Posted on Sep 1st, 2015
How many times have you heard the new-writer’s advice: Develop a thick skin.
You’d think this would be even more of a requirement for an agent. It’s good advice for anyone who’s visible on the Internet, frequently giving their opinion on things. So all in all, you probably think I’d be a person with a thick skin.
However, I have a confession: I don’t have a thick skin.
Not at all. I have a fragile heart, I take things personally, and I don’t just bounce back right away when I receive criticism.
Paradoxically, I truly appreciate helpful critiques of my work,or advice on how to improve any area of my life. I crave it. I value the input of others. Yet at the same time, if it’s not always positive, I have a hard time getting over the hurt...
Posted on Feb 2nd, 2014
I spend a lot of time working with my clients to edit and revise their proposals and manuscripts. I give notes and suggestions for improvements. Sometimes I take them through draft after draft, until everything seems just right.
I know it’s tiring for them, and sometimes frustrating to be pushed to go over it again and again, especially when they know they’ll go through more edits with their publisher. I admire every writer who does whatever is necessary, who keeps pushing through, who remains dedicated to making the work the best it can be.
This is what it takes to be good. When an editor pushes you to be your best, or when you push yourself, you’re doing exactly what’s necessary to rise above the hordes of regular writers to become a good writer....
Posted on Jan 19th, 2014
I just finished reading a self-published book on a topic I’m passionate about, by an author whose blog I occasionally read. As I’ve mentioned before, I regularly read self-pubbed books, and the fact that I work in traditional publishing doesn’t mean I’m biased against them.
It does, however, mean I’m aware of the ways a book could have been better, had the author availed themselves of the best assistance available, whether in design, writing, editing, cover, or even title.
I was excited to read this book—a memoir—and it started out promising. But it quickly devolved into a self-focused, rambling hodgepodge of preaching interspersed with bragging. I did finish the book (luckily it was rather short) but I ended up with strongly negative...
Posted on Jan 16th, 2014
In our house, we’re getting ready for competition season in gymnastics to begin this weekend. My daughter is a USAG level 7 gymnast with some pretty ambitious goals and it takes a lot of the family’s time and focus.
But recently my daughter was convinced she needed to quit gymnastics (after seven years and thousands of hours in the gym). Her coach and I were asking her why and she told us:
She didn’t feel like she was doing well and didn’t feel successful.
She’d had some setbacks (injuries) and was finding it hard to recover.
It felt like it was taking forever to improve.
Her coach just looked at her and flat-out said, “You’re too good to quit. I need you on my team.”
After that, the coach began...
Posted on Jan 12th, 2014
It seems in the last few years, dialogue about all-things-publishing has been focused on platform, marketing, increasing output, distribution platforms, technology, and self-publishing. (This blog is no exception.) But as I noted in this post at Author Media , I think it’s important to call our attention back to the work.
It may be easier to get published these days because of self-pub and the proliferation of indie publishing options. But it’s not any easier to write a good book.
In fact, it may be even harder to write a good book than it was in days past, because both you and your reader have more distractions. You’re tempted by the Internet, your ability to concentrate for long periods of time has been compromised, and deep focus is more...