Day 79 – Networking is Necessary

Networking.  That word makes me gag a little. Something about it screams Hello! I wear pants suits and strongly identify with the word alpha. It’s not my bag, but networking is necessary when you get serious about this writing business and believe it or not it doesn’t require a suit of any kind or a bluetooth. It just takes a little practice. When you’re new, networking is a lot more take than give. Everyone seems to know more than you do.  When I started networking in writing circles, my confidence was at an all time low and I was embarrassingly needy. There was sweating, blushing, and general ass hat making. It probably felt worse than it looked, but it was awful the first couple of times. To make it through the growing pains, remember that...

Why People are Discouraging Sh*ts.

Here’s the scenario. You’ve got this great premise and you’re bubbling over with story, possibilities, characters, the whole nine yards.  You can SEE your book at books store or on Amazon.  You talk to a writerly friend, maybe someone a bit further along than you, more experienced, and tell them all about your fabulous idea. They listen to every word. They nod along, they’ve been there, they understand. Then they put their arm around you and very kindly tell you all about the realities of the business.  How you shouldn’t get your hopes up.  How they knew of a guy who did all this work and ended up never getting published.  How many come and how few publish.   How they’ve been trying for years.  Blah blah blah. Poor deluded...

Take Yourself Out of the Equation

What do publishers do? Publish. What do film distributors do? Distribute.  What do writers do? Create Content. The model looks like this: Demand (audience/readers), Supply (publishers/distributors), Product (writers). Without writers there is no product to supply the demand. So before you curl up and think, Oh no! I can’t do this, my work isn’t PERFECT. Why would anyone want it anyway? I’m not Chris Nolan, Amy Tan or [insert idol here], take a deep breath and realize a fundamental truth: this business of writing/filmmaking is  Art seen through the lens of Business.  YOU are necessary part of the process so take yourself (and fears please) out of the equation and produce content that can be supplied to the demand. Someone asked me what I did via...

Literary Journal Dos & Don’ts

I’ve been working for literature journals in various capacities since 2010, when I began as an intern at the University of Houston’s Gulf Coast. Though I was only an undergraduate at the time, I still had the opportunity to read for the journal, often spending half of my six-hour weekly commitment working my way through the slush pile. That was my first editing experience, and it was an eye-opener: For one thing, I learned that people like me—inexperienced, uncertain—can be the first ones to lay eyes on a submission. But even more surprising was the range of work I came across, both in style and quality. I read through thirty-page sci-fi manuscripts and heartfelt essays about war, bad love stories and stories about bad love. I ranked everything on a scale from...

Day 57 – Timer

I time my writing sessions. Since the beginning of this project, I’ve been using the timer on my phone. Huge mistake. Huge. My phone vibrates, it pings, it’s just too damn easy to pick up and shoot that email to so and so about that thing I forgot. Which I probably forgot because it wasn’t that important anyway. Ugh! So today I declared enough and bought myself a cute little timer from Anthropologie. No only is it cute, it ticks. A quick little clip clop like a trotting pony. I used it today for the first time and my ability to focus improved exponentially. Why did I wait over 56 days to do myself this favor? Like writing isn’t hard enough as it is. Le sigh. Very occasionally, if you pay really close attention, life doesn’t suck....