Hello, Awkwardeers!

Dear friends,

I’m chuffed that my hero and role model Captain Awkward was kind enough to link to Story Hospital from today’s post. If you’re coming over from that post, welcome!

Story Hospital is a letter-based advice site (like CA) that’s specifically for writers. The Captain mentioned my NaNoWriMo posts, which are all linked from my NaNoWriMo tag. In addition to my weekly letter-answering post (which goes up Tuesday), I write one NaNo post every Saturday through November.

The NaNo posts are my thank-yous to my Patreon patrons after my annual October drive, and my patrons get to suggest the topics. Story Hospital is totally Patreon-funded and I’m so grateful to all my backers for making this site possible.

You can also find me on Twitter at @storyhospital. Come say hello! And if you’ve got a question about writing, just drop it in my ask box. Welcome, and I hope you’ll hang around.


Story Nurse

Patron drive SUCCESS

Dear friends,



[image: a snapshot of Patreon’s front page for Story Hospital, showing 83 patrons and $240/month]

You just blew my mind by putting us over the top of the $240 mark. I really thought 90 patrons would be a challenging goal and $240 was impossible. Thank you for proving me wrong! You are fantastic!

I am especially moved that so much of the increase in pledges came from longtime patrons upgrading to higher tiers. I’m truly honored by your support.

In celebration, I’m unlocking all my fifth Tuesday posts through November 1. Share them with your friends now while you can!

#6: returning to writing after a long hiatus. patreon.com/posts/6627426

#19: how to bring your romantic protagonists together when they’d rather be apart. patreon.com/posts/7333404

#28: “Am I too busy to write or just being avoidant?” patreon.com/posts/7919452

#45: How to set reader expectations for the genre you’re writing. patreon.com/posts/11452508

#58: What “show” and “tell” really mean, and how and when to do them. (This is one of my favorites.) patreon.com/posts/14069857

And the post that just went up yesterday, #67, fighting the distraction of the shiny new idea. patreon.com/posts/15114714

Plus I unlocked this $4+ writing craft post, which is full of tips for describing settings when you’re good at dialogue but find description challenging. patreon.com/posts/14614549

I’m beyond thrilled to welcome all my new patrons, and beyond grateful to all of you who boosted your pledges. Your support makes a real difference to me and my family. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Onward to the next year!

Hearts forever,

Story Nurse

Patron drive week continues!

Dear friends,

For just this week, I’m unlocking one of my $4 patron craft posts for EVERYONE to see. The post is full of advice on describing settings for writers who do better with dialogue. Check it out!

Become a patron at $4+ and you’ll get a post like that every month! $4 really isn’t much for a monthly writing craft class, and one of my patrons called it “the best $4 I’ve ever spent.” So tell your friends what an awesome bargain Story Hospital patronage is, and consider pledging at $4 or changing your pledge level for a month or two to try it out. You can always dial back when you need to.

I know writers aren’t generally rich and I appreciate every single one of my $1 pledges. Thanks so much for being a patron, at any level!

Keep spreading the word, and thanks to everyone who’s already done so—I got three new patrons yesterday and the total now stands at 72 patrons and $185. The goal remains 90 patrons and/or $240. Let’s keep going!



Story Nurse

It’s October patron drive time!

Dear friends,

As I did last year, I’m running a Patreon patron drive through the end of October. Right now I have 69 patrons bestowing $181/month on me (THANK YOU all SO MUCH). If we can get that to 90 patrons OR $240/month by November 1, I’ll do another series of NaNoWriMo posts, and my patrons will get to suggest the topics!

You can help by telling your friends how much you love Story Hospital, and what you get out of being a patron. Maybe link them to a post or two that helped you, or that you think would help them. Here are some popular ones:

NaNoWriMo: Accommodating Your Disability (and Other Limitations)

#34: What It Means to Be Blocked

#15: How to Create Original Work

And remind your friends that just $1 or $2 a month gets them great patron perks! Just sign up here:


Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support. I’ll be making more posts later in the week with more info on the patron drive and what you can do to help.


Story Nurse

Happy First Anniversary, Story Hospital!

Dear friends,

One year ago today, I took a deep breath and told everyone I knew to check out my new advice column for writers. In my personal blog, I wrote, “I am very nervous and excited! I’ve never done a Patreon thing before. And this project relies heavily on people sending in questions—if they don’t do that, I’m kind of sunk. But people are becoming patrons already, and tweeting lots about it… and I am optimistic.”

Today Story Hospital has 58 advice columns posted, and 59 patrons are contributing $162 a month toward its upkeep. I’m so proud of my little site, and so grateful to all of you for helping to keep it going.

