It's important to not ever forget how hard this writing-and-publishing thing is. My struggles right now on this cool December morning may feel frustrating: I'm writing the big climactic sequence in Act III of my novel and it's dark in here and I can't see my own hand before my face and sometimes I feel … Continue reading The Big What If?
I'm going to tell you a little story. Once upon a time, I had a job. It came with a window: But I lost the window. And—far worse—the door. And I was being a big baby about it. Because I knew I should just be grateful to still have a job. Everyone says that. So … Continue reading And Then the Phone Rang
Today, you will find me sitting here feeling grateful I stuck it out. Sitting here in that contemplative mood we writers get in when good things happen and/or when bad things happen and you can't make sense between the two. Because you know it could have gone another way—easily. In about a week the first … Continue reading When I Thought I’d Give Up
Guess where I am. I'm down here where anything seems possible. Where the words flow—you hope—and the pages multiply—please—and you're so deep into writing this novel you couldn't stop if someone dragged you away by the hair, which would hurt, sure, but you'd lose a few hairs over it, it's your novel. It's fun down … Continue reading Welcome to Firstdraftland
I have news. From the title of this post you can surely guess what it is. But first let's set the scene with some backstory. I don't know about you, but this writer started off with a little misdirection. MFA program straight out of college before being ready, five years spent writing a novel that … Continue reading This Is the Day You Get a Literary Agent
It's a weekday morning. You wake up. You head to your desk job. Your subway train is stalled in the tunnel for five extra minutes, which causes you to run to the office to make it on time and you narrowly avoid skidding on the slippery sidewalk and you step on your own scarf in … Continue reading This is the Day You See Your Cover
Here I am, reading over my book, working on finishing it and turning it in even though, in my secret heart of hearts, I could be easily convinced to keep going with it, a draft as long as my arm if you'd let me. Once this is done, I'll be working on a new novel. … Continue reading Hey, You. Wanna Write a Book?
For some time I've wanted to respond to Bloglily's call to her readers to share their writing spots. I keep meaning to bring my camera, keep forgetting, so for now let's do without pictures. You know, maybe it's better this way, because I don't think it's the physical spot that matters so much as the … Continue reading My Writing Spot(s)
Yesterday, I happened upon a paragraph from my graduate thesis, which had been a 500-page novel about my family. The paragraph was in a document from November of 2002. The last time I thought consciously about this project may well have been in November of 2002. I had forgotten that this paragraph existed. How could … Continue reading The One Paragraph I’d Save from a Burning Building
"Maryland Hyundai Car Dealer" has added a comment to this blog to ask me: What do you think of the new Hyundai Sonata? To be honest, Maryland Hyundai Car Dealer, I had thought nothing of it. I don't even know what it looks like. In addition, I live in New York City, have no use … Continue reading Spam, in the form of an auto commercial