no seeable solution to having your book completed.

Which option do you really want for yourself? Here’s what to do now… Make sure you have signed up to my email by clicking the button at the bottom of this post. Watch the free video training, and send me an email with a couple paragraphs outlining a few things about your book (general plot-line, a few things the main characters do, setting, a few action points from the free video training). It doesn’t have to be detailed. I will be sure to get back with you.

Again, the seats are limited to 50 total. Go to my home page: www.conservativecornerstones.com to see how many seats are left and how much time there is until the next course, and apply today. If accepted, I’ll provide you a link where you may purchase the course for the flat fee of $200, and you have two weeks of the course to opt-in for your %100 Money Back Guarantee. I’m taking all the risk. Hope to see you on the inside!

Your fellow Writer,
Joshua Reynolds

P.S. Still undecided? I still plan to always give more tips and tricks for FREE in future posts! I’ve left you with the decision. The rest is up to you.

P.P.S. Did you know that I always write my first draft on paper? I really do! This is the writing tip of the day. Writing with pen and paper helps push all distractions away, such as the internet, the glowing screen of a computer, the operating system and word processor, etc. I have found that the best way to let my creativity flow is allowing my mind to think and immediately transfer it down to the notebook.

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How to Eliminate Boredom by Keeping Things Fun!

Have you ever wished that you could imagine something at any time of day? Do you ever pause your work to take a glance outside and see what the weather’s like? If I gave you something that could with %100 certainty help you enjoy your day, would you take it?

Not wanting to spend money, yet? Try reading The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor for free! Go to my Free Resources tab and read free chapters of them in PDF form. Also go to their perspective Amazon pages and read the sample Kindle previews of them!

The Williams House at Amazon
Treasure on the Southern Moor at Amazon

All you have to do is take a few minutes away from your social media networking and watch how imaginative and inspirational stories can impact your life. In a day and age when fiction portrays hopelessness, read something that gives hope and light. After all, good stories cannot be written unless they are read.

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

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Lens-Cap, Wing-Nut, Two-Twisty-Ties Productions

Sometimes, it just takes time. I would like to share with you a part of my story.

Getting up every morning to find that the house is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Walking outside in close to sub-zero temperatures to haul firewood in. The firewood isn’t ours. I had been hoping the wood I had harvested from our forest last fall would last the entire winter. It had not. So, more wood had to be purchased – and that only meant one thing: poor wood. It was encased in ice. Lighting it was hard; I had to use some of my special ash wood to get the fire going before I put the iced wood atop.

Two fireplaces now roaring. . . taking a quick shower. . .doing some house chores. . .now, at last, I can start on my career for the day. I pull all my video equipment out. It takes half-an-hour to set up. I pull the lens cap off the camera, unscrew a wing-nut from a stand I hang one of my lights on, and unravel two twisty ties binding up a couple cords from my equipment. These items I place in my pocket. Then, I rehearse my video I will be shooting. No one to help me. I’m A1 from pre-production all the way through post-editing.

I have to stop my filming several times because of the rushing water I can hear from the next room that I know my mic picks up. Post-production is tedious as I watch myself and always conclude my performances are not what they should be. Color-grading is a jumble of connecting virtual wires in an open source program to see what will make my video look better. When I strike my gear down, I pull the lens cap, wing nut, and two twisty ties out of my pocket, and I smile. To myself, I’d dubbed my film work Lens-Cap, Wing-Nut, Two-Twisty-Ties Productions.

. . .at the day’s end, I know that emails still have to be written, blog posts composed, website building remains unfinished, and I still need to make progress on the draft of my next book I’m writing.

All the above is true as I started up my business, and I know that I’m not alone. Sometimes, things can be hectic for the life of a writer. Once you’ve published books, there are always book promotions, marketing work, and even answering fan questions to be done.

Yet, it’s all worth it. Seeing the book you have created, in print, in your hands, and finding it better to what you could have possibly dreamed, is worth more than all the work you put into it.

I would like to give you a path to success. You have a story in your mind. Maybe, it’s one you have wanted to tell for a long time. The trick is in getting it down on paper. It all comes down to that. In my Writing Imagination Academy course, I give you just that: A map. With that map, you can be guided to your journey’s end.

Here’s how to apply.

Sign up to my email using the button at the bottom of this post. Once you’ve watched the video training you receive in your welcome email, send me an email to apply for the Writing Imagination Academy. In that email, describe your idea for a story in a couple paragraphs using a few of the action points from the free video training (you’ll know what they are when you watch the videos!) Don’t worry. The email doesn’t have to be big. All I really want to know is what your story is generally about, a few things the main characters might do, and some idea of your story setting. These ideas don’t have to be too well formulated. The only reason I require this is because there are certain stories that I cannot make fit within my model for what a good story is. However, if you’ve been agreeing with my blog recently, then the chances are you will be accepted!

