Archive for the 'REAL WORLD' Category

Why You Don’t Need to Rush Your Writing

The truth can be told at last: I am the world’s worst dilettante.

In my life I have learned to rock-climb, ski, speak French (all badly). I was deputy press secretary for New York State in Dukakis’ bid for the presidency in 1988, a job I got through volunteering in hopes of meeting a nice single guy.  I worked at The New York Times back when the presses were still in the basement of the building on 43rd Street, was fired [...]

Wanted: Grim Reaper As Writing Coach

The Grim Reaper by Trish Steel [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Last month, through pure serendipity, I stumbled across an intellectual exercise which I’d like to recommend to all my fellow writers.  I believe it will be of particular benefit to those of you who  a) are overwhelmed with life and yearn for a reset button b) wish to clear away the cobwebs of smugness and complacency, or c) like me, write genre fiction that others might call “quiet” or, in [...]

On Rejection and Renewal: A Note to Aspiring Novelists

Photo by Scott White

Our guest today is Warren Adler, best known for The War of the Roses, his masterpiece fictionalization of a macabre divorce turned into the Golden Globe and BAFTA nominated dark comedy hit starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny DeVito. Adler’s international hit stage adaptation of the novel will premiere on Broadway in 2015-2016 (to be produced by Jay and Cindy Gutterman). Adler has also optioned and sold film rights for a number of his works [...]

Everything You Need to Know About the @Reply

photo by Steve Snodgrass

Okay, tweeps and future tweeps! So far in my column we’ve covered getting started on Twitter, the retweet, the #hashtag, and basic Twitter etiquette. Today I’m going to go over the ins and outs of another Twitter staple: the @reply, also known as a mention. (Still not sure if this whole Twitter thing is even for you? This post might help you decide.)

Terminology

First and foremost, what’s that at symbol for? The at symbol (@: read as [...]

The Surprising Importance of Doing Nothing

Photo by Alice Popkorn (Flickr)

Pop quiz! Studies have shown that creative people are known to:

A) Daydream. A lot.
B) They lose track of time.
C) Have wandering minds.
D) Stare at the wall. A lot.
E) All of the above

If you picked E, you are correct! Successful creatives spend much of their time so deeply immersed in their own internal worlds that, in the eyes of the world, it often appears that they’re doing nothing.

But of course, we know how very untrue that [...]

On Stage: Talking about Writing

Some time ago, at a literary festival, I was in the authors’ green room talking to a new writer whose first public appearance as an author was that very day. She was clearly very nervous, though trying hard to look as blasé as the rest of us more experienced speakers must have looked to her. (This of course was far from the truth—most of us still get stage fright to one extent or the other). Finally, she burst out with, [...]

Announcing 2 Un-Conference Scholarships

If you’re interested in attending the Writer Unboxed Un-Conference but were held back by the cost of the event, this opportunity is for you. Because support for the event has been strong, we’re now able to offer two scholarships–one for a man, the other for a woman–to fully cover tuition for the Un-Conference. (Other expenses, including travel to Salem, MA, and cost of the hotel, will still be your responsibility.)

What’s so special about the Un-Conference?

Part symposium. Part networking affair. Part [...]

Collaboration

Photo by lindseyy

In April of this year, I got a call from my agent that went something like this:

She:“I’ve been hearing from several editors that they’re looking for a book like X. They were wondering if I had anything to submit that would fit the bill. I don’t, but I do have an author who could write a book like that.”

Me:“You do?”

She:“Yeah. You. Can you get it done in twelve weeks?”

Which is about when a [...]

Writer Unboxed Limited Edition T-Shirts — with profits going to a great cause

When we learned that a group of writers were trying to raise ~$15,000 to cover expenses (for flights, childcare, hotel, and more) so that they might attend the WU Un-Conference, we were more than happy to help spread the word of their initiatives. Their first big fundraiser, the sale of a writing-resource bundle worth $200, ends today. (There is still time to check that out, HERE.)

Though the fundraiser has done well for them, they’ve raised only half of the [...]

The Dozen New Digital Rules Authors Need to Know

“Choosing anonymity is choosing irrelevance.” Eric Schmidt, Google’s Executive Chairman, author of The New Digital Age.

Today’s guest is Carole Jelen, an author, former publishing editor, and literary agent for Waterside Productions. She is a former editor for major publishers including Addison-Wesley, Prentice-Hall and Sybex, an imprint of Wileyholds, and she has two degrees in English from UC Berkeley and UC Los Angeles. She also holds a California teaching credential, and trains and consults in publishing and audience building. Carole is [...]

How to Make Social Media Worth Your Time: When Is Enough Enough?

via Flickr / by Thomas Hawk

A writer recently asked me to comment on whether there is anything to be gained from being active on more than two or three social media accounts. How extensive should you really get—and is it possible that “less is more”?

I interpret this question to mean: When is enough enough? And how do I make any effort worth my time?

Answering this question requires stepping back—waaaay back—and looking at how and why authors use social media in the [...]

How To Fire – and How Not to Fire – Your Publicist

picture by Nic McPhee

Publicist.

It’s like a dirty word. In fact, I’m calling it today’s Dirty Word of the Day. Once, I needed help with an author contract and reached out to a woman about hiring her as a consultant. I got an email from her that said, “I don’t like publicists but sure I’ll talk to you.” Uh, no thank you. I wouldn’t want you to slum it with little old dirty me. And I wouldn’t want to [...]