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News Flash: Seeking Debs for the Class of 2018!

Calling All Debut Authors! Want to be part of a lovely, tight-knit group of writers? Want to go through your debut year as a member of The Debutante Ball? We are currently accepting applications for the 2018 class! Information on who is eligible and how to apply can be found right here! Congratulations to Marilyn…
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Following Natalie Down The Rabbit Hole to Agentland

I followed my agent’s blog, Adventures in Agentland, long before I knew she’d be the one! Natalie Lakosil’s awesome site, named one of the best sites for writers by Writer’s Digest, is chuck full of helpful tips on querying, manuscript revisions, character development, and marketing. One of the main sites I revisited to understand how agents…
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“It’s better that it’s better than sooner” and other words of wisdom

There are no shortage of inspiring quotes and lists of advice from great writers. The internet is full of them. Go ahead. Google “writing advice.” See? There’s no end to it. But the two best pieces of writing advice I’ve ever had came from unexpected places: an agent who is not longer an agent and a…
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Words of Advice…

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to hear Jodi Picoult read from her latest novel LEAVING TIME, and to meet her for the briefest of moments while she signed my book. She was funny, and gracious, and quite down to earth despite her 23 books – the last 8 of which have…
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I Broke These Writing Rules & Loved It

In no particular order: 1. Write every day. (Not every day is a writing day. Some days are recharge and reflect days. Others are step-away-from-the-ms-before-you-revise days. Others are go live your life days.) 2. Butt in chair. (Or couch. Or bed. Or blanket on the grass on a breezy spring day.) 3. Write what you…
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Veteran Advice from 5 Writers Who’ve Been There

On this Veteran’s Day, let us say thank you to all the service men and women who have served our country and continue to do so. Their families, too—your sacrifices humble us. In honor of the holiday, let’s learn a few things from veterans who’ve gone ahead of us in publishing. Sure, that’s not quite as…
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The Wacky Career Advice Deb Sarah Almost Believed

It’s funny how things work. Just as my writing career took off in a major way (as in, assignments were coming in almost daily, and I was taking on some exciting stuff with a book on the back burner), I got pregnant with my first child. I remember wondering how I’d juggle new motherhood with writing–especially since I wanted to be a hands-on mom and not send the kiddo to daycare or hire a nanny (though, the thought did cross my mind when he came into the world screaming with wild case of colic that lasted about 9 months–but that’s another story).

So, shortly after my first baby, Carson (now almost 4), was born, I was struggling–as most new moms are–to juggle writing assignments with motherhood. I’ll never forget a lunch date I had with an editor about a month after his birth. We were meeting at a chic cafe downtown–my first outing without the baby–and I squeezed my post-delivery body into a pair of pants that barely buttoned and hoped the empire waist top didn’t show the layers of baby flab that had hung on after the birth.

As I sat at the table with this editor, also a mother, I was hopeful for some advice on how to make it work. After all, she’d been there, done that, and could give me some encouragement, right? Sadly, the conversation was anything but encouraging, and not in the I-just-had-a-baby-and-I’m-weepy sort of way. No, this editor told me, point blank, that I’d have to choose between being a good mother and being a good writer. In other words, I’d either have to farm out my kid and sit at my desk all day, or ditch the writing and play goo-goo, ga-ga.

I left the lunch with such a heavy heart. Could she really be right? I thought about her words for weeks, and even though my baby (and his awful case of colic) didn’t get any easier, I kept plugging away–both at being the best mom I could and being a writer with a successful career. At times I felt like I was drowning, and I probably was, but I decided the best thing I may have done in those months was to ignore the advice from this editor and prove her wrong.

While my income did take a hit in those early months with Carson, I sprung back and ended up making the next nine months the most financially–and professionally–successful months as a writer, without a nanny (I will add, though, that I have a very helpful mother, who came over twice a week to help).

Here’s the thing: If someone tells you that you CAN’T do something or you SHOULDN’T do something, and it goes against the grain of your own life wisdom, passion and gut feelings, don’t believe ’em. I’m so glad I kept at it in the face of adversity (sleep deprivation, colic, you name it), and as a result, my career is thriving more than ever.

I’m gearing up to have baby #3, my third boy, in early February, and while I know it will be a challenge to juggle this jam-packed career–which now includes fiction writing!–with two toddlers and an infant (eeks!), call me crazy, but I’m sort of excited for the challenge. (And, in case you’re curious, here are some little tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years about juggling writing with motherhood.)

I’d love to know–has someone every told you that you couldn’t or shouldn’t do something? Did you prove them wrong? And, fellow moms, chime in about how you held down a career with kids!