Latest: Lotus
Did You Miss This? Smaller Moons


Ignore Willpower. Create Habits.

drip, drip, drip“People who are good at self-control … seem to be structuring their lives in a way to avoid having to make a self-control decision in the first place.”—psychologist Brian Galla, quoted by Brian Resnick in the article Why willpower is overrated.

From the same article:
“Structuring your life is a skill. People who do the same activity, like running or meditating, at the same time each day have an easier time accomplishing their goals, he says — not because of their willpower, but because the routine makes it easier.”

Willpower gets used up and simply cannot be used until it is replenished.

Habits, once established, require no willpower.

I’m planning more articles on developing the writing habit. In the meantime here are some I’ve already written:

This is an area where knowing your specific struggles will help be research the best advice to share.

Where do you struggle to create the habit of writing?



9 Ways You Can Help Support My Husband the Author

Sue L Canfield
Sue L Canfield
Because I’m not only Joel’s biggest fan but also his social media marketing manager, he asked me to share a few ways that you, his other fans, can support him as an author.

  1. Connect with Joel on the following social media platforms.
  1. Share Joel’s social media posts.
  • Retweet something shared on Twitter.
  • Share a post from Joel’s Facebook Author page on your Facebook timeline.
  • Repin something from one of Joel’s Pinterest boards.
  • Share one of Joel’s status updates on LinkedIn.
  1. Sign up for Joel’s monthly newsletter. Joel sends out a monthly newsletter about his mysteries the middle of each month. It’s the first place you’ll hear about his new books, even before they are published. It always includes links to his previous blog posts which are often short book excerpts. Anyone who signs up for the newsletter gets two free books. One is the first Phil Brennan book, A Long, Hard Look, (which, though each book stands alone, you might want to read before the second Phil Brennan book, A Still, Small Voice, comes out in December.) The other free book, since Joel forgot to remove the download for it and he’ll probably never get around to it, is Through the Fog, an Irish Mystery.
  1. Share the link to sign up for the newsletter. Remember, if you recommend the newsletter to a friend, you’re essentially giving them two free books!
  1. Subscribe to Joel’s blog. You’ll see at the blog in the left sidebar where to subscribe – it says Get new posts by email. Just put in your email address and never miss another blog post. Don’t forget to comment at the blog as well.
  1. Buy Joel’s books. You can find them at his website here and on Amazon.
  1. Buy a copy of one of Joel’s books for a friend who you think will enjoy it but hasn’t yet discovered his books.
  1. Review Joel’s books on Amazon. If you’ve read any of Joel’s books, please provide an honest review at Amazon.
  1. Send Joel an email. He loves to hear from his fans. Whether you want to provide feedback, ask a question, share how you supported him, or anything else, Joel would love to hear from you! His email is Joel@JoelDCanfield.com

Because authors are emotional creatures, and I know from experience this is especially true of Joel, supportive things like reviews at Amazon, comments at the blog, enthusiastic shares on social media and even personal emails help make an author enthusiastic about continuing to write. [And easier to live with.—jdc]


Phil Brennan, Web Martin, and Jesse Donovan Walk Into A Bar

Joel D CanfieldYou’d think I’d know what to expect considering who I was meeting in the cheap dive downtown.

One at a time, sure.

I’d never sat down with the three of them, not all at once.

It’s enough to drive you to drink.

Or for those with other proclivities, to write.

Or maybe both.


Big Launch for ‘A Still, Small Voice’

A Still, Small VoicePhil Brennan mystery #2, A Still, Small Voice, will be published before year end. After the 1st of the year I’m going to go on a blog tour, writing short custom pieces for a handful of bloggers who’d be a good fit for my style of writing. There will be lots of free copies of the digital version and as many other surprises as I can muster.

If you are, or know of, a blog that would be a good fit, please let me know either in the comments or by email to joel@camelslash.com if you’d be so kind.

More to Come

Insiders get all the news first. They also get all the best free stuff. Be an insider. Sign up for the newsletter.


Why Aren’t You Signed Up for the Newsletter?

