A Writer’s Life

Focus on Writing the Best Book You Can

It seems in the last few years, dialogue about all-things-publishing has been focused on platform, marketing, increasing output, distribution platforms, technology, and self-publishing.  But I think it’s important to call our attention back to the work.  In January 2014, I posted a prediction for the coming year: “I think authors will re-focus on the foundational…
Read More

Will I Have to Pay Back My Advance?

Do authors ever have to pay back their advance? This is a question agents hear a lot. Often a writer is nervous about possibly being asked to pay back the advance if the book doesn’t sell enough copies. If you’re publishing with a reputable traditional publisher, then you don’t have to pay back your advance for…
Read More

The Power of Negative Thinking

Thomas Edison, in talking about inventing, is quoted as saying, “the first step is an intuition—and comes with a burst—then difficulties arise.” To me this is similar to the bursts of inspiration and motivation we sometimes get when writing. The trouble is that the burst subsides and “difficulties arise.” Edison is famous and became successful…
Read More
Hourglass

Success in 90-Minute Increments

In the past, I’ve blogged about “interval training for writers.” I referred to the growing body of research on human performance suggesting we’re most productive when we move between periods of high focus and periods of rest, rather than attempting to maintain high focus for long periods of time. I wrote that: 90 minutes is…
Read More

So Many Ideas, So Little Time

Are you the kind of writer who has several book ideas (or even written several books), possibly in different genres? If so, you may be wondering where to start. Which book should be the first one you write, or pitch to agents and editors? It’s a question worth asking, and you’d do well to put…
Read More

Sometimes Drastic Measures are Required

I’m reading Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming, and finding it fascinating. It’s a terrific read so if you’ve been on the fence, I recommend it! There’s an interesting tidbit about when Barack got a contract for his first book, Dreams from My Father. It was long before he entered public office, and at the time apparently he had a…
Read More
Despair

There Is No Time For Despair

Here are some truths:  • Publishing is in flux and no one is quite sure what the future looks like. • Publishers are merging, resulting in fewer places to submit manuscripts. • Many authors who have published numerous books are finding their advances going down, not up. • With self-published books now plentiful, there are more books than ever…
Read More
Etiquette

Manners Matter: 13 Etiquette Tips

As everyone becomes busier and more harried, and we all seem to communicate with electronic devices more than with people, I think it’s more important than ever to pay attention to basic politeness in business situations. It’s all-too-easy to rush through our days with little concern for niceties. Here are some tips I’ve gleaned, meant…
Read More

8 Things To Do While You Wait

I heard a delightful interview with NY Times bestselling author Paula Brackston on the Grammar Girl podcast, in which she talked about the writing process and the life of a writer. “I was one of those overnight successes that takes about ten years. I’d been trying to get a novel published for a long time. I wrote short…
Read More
Death to Laptop

9 Reasons to Quit Writing

The publication journey isn’t easy, no matter how you approach it. I’m always encouraging people to be patient, persevere through the obstacles, and doggedly pursue their dream. For some people, this means persistence through years or decades. But… is there a time when you should give up? Maybe so. I could be wrong but I…
Read More

The Art and the Industry

I watched a YouTube video from 2016 that featured Pharrell Williams giving a Masterclass with music students at NYU. The thing that’s really neat about this clip is that it captures the moment recording artist Maggie Rogers was “discovered” by Pharrell. It’s fun and heartwarming watching his reaction to her song. (Start watching around the 23-minute mark.) Things went nuts…
Read More
balance beam

Big Dreams and Realistic Expectations

When was the last time you had a terrific conversation about writing and your publishing journey with your fellow author friends? Talked about your dreams for the future and tried to identify any roadblocks that might be holding you back from pursuing them? It’s often difficult for writers to “dream big” or set lofty goals…
Read More

About Those New Year’s Goals…

With 2019 fast approaching, I imagine I’m not the only one reviewing the last year and setting some new goals. I’ve been thinking a lot about goal-setting and reading different sources on the psychology of it. I want to share some insights that have changed the way I do things. These thoughts have helped me…
Read More

The Writer’s Voice

Many people have asked about “voice” lately. It’s a big topic and I’m sure we’ll discuss it more than once. But let’s get started! What do we mean when we say we’re looking for “new voices”? What do editors mean when they say it’s the writer’s voice that captures them—or doesn’t? Let’s start by identifying…
Read More

I love words.

I love books and publishing and talking incessantly about them.

I love authors and all the intricacies of managing a writing life.

I sell. I negotiate. I coach. I brainstorm.

SIGN UP HERE TO OCCASIONALLY RECEIVE THE VERY BEST INFORMATION AND RESOURCES FOR AUTHORS
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.