It was time to move on. I’d been with a small publisher for over a decade and loved my time there, but something had shifted, both in me and in the industry. The stories I felt compelled to tell no longer fit the audience of my small publisher.
On top of that, I’d been researching a subject near and dear to my heart for a novel that scared me in that awesome and almost paralyzing way that tells you it’s something you have to write.
Tackling that book meant getting a New York agent. I’ve been writing seriously for over two decades and publishing almost as long, but to New York publishers, I’m brand new.
If you’ve pitched at a conference, chances are you’ve read articles and blog posts about how to pitch. You’ve written out an elevator pitch. You’ve revised it until it shined. You practiced it in front of a mirror.
And you were scared out of your mind when your time came to face the agent across the table.
I’ve pitched at many conferences, but after the first couple of times, I started bending some of the supposed rules. While I’d had requests for pages before, I started getting enthusiastic requests for pages.
After I threw out the rule book on pitches, I got requests for full manuscripts. Continue reading
I’ve heard people say that claiming you have writer’s block is akin to a plumber saying he’s got plumber’s block. To me, that comparison is ridiculous.
A plumber has the exact same wrenches and other tools he uses every day on the job. He has a clear-cut list of skills he needs and issues he’ll face, and he’ll use the same tools to fix them. Chances are he’d better make use the same fitting he did on a similar job yesterday, or the connection will leak. Continue reading
Diving into a new year and plowing through another dark, cold winter, I know that I need a little inspiration. I’m guessing other writers could too. With that in mind, here are five of the best pieces of writing advice I’ve ever received.
Writers are a curious breed. We know that. Heck, we embrace that.
Yet we know that our weirdness can make holiday gift-buying tricky for our loved ones. What exactly do you give someone who claims to be productive while staring out the window? By taking a nap? By reading books for research on disturbing subject matters? Whose internet search history could be easily tagged by the FBI because RESEARCH!
For all of the writers out there, feel free to pass this list along to your loved ones as a not-so-subtle hint of things they could get you for Christmas (and birthdays and other holidays) that you’d appreciate.
Bonus: As a writer, chances are, you’re friends with other writers, so maybe you’ll find something great for the members of your critique group.
Double bonus: Maybe you’ll find something to put on your wishlist to buy with a royalty check! Continue reading
One of my children has dance in her blood. A few weeks after her third birthday, she attended her first dance class and was hooked. Watching her practice and perform, I’ve found myself learning lessons that apply directly to my writing.
My dancer with one of many team trophies.