If you’re a regular reader of Story Hospital, or if my advice has helped you, will you consider becoming a Patron today? Just $1/month—not per post, per month—gets you access to the priority request queue and quarterly patron-only posts (one of which is coming up at the end of this month), and you’ll get posts delivered right to your email inbox two days before the rest of the world sees them. If Patreon’s not your speed or you haven’t got the funds to spare, please give Story Hospital a shout-out in your personal social media spaces, or share a link to your favorite post from the archives. Every signal boost helps.

I had grand plans for an anniversary celebration; alas, personal matters have taken up all my time and energy lately, and I wasn’t able to see them through. In lieu of that, I’m opening my comments to all of you for an anniversary party. Please share a link to a piece of your own writing on the theme of kindness or satisfaction or joy or celebration. If that’s not the sort of thing you write, link to a piece of your writing that you feel good about and proud of. If you don’t have anything to link to or would rather not, leave a kind comment on someone else’s work. And tell me what tasty food or drink you’re bringing for the virtual potluck!

I hope this is the first of many, many anniversaries. Thanks for coming along for the ride.


Story Nurse

This site is brought to you by my generous patrons on Patreon. Got a writing question? Ask the Story Nurse!

Story Hospital is on Twitter!

Dear friends,

I have finally created a Twitter account for Story Hospital! It is, unsurprisingly, @StoryHospital, and you can chat with me there whenever you like. I’ll be tweeting links to posts—which will now go up at 10 a.m. Eastern Time on Tuesdays so that the automated tweets go out at a sensible hour, so Patreon patrons will get ten extra hours of exclusive access—and answering quick writing questions and joining Twitter chats about writing and all that sort of thing. Please do follow along and say hello.


Story Nurse



Wow, we’re already at 50 patrons with four days left to go in the patron drive! Thank you all so much for spreading the word, and welcome, new patrons! I’m really touched by your support for Story Hospital.

Keep an eye out for those NaNoWriMo posts every Thursday in November! My first regular November letter just happens to be NaNo-related too. But don’t worry, non-NaNo writers, all my content will be relevant for you too. We all have days when we’re writing to deadline or otherwise under pressure, and there’s plenty to learn from NaNo tips and tricks even if you write very slowly or only write nonfiction. The important thing is: more advice for everybody! 😄

October Patron Drive to Unlock Bonus NaNoWriMo Posts

Dear readers,

As many of you know, November is National Novel Writing Month. I’m already getting questions from writers who are looking ahead to NaNoWriMo and trying to prepare. It’s very challenging to write 50,000 words in 30 days! I want to help you out.

So for the last week of October, it’s patron drive time here at Story Hospital. I have 39 fantastic patrons right now (thank you all!). If we can get that number to 50 by October 31, I’ll make an extra post every week in November, aimed specifically at helping folks who are doing NaNoWriMo. As with my regular posts, they’ll go live on Patreon first, on Thursdays (including Thanksgiving!), and then will go up on the main Story Hospital site two days later. I haven’t decided on topics yet, and will be soliciting ideas from my Patreon patrons—another reason to become one!

You can help by telling your friends about Story Hospital and why you enjoy it, and linking to your favorite Story Hospital posts on Twitter and Facebook. If you’re a patron, post about why you think Story Hospital is worth supporting. And if you’re not already a patron, please consider becoming one. Just $1 a month gets you access to early posts and some bonus content, and higher-level patrons get all sorts of cool perks. You can also become a patron just for one month and then cancel your pledge—I hope you’ll stick around, of course, but I totally understand that it’s not an option for everyone.

As a writer, I find NaNoWriMo terrifying. I’m in awe of anyone who manages to find the time to write 1,700 words a day 30 days in a row, and to squash their perfectionism enough to write rapidly and not look back. (If it helps, you can look forward to March, which is National Novel Editing Month.) Maybe someday I’ll give it a shot. For this year, I’m glad to be on the sidelines cheering you on, and grateful to everyone who likewise cheers on me and my little site.

Here’s the link to my Patreon. Thanks so much for pledging and spreading the word!


Story Nurse

Welcome, fellow Awkwardeers!

I’m so excited that Captain Awkward, whose work I adore and have studied closely while developing my own advice column, has kindly linked to Story Hospital. I love the Awkwardeer community (shout-out to my buddies on the Friends of Captain Awkward forum) and look forward to some of you joining the Story Hospital community as well! Please do read the archives, visit the Patreon page, and leave your own excellent advice in the comments; and of course you’re very welcome to ask me questions.


Story Nurse