I only allow 50 seats per WIA course. Go to my home page: www.conservativecornerstones.com to see how many seats are available and when the next Writing Imagination Academy course begins! Application for the course must be completed before the course begins.

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

P.S. Sometimes, I will listen to nature sounds when I write. Ever tried it? Here’s one to get you started: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euEwKtP5CG4

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Here’s More FREE Stuff!

I completely understand where you’re at. Sometimes, we need to just gather as much free material as we possibly can while not putting any money on the counter, yet. If your curiosity is still perked about the books I have written, then please enjoy more free excerpts of all of them!

Thick and dark clouds had now massed overhead, and threatening rumbles could be heard in the air. It had scarce been ten minutes since Adrianna had pointed out the clouds that the first raindrops fell and only another five before the full force of the storm struck. Adrianna then realized that storms can come up quite suddenly at sea.

“You two must get to safety,” said Captain Underwood to Adrian and Adrianna. “Go into our cabin by the doors near the helm on the quarterdeck. Once we get a little settled in this storm, I’ll be calling you, Adrian, to help – maybe in a day.”

The wind was tearing at Adrianna’s hair. “Do they really last that long?” she asked.

“Oh, much longer,” said her father. “Storms can last for weeks out at sea.” His eyes looked tired, and he was holding his hat from being blown off his head, yet he didn’t flinch as the vessel rolled again, another thin cataract of sea water spilling over the deck. It was colder than Adrian and Adrianna expected, and before five minutes were over, they were soaked through. The captain gave his hat and wig to them.

“You have not had any sleep yet,” said Adrian.

“I’ll be fine,” said the captain. “Now hurry.”

And with that, Adrian and Adrianna were forced to leave, knowing they would only get in the way to the crew who was rushing above and below decks. They made their first steps toward the stern, unsteady on the pitching deck, and had to cling to the railing as they ascended the spiral wooden steps of the aftercastle to the quarterdeck. Winton Northrup and two sailors were at the helm, doing all they could to keep the ship straight and steady.

The decorated wooden doors with windows in them that faced opposite the helm were latched. Yet Adrian was able to force them open, and the doors slid and folded smoothly to the left and right. Inside was a very small cabin, mostly bare, that housed a few navigational tools whenever the helmsman, captain, or other crewmember needed them. A couple yards in, they reached the back of this, where a single thick door stood with a lock in it, yet the lock was open. Inside was a wide room for the officers to dine in, with a long table stretching from port to starboard, and at the end of this room was the door to the captain’s cabin, which was currently locked. The curtains to the officers’ dining room windows on port and starboard were still open, and they could see the rushing of the storm outside.

“Father gave me this,” said Adrian as he pulled out from the folds of his clothing an iron key attached to a string. He fumbled with the lock for a moment as the ship rolled about. The creaking, snapping, and groaning of the ship sounded all the louder within the ship than it did without. Adrian knew it would only be all the worse below decks in the belly of the ship.

The lock finally gave way, and they entered, shutting out the rain and sea water behind them. Yet the sounds intensified within the ship, and they could not shut out the noise. A long central table ran down the center going from abaft forward, and along the side walls of the captain’s cabin were their three cots and mattresses. There was a large window seat at the stern windows, and a dark and hazy gloom came from those windows of the cabin, showing thick dark waves and rain and clouds. They could look out and see the rolling waves at the ship’s back, and it looked a gloomy gray sea. There was so much tossing about that they became dizzy looking at the rollers rising above them and tossing the ship about countless times. Adrianna stumbled over and pulled the curtains closed, fastening them tight. Yet she could not drive out the sound of the creaking ship, snapping and groaning in the storm, and she huddled up on one of the long, cushioned seats that she would be using as her bed. Adrian lit a lamp that was fastened securely to the ceiling. It was pointless to attempt any sleep, so they sat on their bunks and just listened to the horrendous groaning.

“How long do you think the storm will last?” asked Adrianna barely above a whisper, her voice echoing in the dark.

“I don’t know,” said Adrian, and his face looked gloomy himself. “We knew storms would come.”

“But did they have to come this soon?” blurted out Adrianna. “We’ve only just started sailing.”

~Treasure on the Southern Moor, Chapter 4: Rough Sailing

“Listen to the trees,” said Will. “They sound eerie. Hear all those creaks and cracks? It sounds as though there were a thousand boughs all dancing in the wind.”

