From Newbie to Master—Understanding the Writer’s Journey

More good advice

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Pirate Code=Writing Rules. Clearer now? :) Pirate Code=Writing Rules. Clearer now? 🙂

The mark of a pro is they make whatever we want to do look easy. From running a business to playing guitar to wicked cool Kung Fu moves, masters rarely seem to even break a sweat. Same with authors. With the pros? The story flows, pulls us in, and appears seamless and effortless.

Just check out Ronda Rousey’s 14 second record-breaking WIN from this past weekend for an idea of JUST how EASY pros make things look…

Many of us decided to become writers because we grew up loving books. Because good storytellers are masters of what they do, we can easily fall into a misguided notion that “writing is easy.” Granted there are a rare few exceptions, but most of us will go through three acts (stages) in this career if we stick it through.

Act One—The Neophyte

This is when we are…

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Going Pro—Earning Rhino Skin & Learning Which Opinions Matter

Good advice

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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I heard somewhere that, statistically speaking, 10% of people will simply not like us, no matter what we do or how much we try. Whenever we decide to do something remarkable or even just different, this is when we’re most likely to encounter push-back.

Also, if we enjoy any measure of success or achievement, expect to be knifed. This is reality. We cannot control others, only ourselves and how we respond and what we choose to internalize. As writers, we’ll experience this with friends, family and even strangers.

Ah, strangers…

If I met someone and told them I was an HR manager, most people likely wouldn’t reply, “No I meant, what is your real job?”

I wouldn’t have to give a resume of all my accomplishments and proof I made money as an HR manager or even a roster of how many people I had in my charge. Yet, no one seems…

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Who am I? See if you can figure out who this person is (the answer is at the bottom).

  • I was born in Warsaw, Poland, on November 7, 1867.  My parents were both teachers.
  • In 1891, I enrolled at the Sorbonne in Paris, France.  By 1894, I had received my degrees in physics and in mathematics.
  • I was the first woman to have been awarded a Ph.D. by the Sorbonne.
  • While I was in Paris, I met my husband.  My husband and I had two daughters: Irene, and Eve.
  • My husband and I, with Henri Becquerel, were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for physics in 1903.  I was the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in physics.
  • After my husband died in 1906, I became the first female professor at the Sorbonne.
  • I was awarded my second Nobel Prize in 1911, because of my husband’s and my discovery of the elements of radium and polonium.  My husband and I had named the element of polonium after my native country of Poland.  I was now the only woman to have won two Nobel Prizes, one each in separate scientific fields.
  • Since I did a lot of my research on the element of radium, I was also exposed to a lot to radium through my research.  As a result of my exposure to radium, it was believed that was how I became ill with aplastic anemia.  I died of that condition on July 4, 1934.
  • My husband and I are both interred in the Pantheon in Paris, France.  This honor is the source of another first for me, because I am the first and only woman to be buried there.



I am Maria Sklodowska.  Perhaps, I am better known as Marie Curie.



Marie Curie. (2014). The website. Retrieved 11:42, June 6, 2014, from



The blog has been created, the pages and introductions written, and it’s time to start posting!

I have three goals for this blog:

  • As a writing platform for a nonfiction book that I am currently writing about Mary Frances Creighton, a Depression Era wife and mother convicted in the arsenic poisoning death of Ada Appelgate.
  • As a resource center for facts about criminal justice and writing related topics and resources.
  • As a credible and respected publication on criminal justice and writing related topics and resources.

Take a look at the different pages on this blog, and check out other blogs too.  There are a lot of  good, well-written, and interesting blogs out there!  Let me know what you think.  What do you like about this blog?  Do you have any suggestions for topics, room for improvement, compliments?

If you’d like to contact me:

  • Twitter:  My Twitter name is TariMcNeil – which is my name, just scrunched together.
  • Facebook:  Find me on Facebook at Tari McNeil – my name, with one space between my first and last name.
  • E-mail:  My Gmail address is