Writing is the Hardest Thing You Could Ever Choose To Do

In the spirit of election week (have you voted yet?) this week’s Deb topic is about big decisions we’ve made as writers. I watched Ann Patchett speak a few years ago and something that she said really stuck with me. I don’t recall her exact words but essentially she said that a profession as a…
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The Politics of Rejection

I’m writing this post while watching live coverage of the New Hampshire primary returns, and as this bizarre passion play unfolds on my television screen I’m struck by how relevant it is to this week’s topic of rejection. We writers moan about how we’re cursed with near-constant rejection, and it’s true: even the most successful…
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Resources for Rejection

Here is the simple truth: unless you write only for yourself, and have no interest in seeking publication in any form, you will experience rejection. In the life of a writer there are infinite opportunities for someone to not choose your work. You can be rejected by institutions that offer grants, fellowships, conferences, and MFA…
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Just Keep Swimming…

The time I almost quit writing was while multiple editors were falling in love with my latest draft. I just didn’t know it. I’d sent the revision to my agent before boarding a plane. The subject read: I LIKED MY LIFE, take 1,683. An exaggeration? Yes. It was the writer’s version of a “feels like” forecast. En route to…
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The Dream-Come-True Part

The sales cycle for I LIKED MY LIFE went like this: edit, send to a handful of publishers, collect rejections, err, I mean feedback, repeat. We were on round three of this daunting process when I sent my agent—the amazing Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein—my latest revision. I no longer obsessed about when I’d hear back, exactly…
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