Everyone sat quietly for a moment as they listened to the sound of the wind from over hill and under roof and around the trees. A gentle stirring was in the air, and as Ann opened the window, they could hear the wind come softly in. It blew in their faces and ruffled their hair, and they could smell the scent of earth and wood. Yet it was also a cold smell, and they soon started wrapping in blankets to ward off the chill. Yet no one wanted to close the window. They could hear the wind, blowing the clouds together and sending threatening rumbles against the darkened sky.

Then Margaret walked over to the light switch, still wrapped in her blanket, and turned the light off. A quiet hush came over everyone, and they did not feel like stirring, yet their eyes were wide awake.

There is always a special and different feeling to be wrapped up in a blanket with the cold all around you. It is the way most people have lived during cold winters for thousands of years, and my own grandmother, whom I wish you will meet one day, said she remembered what it was like to wake up in the morning and see a glass of ice upon her dresser, when she had put it there full of regular flowing water the night before.

A great rumble came through the attic window and echoed throughout the room, and then a raindrop came. Water started coming down, slowly at first, going pitter-patter, pitter-patter, pitter-patter. Then it picked up, starting to come down in sheets.

~The Williams House, Chapter 5: Uncles, Aunts, Nephews, and Nieces

If you are more satisfied with the content and style of my stories, then purchase The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor today!

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

Writing a Story from Beginning to End that Exceeds Your Expectations – Your Turn

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for: The brief list – to the point – of what needs to happen for your novel to be published.

1. Understanding what good storytelling is.
2. Making writing an enjoyable, inspired, and fun task.
3. Understanding how you gain imagination and inspiration for stories from things around you.
4. Explore your imagined and inspired images.
5. Create your outline.
6. Write your first draft.
7. Revise your story.

Remember how much you enjoyed stories as a child? How is it that you could turn a stuffed animal and a bedroom into an entirely different world? You can re-enter that imagination and create more imaginative, more defined, and more inspirational stories than you’ve ever imagined before.

In Writing Imagination Academy, I cover all seven of the above points and more. That’s right – this is a service that ordinarily would cost thousands of dollars to invest in. I’m giving it to you for a fraction of that amount.

It all comes as part of Writing Imagination Academy that costs a flat fee of $200. You pay this fee after I accept you into the program. If you are accepted, you will receive five extra modules of video training, four coaching calls, and a chapter evaluation of your story. The program takes 8 weeks to complete, and your first draft should be completed by then! The last module deals with how to revise and smooth that draft out into a finished manuscript, and from there, the road consists of merely applying everything you have learned.

I only allow 50 seats per WIA course. Go to my home page to see how many seats are available and when the next Writing Imagination Academy course begins! Application for the course must be completed before the course begins.

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

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Say ‘Hello’ to My Examples in Five Minutes

Let me convey my message through example, today.

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” ~Albert Schweitzer

Take five minutes, read through the excerpts of my books below, and see if you can easily imagine the scenes described.

The trees were swaying in the gentle breeze. Long shadows of branch and limb stretched across green grass and winding trails. It was near dusk, and the red sunlight was lighting up the sky and reaching down to the earth in a burst of a million rays. A line of trees stood along a fence and marked the end of the park. Several black lattices arched over many trails, wreaths upon wreaths of flowers dangling from them. Winding stone and brick trails snaked through the wet grass, long shadows covering some of them, and warm sunlight drifting down on others.

It must have been raining earlier in the day, for several puddles were reflecting trees upside down. Dry patches of grass baked warm in the sunlight, yet other grasslands of the park were quite wet, little or no sunlight reaching their soft blades.

~The Williams House, Chapter 1: In the Park

Now the attic had long ago been considered the great place to imagine the most impossible games and congregate between the working orders of the day. It was a singular but very large room, taking up about as much space as one of the great rooms on the floor below. The ceiling curved around to a few points, revealing the shape of the roof with its wooden timbers. Window seats were in front of three large dormer windows, their bases wide and their tops narrowing to a peak. Two narrow staircases spiraled down from either end of the attic, reaching to the floor below. Their closed stairs were made of wood and creaked when tread upon. In two places in the room were a set of sofas and chairs that were fairly worn, yet still comfortable, and the children would at times string sheets and blankets across these to make a large tent. The carpet was not as thick in the attic as it was in the rest of the house, yet it was still soft and a nice shade of blue. The worn down piano lay against the wall that did not have a window, and the instrument looked weather-beaten and old. Yet it was in tune and sounded almost as good as ever. A few stacks of books and several toys lay scattered around the room, with plenty of space in-between.

