6 Signs You’re Writing A First Draft

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

You wake before your alarm, stretch, and just start typing. The words flow like melted caramel! Writing is easy and fun for you! You can’t believe the extent of your own genius. The euphoria lasts until the next morning when you re-read the trash-fire drivel you produced. You would delete it all–and you totally should–but then you’d be going backward in your word count. You drag yourself out of bed…

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Completing My First Draft Required Some Unspooling

Monday, October 7, 2019

I never would have gotten through the first draft of my novel without the low residency MFA (Master of Fine Arts) program at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). For years I wrote, rewrote, and then wrote again a seven-page scene in which a man and woman meet up in a bookstore years after their relationship has ended. She’s interested in rekindling the romance and finds out when he’s likely to…

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Interview with Rion Amilcar Scott, Author of The World Doesn’t Require You

Saturday, October 5, 2019

I am so excited to welcome Rion Amilcar Scott to The Debutante Ball. Rion and I are both Kimbilio fellows. Kimbilio is a national residency for fiction writers from the African diaspora. Rion Amilcar Scott is the author of the story collection, The World Doesn’t Require You (Norton/Liveright, August 2019). His debut story collection, Insurrections (University Press of Kentucky, 2016), was awarded the 2017 PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and…

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When I Want to Crawl Up in a Ball from Rejection

Friday, October 4, 2019

I can’t say I’m good with rejection. Outwardly, I think I project an uh, okaaaaay attitude when I get rejected, but inwardly, a part of me wants to crawl up in a ball and die. Or at least CRY. But no, I keep calm and carry on….Or do I? Sometimes I think it would be better to cry and rail and rant against the gods of rejection because then I’d get it out…

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Rejection and failure

Thursday, October 3, 2019

When I was in the tense time of life in which I was sending out queries of my novel, I prayed a tiny prayer before I hit submit on each one. I prayed that this query would land on the right agent for my book, and that if it landed on the wrong agent, I prayed that I would be able to accept that they weren’t the right agent when…

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Rejection is a teacher.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Rejection is a great teacher. When I was a journalist in upstate New York, I’d often have to ask tough questions of people that were not entirely excited to speak to me. The problem is, as a journalist, you can’t really go along with rejection. If someone says “no,” you have to continue to say “yes.” You have a responsibility to the story and to your readers, so you have…

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You Can’t Win the Game If You Don’t Play

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Real talk: I’ve spent most of my life as a fixed-mindset perfectionist who is afraid to take any risks.  Also real talk: I don’t think you can become a published author if you are a fixed-mindset perfectionist who is afraid to take any risks. I wrote last week about trophy-chasing. I’ve been both trapped in and fueled by this “must win” mentality. I have generally asked myself: “Why do it…

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