Monday, May 28, 2018

Skin Care for Writers in 3 Easy Steps

Edie here. Today I'm super excited to introduce you to the newest member of The Write Conversation blogging team. Ane Mulligan is an amazing author with the heart—and ability—to teach other writers. I know you'll enjoy her humor as much as wisdom!

Skin Care for Writers in 3 Easy Steps
by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

In preparation to publish your writing, you need to care for your skin. What, you ask? Skin care? What does that have to do with publishing or my writing for that matter? 

Everything, little scribe. 

Layer by layer, a writer must develop a pliable, thick rhino skin; one that doesn't crack or bleed when subjected to critique and rejection. It's a process that takes time and a considerable amount of effort. But it’s paramount to publishing and selling books.

Tips for Developing a Healthy Writing Skin 

Step One: Deep Cleansing of unrealistic compliments
A common benefit of deep cleansing is the removal of debris, including bad habit bacteria and Pollyanna pollutants and love-it litter or unrealistic compliments. Most of this debris come from family members, who think you’re brilliant. They’d think that is you wrote “it was a dark and stormy night.”

Deep Cleansing of those unrealistic compliments helps manage PH (publishing house) levels of rhino skin; enabling stellar writing and retention. It also helps maintain proper sized ego. An oversized ego is death to a writing career. 

Regular cleansing from a critique partner helps maintain purpose in your writing, so you won’t get side-tracked by the latest trend, and is essential to keeping your writing radiant and fresh. 

It takes building a relationship with another writer or two, to form a great critique partnership. I’ve been with mine for thirteen years (one even longer than that). In that time, we’ve developed thick rhino skin with regular cleansing. We are a formidable group. They push me, prod me and make me kick cabinets. I trust them completely.   

Step Two: Tone that rhino skin
Regular toning and submission of your work shrinks pores of inflated ego and restores your skin's Publishing House balance. A toned rhino skin adds a layer of protection, so rejection no longer reduces you into a whimpering pile of goo. You can look at it philosophically. After all, not all publishers are looking for Amish time slip novels.  

Regular Critique Partners (CP) toning helps tighten gaps in your rhino skin, thus reducing the penetration of both unreliable kudos and barbed criticism. CP intervention Toning can even remove particularly harsh barbs from a contest judge. CP Toning can also help you take a realistic view at a judge’s remarks and see value in them.

Step 3: Moisturize your rhino skin
To keep your protective rhino skin pliable takes time and work. Without the oil of learning, it can crack and allow bad habit bacteria to seep in. If you apply that oil every day, and it will soak deep into your writing and adds a healthy glow to both your work and your rhino skin. 

Your rhino skin is one of your greatest assets as a writer. Protect it with these habits and it will last for a lifetime.


Ane Mulligan writes Southern-fried fiction served with a tall, sweet tea.She's an award-winningnovelist and playwright whobelieves chocolate and coffee are two of the four major food groups. She resides in Sugar Hill, GA, where she leads a Community Theatre troupe. You can find Ane at www.anemulligan.comor Amazon author page.


  1. Great tips Ms. Ane! All good tips, but never saw them put in this light before. Love it! God's blessings ma'am...

  2. Thanks. I feel healthier already. And daily application cuts down on the dry skin periods.

  3. Ane, I love it! I heard about the rhino skin when I started submitting to Scribes years ago, but this is the best explanation. Ph Publishing House—LOL. I’m going to share with our chapter.

  4. Ane, you are a treasure! Loved this post filled with wisdom! You know just the right "spoonful of medicine" to give that "helps the medicine go down." :). This one is a keeper!

  5. Just in time for the Summer conference season.
    Awesome post.

  6. Just proves that writers can write about anything. Never a writer's block in sight. Thanks for the fun analogy.

  7. Very interesting thoughts. Thank you.

  8. Awesome post, Ane. Thanks for reminding us about these 3 important (and creative) steps to care for our rhino skin. Love this!