Image of a blue rose with the text “Alexa Baczak On Medium”
Image of a blue rose with the text “Alexa Baczak On Medium”

Articles are categorized in their individual topics and then organized by publication date, the most recent at the bottom. A * next to the article means it is one of my personal favorites or one I think is important.

Some articles could fit in multiple categories. In these cases, I put them in the category in which they may be the most relevant.


Involuntary “Do Not Resuscitate” Notices Based on Learning Disability Are Nothing New *

Meowing: A Purrfect Alternative Communication Tool

Canada is Making it Easier for Disabled and Mentally Ill People to Access Physician Assisted Suicide*

Social Justice

So, I…

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I remember the day we discussed POV in my creative writing 101 class.

First-person was recommended. Second-person was recommended with caution for experimental pieces. Third-person limited? It’s standard fiction.

But then storm clouds gathered over the classroom and the distant caws of fleeing ravens echoed through the damp air.

Beware Third Person Omniscient or you will be struck by lightning.

Okay, I’m exaggerating a little bit, but just a little.

And as an editor, I normally strike out any unexpected changes in perspective as much as I love well-written third-person omniscient.

But then I was hired by a writer who…

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

“Show, don’t tell.”

If you’ve ever been in a creative writing class, or even a high school English class, you’ve heard it.

The explanation is basically just that. “Show your readers what you want them to see. Don’t tell them.”

But “telling” is just as important as showing, and as a professional writer, I use both. The trick is knowing when each is appropriate.

I was talking to my editor this morning (shout-out to Wyatt Archer), and we started discussing screenwriting and how that skill translates to fiction. And it got me thinking.

So here is my proposal:

Know where to point the camera.

“Show, don’t…

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Hustle Culture wasn’t exactly great for mental health before the pandemic.

I’ve written before about overworking and toxic motivation. Destroying Hustle Culture is what I eat for breakfast each morning. It’s already linked to heart issues, depression, suicide, and other chronic health problems. And during the pandemic, some let it go, and some went on overdrive.

We all need ways to cope, and during the pandemic, making every moment productive was an unhealthy coping skill some used to feel like they had a molecule of control. Considering some of us started drinking excessively and others picked up gambling addictions, this…

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

After I decided ghostwriting wasn’t for me, I limited my opportunities as a freelance fiction writer. I needed to find something else to do in fiction to earn an income.

That’s how I switched gears to editing.

At first, it felt a lot like giving up, but I quickly found it wasn’t the case. Editing is an art form in and of itself, and since I started professionally editing, my writing has increased tenfold.

It wasn’t when I ghostwrote I felt secure as a writer; it was when giving advice to other writers. …

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

If you’re like me, you’ll talk yourself into a self-deprecating hole before you believe you’re an adequate writer. Despite all the evidence to the contrary.

You can be told “reasons why you shouldn’t give up,” but that won’t address the underlying insecurity that comes with your brain’s persuasive argument on why you should stop.

1. You’re too Old

This is the obvious that should be on all of these lists. Because it’s never true. I don’t care if you are 104 and on your deathbed. It is never too late to write something. …

Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

Science-fiction brings images of space travel and the dysfunctional Skywalker family to mind. Killer robots and David Tennant. Maybe biochemical warfare just to spice things up. Climate issues are getting more popular. Can’t imagine why.

No hating on Doctor Who (I’m obsessed), but there is so much more under the “science” umbrella to pick at!

1. Evolution

Human evolution is fascinating, and I am shocked not many people have created Neandertal characters! I’m currently working on a story with a Neandertal narrator, and let me tell you, it needs to be done more.

We write so much about aliens, but not as…

When I was five, I constantly had to remind my teachers my name wasn’t Alexis. Alexa. A-L-E-X-A. I accepted it.

I accepted I’d rarely find my name on a crappy souvenir key-chain. Whenever I did manage to find my name, I’d beg my parents for that rubber sandal like I staked my entire identity on it. And to be honest, I felt like it was.

Photo by Tandem X Visuals on Unsplash

I ghostwrote a book once.

It was some of my best work and it glitters in five-star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I’m really proud of it because I used narrative techniques I’d never really tried before. I fell in love with the characters and story.

But I’m never going to ghostwrite a book again.

Ghostwriting is a great way to earn income as a writer. There’s no doubt. But you should consider a few things before accepting a contract.

If you’re the type to emotionally connect with your writing, don’t ghostwrite.

My heart and soul go into my stories, and I bleed onto the word processor.

Ghostwriting is an emotional tax…

Photo by Andrey Zvyagintsev on Unsplash

If you told me a year ago that I would be an expert on sex scenes in 2021, I would have quit my job before they fired me.

Sex scenes are notoriously difficult to pull off. You can’t get away with much telling. You have to consider the setting. Character feelings. How to show those feelings through action.

Sex scenes are very difficult to write because everything else is stripped away and all you’ve got to work with are the characters and the emotions. There’s nowhere to hide. But that’s also what makes them so powerful. (Nash 2011)

They’re also…

Alexa Baczak

Speculative Fiction writer and Medium essayist | |

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