Think again. Consider, from Rivka Galchen's rundown in Harper's of twentieth century author family life and age demographics, among them: Alice Munro: Two husbands. Raised three children. First book of stories at age thirty-seven. Toni Morrison: Two children. First novel at age thirty-nine. Penelope Fitzgerald: Three children. First novel at age sixty. Then eight more. Rock … Continue reading Too Old to Write Your First Novel?
Every morning, agents and editors wake up, get down on their knees, and pray, "God, please let me find a good manuscript on my desk today." Their livelihoods depend on good story, so our job as writers is to know good story and create one.
I know a guy who's writing a book. His career goal is to be a speaker at this type of thing. He is already a subject matter expert with an advanced degree that starts with a P and ends with a D, and he has a solid, healthy career with a reliable customer base. The challenge, according to prevailing … Continue reading Self-Promotion, Platform and Online Presence: a crass, aggravating, infuriating necessary evil
The Paris Review can't get rights from the interviewer to print in its entirety the Jean Rhys interview, regrettably, so I'll just have to quote from dear Madeleine L'Engle Herself. "If the work comes to the artist and says, 'Here I am, serve me,' then the job of the artist, great or small, is to serve. The amount … Continue reading Feed the Lake: Write Your Teeny Weeny Little Trickle
"...resist the temptation to post those 'gotcha' comments online, pouncing on every its for it's. While you're busy fussing, you're failing to read for knowledge, inspiration, or pleasure."
As you emerge from your food coma I present the lovely and talented Annie Sullivan as my first guest blogger since Eliza Tudor shared her wisdom on navigating a writer's life after the MFA. [Thanks, Annie!]
Stop thinking about others as competition. It’s hard sometimes to ignore what others are doing, but nobody’s path is the same.
Join Facebook even if it scares the living hell out of you. Keep in touch with your lit gang. Make some new lit and non-lit friends. Let people into your writing life. It makes it less lonely.
I did it because I didn’t just want to be someone with an MFA, I wanted to be someone with a shelf of books and short stories and screenplays with my name on them. The fact is you will be much grumpier if you don’t write than if you do. You’ll feel better after you’ve written.
Sure, you’re going to submit work before you’re ready, but that is okay. Keep submitting work. New work. Re-revised work. Whatever. Work on it, make it the best you can, have more than one piece going out, and GO.
It does make me want to get a little smacky-smacky when I hear writers say, in whispered tones, “I don’t really read literary magazines.” Well, that’s a problem. The fact is there is a lit mag for everyone—slipstream, genre-based, anything and everything.