A Writer’s Life

afraid

What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?

Lately I’ve been hearing this question over and over again: What would you do if you weren’t afraid? It’s a good question, meant to inspire us to dream beyond our boundaries, to “think big,” to pursue our goals. But I think we tend to hear it and then brush it off, not really spending time with…
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Taxes and Writers

Taxes and Writers

It’s April 15th, woohoo! One of my favorite days of the year. NOT. Awhile back I blogged about making a living as a writer (Part 1 and Part 2), so today we’re going to talk about the unfortunate side effect of getting paid for your writing. Yup, it’s…. Taxes. Disclaimer: I’m not going to thoroughly…
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Make a Living as a Writer – Part 1

I’m going to make this very simple: The secret to making a living wage as a writer lies in two words: volume and variety. Today let’s talk about the first one. Volume The biggest mistake writers make with respect to their “publishing dreams” is hoping for one big break that’s going to change their lives,…
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Blog

Blogs I Follow

I’m an avid reader of blogs. I have dozens in my Google Reader and I take the opportunity to read, especially on my phone or iPad, whenever I have a few moments to spare. I’ve been asked numerous times to share the blogs I read, so here is a sampling. My list might be a…
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Future

What Does the Future Hold?

I was talking with a friend who works in the financial industry, and a question came up about what we would each be doing 30 years from now. My friend was anticipating a prosperous retirement at that point, having built up a significant and valuable business. While the financial life of our nation has its…
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thinking negative

Try “Thinking Negative” for a Change

I’m an optimist by nature — I usually expect things will all work out. But I find that I’m more successful and experience less disappointment when I practice “thinking negative.” What do I mean by that? When I “think negative,” I factor into my habitual “positive thinking” a realistic assessment of the difficulties, challenges or obstacles…
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7 Ways to Look Good on Your Webcam

Have you been on Skype lately? Had a meeting via Google+ hangout? Done any video-blogging? These days more of us are communicating via video rather than just voice or the written word — and I highly recommend it. People seem to like it because  communication is more effective and memorable when you can see the…
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lonely tree

The Lonely Life of the Writer

People often ask me what I do for a living. If I say “I’m a literary agent,” I’m likely to receive a blank stare. I quickly tell them I work with authors to help them get their books published; sometimes I’ll say, “You know how actors and athletes have agents? Well, authors have agents too.”…
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Reading

Who Should Read Your Unpublished Work?

One of the most common pieces of advice writers are given is: Get outside feedback. Published or not, writers typically show their work to beta readers, critique partners, friends, family members or anyone who will read it, to get feedback before submitting to an editor, agent or publisher. I’m one of those who frequently gives…
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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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Blocks

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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masquerade

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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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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