~The Williams House, Chapter 2: The Start of School

One light that did not extinguish over the now quiet town of Plymouth was that of the old Southgate Inn. Its yellow firelight could be seen glowing from the windows and shining out upon other walls and roofs in the streets. If one had looked into its front window, he would have been able to observe a few customers, chatting around a few randomly placed tables. Firelight danced upon their faces and made their eyes glow as they laughed and spoke in soft, quiet voices. Some of the sailors were there as well, mostly keeping to themselves along the wall nearest the fire.

An older gentleman could have also been seen, coming in now and then to stoke the fire and serve late supper for those who had put off the occasion until now. There was an abundance of fish – freshly cooked trout (that had been caught that day), codfish cakes, warm soda bread, and great slabs of Muenster cheese. There were also steaming mugs of tea and warm milk with honey for those who wished to soon be asleep.

Into this inn trudged a tall gentleman, sleek but well built, late at night (a quarter after twelve), and it was clear he had been out in the very bad weather for several hours. But a different look in his eyes suggested that he had been out in bad weather his whole life and didn’t mind in the least. Everyone remaining was scattered thin now, in groups of threes or fours. They were speaking in even quieter tones than before. Some cast wary looks at the stranger, except the sailors and the innkeeper. The innkeeper seemed to know the man, whispering in his ear and ushering him over to a table in the corner. They exchanged a few words before the innkeeper left.

The stranger looked up and around and smiled brightly. He seemed well familiar with the old inn timbers, and after looking about, he settled down to his own supper and contented himself for the moment about that business. A sheathed cutlass dangled from his side, and on its sheath, inlaid with gold, were the letters C. H. for Captain Horne. His eyes continued to glance at the room with a glint of old memories and a sense of hominess, and he gave his coming voyage no thought at all, looking on cheerily, as if he had spent every night of his life in that inn, eating and laughing at the other customers’ remarks.

~Treasure on the Southern Moor, Chapter 1: The Voyage

If you want to gain more benefits than what you already have in this post, purchase The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor today!

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

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The Forbidden Secret of Writing – Get This Wrong and Your Novel Will Never Sell

Innocence. That is the secret ingredient to writing. Innocence.

If your main characters know too much, it will be a poor story. If the reader knows too much in the first chapter, it will be a poor story. If the story could not be understood by a twelve year old, it will be a poor story. If the story is not innocent, it will not be a good story.

After years of writing, I began to realize that the reason why a lot of literature being written today is not long-lasting is because people don’t know how to write a story. They don’t know what good storytelling actually is and what it isn’t. What’s more, those who do know what good storytelling is often can’t seem to plow through the first draft of their story. I, myself, experienced a lot of difficulties getting through the first draft of my second novel, and it lay in tatters for nearly a year before I went back and refined it for publication.

All this led me to a conclusion: People need to be trained in what good storytelling is and how to achieve it. In the ancient days, storytelling was something taught and practiced like math is today. The bards were a respected class.

It is through storytelling that we perceive much of the world around us – stories that are real as well as stories that aren’t real but that could be real. Understanding what good storytelling is and how to write and think it has helped me immensely in my daily life. Garbage in equals garbage out. In other words, if we put garbage into our minds, then garbage will be the result. It is easy for people to understand this when talking about food. If all a person eats is hamburgers and French fries, then their health will quickly deteriorate. Yet, the same applies with storytelling. If we immerse ourselves in bad stories, then the results will be an unhealthy life. Yet, good stories do the exact opposite! By learning good storytelling, my inspiration for stories has increased, my imagination is no longer something foreboding but is rather something that can easily be shared with others through storytelling, and I have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the wholesomeness that creates healthy society. And it’s not just me. FACT: Those who read wholesome stories are more content in their lives and are more creative in their thinking.

In six constructed modules of Writing Imagination Academy, I lead you from conceptualizing your story through your own inspiration to a finished manuscript that is ready for publication. You’re in the driver’s seat! I’m just sitting in the passenger seat navigating you to your own destination. What if you could see your dreams brought down on paper and for a fraction of the cost most book consultants/editors request?

You are walking down the dusty road in the moonlight toward your destination. Need more help than what I give for free? Sign up to my course! Begin by filling out the form after clicking the button at the bottom of this list. Watch my free video training and apply!

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

P.S. Here’s a great article I found on tips with how to overcome writer’s block. Enjoy! https://www.thebalance.com/top-tips-for-overcoming-writer-s-block-1277776

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