Did you know that everyone who signs up for my newsletter gets not 1 but 2 free books? And they’re not has-beens or outcasts. You’ll get Through the Fog, my most popular book ever by a wide margin, and A Long, Hard Look, the first Phil Brennan mystery (oh, look, the second in the series will be out by year end.)

My 1st newsletter was a long time ago
My 1st newsletter was a long time ago
You also get the first look at much of my writing, opportunities for even more free books, and the audio versions of my 1-Page Classics absolutely free (they’re 99¢ to the average citizen.)

So why aren’t you signed up?

Tell you what: give it a try. Sign up. Grab the 2 free books. Grab the free audio stuff. Read the next newsletter. If you aren’t thrilled to be involved, unsubscribe. Since I have written multiple articles for business folk about how great it is when casual or uninterested readers unsubscribe from a list they’re not excited about, you know I’m not going to be bothered by it.

But at the very least, give it a try, eh?


My Editor Makin’ My Book Better

You’ll want to sing that title to the tune of, um, something that fits. I don’t know what. I just know it’s better if you sing it.

polish-it-upMy editor, Tom Bentley, doesn’t just nudge my words into place. Line editing is important. His polishes my words from workmanlike to well done.

He also asks me hard questions.

Continue reading “My Editor Makin’ My Book Better”


Think Like a Writer (You Want This Book)

Think-Like-a-WriterMy friend, sometime lyricist, and most excellent editor Tom Bentley has finally released a book on writing.

Think Like a Writer: How to Write the Stories You See is both practical and entertaining. Much like its author, come to think of it.

I’ll let Tom tell you about it:
Continue reading “Think Like a Writer (You Want This Book)”


Writing Updates: Ginger, and Jesse Donovan

Ginger, the Ship Captain's CatI have what might be the final version of the Ginger stories in my hand. Once I review the formatting and layout, it gets uploaded along with the cover and then I’ll be ordering a printed proof.

Could have it in hand by the end of next week.

First book in a new series, featuring artsy romantic Jesse Donovan, is picking up momentum. Next month’s newsletter will include first drafts of two critical scenes from the B plot, plus a Q&A with myself about moving it forward, fixing the holes, and making it fly.

Writing is the easiest thing and the hardest work I’ve ever done.


Books as Physical Objects: Large Print

really large printI have loads of opinions about they physicality of books: the weight, the smell, the way they look on a shelf, the physical design.

One issue with the last is the sheer ugliness of large print books.

I’m slowly collecting hardcover versions of Chandler. I only have 4 of his 8 books in hardcover. The others are either paperback (The Little Sister) or in an omnibus with, sadly, missing pages (The High Window, The Lady in the Lake, and Farewell, My Lovely.)

Continue reading “Books as Physical Objects: Large Print”


Catherine, Caffeinated: Self-Printed 3.0

selfprintedsplashbadgeCatherine Ryan Howard taught me how to do a Goodreads giveaway, among other things. Wanna know what she can teach you? Here’s a single Q&A with Catherine, and down below, the scoop on the latest edition of her book Self-Printed: The Sane Person’s Guide to Self-Publishing.

I asked: Is there any specific data on the ROI for freebies? I’m curious about data like “100 copies given away results in 13 reviews and 3 copies sold” or some such nonsense. Separated by fiction and nonfiction. Also, what’s your opinion on whether such data would have any practical value?

Continue reading “Catherine, Caffeinated: Self-Printed 3.0”



Do One Thing

waterfallDrip. Drip. Drip.

Water wears away stone by constancy, not power, not volume.

Marketing with a long vision will serve you better than looking for short-term sales.

Every day, do one thing to market yourself as an author, or to learn more about successful marketing. Here are 20 ideas to get you started: Continue reading “Do One Thing”


Doors (Excerpt from an Unpublished Work)

c'mon in!No one door opens and closes properly. Some do one or the other quite nicely. Some do neither.

The front door technically opens and closes just fine, but since we don’t have a key for it, well, there’s that. The screen door (no longer a storm door because half of the glass is missing) has to be kicked open and closed, which we wouldn’t except the mailbox is hanging right there beside it.

The nice solid pine doors on the coat closet, which match the solid pine walls in the dining room/office, open just fine, but neither will really close. Continue reading “Doors (Excerpt from an Unpublished Work)”