A Writer’s Life

Don’t Feed Your Discontent

Back when I was in my 20’s, I went through a phase in which I was extremely unhappy with my looks. My hair, my face, my weight, my clothes — nothing was right. I was buying more expensive makeup, going on fad diets, and spending too much money on clothes in the attempt to feel better…
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The Facts vs. The Story You Tell Yourself

As an agent, I spend a lot of time talking writers through the obstacles and difficulties — both tangible and emotional — of a publishing career. We’re constantly making important decisions together and solving problems. One thing that persistently thwarts a writer’s ability to stay positive and optimistic is the tendency to see a set of facts…
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What’s Your 2013 Focus?

Happy new year! I’ve been on a blogging break, and while it was refreshing, I’m excited to dive back in. Since we just celebrated New Year’s, I decided to start by to discussing our areas of focus for 2013. Many of us have spent time over the holidays evaluating our lives and our work, and…
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Do You Have Impostor Syndrome?

This week I’m celebrating the sale of a client’s project to a dream publisher—a project I first saw (and loved) two years ago. I knew the moment I read the manuscript that it was something special. I resonated with the author’s story and her writing, and I felt very strongly that many others would too. Eventually.…
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Tape over mouth

What NOT To Blog About

Yesterday on the blog, we discussed online presence, and what our social media activity tells the world about us. Today I want to get a little more specific and highlight a few online no-nos. It can be easy to fall into a “letting it all hang out” mindset with blogging and social media, but from…
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4 Tips for Writing a Quick First Draft

National Novel Writing Month starts in three weeks! For those who don’t know what this is, you can go to the NaNoWriMo site here and learn all about it. The point is to write a 50,000 word novel between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30. I think it’s great for discipline and for getting that first…
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Who You Know Can Make a Difference

We in the publishing world spend a lot of time talking about things like: • The best thing you can do for your platform is write a great book. • Publishing isn’t about who you know, but what you write. For the most part, these are true statements. Nevertheless, networking with other authors can be tremendously valuable:…
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Pitching Your Potential

Writers pursuing publication usually come up against the question, “What have you published in the past?” If they haven’t previously published, they worry nobody will take them seriously; if they have published, they wonder if their books were successful enough to  impress anyone. The fact is, the majority of writers don’t have a track record…
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Farewell to Arms

6 Things To Learn from Hemingway

Over the last year or so, I’ve been re-reading some Ernest Hemingway. The more I read, and the more I learn about his approach to writing and his work habits, the more I’m in awe of his genius. I’ve come to see him as a remarkable example that serious writers would do well to study…
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Should Unpublished Novelists Be Platform-Building?

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about My Love/Hate Relationship with Social Media, and the vocal response in the comments confirmed that many of you feel the same way. Some of us love it, some of us hate it, most of us are just trying to keep up. We all recognize the potential hazards of…
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Staying Steady on the Publishing Rollercoaster

I often have conversations with my clients about the ups and downs of the writer’s journey. It can be a rollercoaster, even for those with the strongest character. It’s important not to underestimate the power of the psychological and emotional aspects. People will tell you not to take things personally, but you know it IS…
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Jane Friedman

How to Influence Editors in a Way That 90% of Other Writers Don’t

Guest Blogger: Jane Friedman @JaneFriedman Editors and agents (EAs) feel guilt all the time. Why? Because it’s never fun or a completely neutral act to reject someone. Sure, we know it’s a business—and we tell writers that over and over again to relieve our guilt—but we’re still human, and we know that rejection stings. This has…
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7 Bad Habits of Successful Authors

Can you do all the things everyone tells writers *not* to do—and still become a successful author? I spend a lot of time sharing tips on how you “should” be. Hundreds of other bloggers are doing the same… not to mention all the books for writers and all the teaching going on at conferences. But the…
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writing for money

Keep Money in Its Place

Today I’m going to tell you the quickest way to drive yourself crazy and lose the joy in your writing journey. You thought I was going to say “Reading agent blogs,” right? Good guess, but no, that’s not it. The quickest way to lose the joy is to expect that your first book contract is…
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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.

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