Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘writing as career’

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1. Write novel. 2. ??? 3. PROFIT!

For many aspiring writers, that’s the big question: How do you get from #1 to #3? No one can guarantee that you’ll actually profit, of course, but certain steps make it much much much more likely that your work will get out there and find an audience. Though I’m certainly no expert, I’ve been asked many times by students and friends-of-friends how to revise the manuscript, how to find an agent, how to find a publisher. Now Mediabistro—an expert if ever there was one—offers a new series of how-to videos, answering just those questions. Their series “I Just Wrote A […]


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Fighting (Writerly) Fatigue

Maybe it’s summer—too sunny out to work inside!—or maybe it’s just the 80º+ weather in Boston, but I’ve been feeling a little… tired. Just in time, Paperback Writer has a post on how to combat fatigue—physical, mental, and, most importantly for writers, creative: Creating on demand, always being on, always being told we’re not good enough, we’re not successful enough, and we’re not doing enough. I’ve been working this gig for twelve years now and I can tell you this much: the pressure never ends. I understand the siren song of all the hype that’s attached to things like social […]


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Payment vs. Good Karma

At the Coachella Review, Steve Almond makes a case—through his email exchange with an agent—against contributing to an anthology for free: Mark – I may be willing to do this, but I’d really like to know: who IS getting paid, if not the contributors? I contribute to a lot of anthologies, and almost without exception, they offer to pay contributors based on the advance, or a small percentage of the royalties. The idea is a great one, and the contributors are top-notch, so this book could make real money. Why wouldn’t the people who provided the material for the book […]


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Writing for the Long Haul

In the L.A. Times, author Dani Shapiro reflects on the challenges of a writing career–the lost days of “writing in the cold” for years while building a reputation, the recent “blockbuster or bust” mentality, and how emerging writers can persevere in spite of all of this: I recently had the honor of acting as guest editor for the anthology “Best New American Voices 2010,” the latest volume in a long-running annual series that contains some of the finest writing culled from students in graduate programs and conferences. Joshua Ferris, Nam Le, Julie Orringer and Maile Meloy are just a few […]