Six impossible things

Posts Tagged the biz


We now reach the third leg of the professional-writing stool: Business. At first glance, this doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the writing part of writing-as-a-profession. Business is all about the profession part, right? And logically, that means that writers who don’t care about “having […]

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Here we go again!

The elbow is not completely healed, but it is much better. I’m still not allowed to lift anything heavier than a coffee cup, but typing isn’t about lifting, so that’s all right. However, I’m planning to ease back into things – I’m going to be posting once […]

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Deadlines. Some writers love them, some hate them, and some don’t seem able to finish anything unless they have one. And how many times have you heard someone say (not necessarily about writing) “I do my best work when I have a deadline to meet”? Around a […]

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Expectations, Time, and What Really Happens

I was flipping channels yesterday and came across somebody – I think she was a life coach – giving advice to a thirty-something guy who said his dream was to become a writer. He had apparently given up (at least temporarily) when he didn’t make it into […]

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Short-short queries

It’s been over a year since my last post on query letters, and frankly, after writing four different posts on the topic, I didn’t think I had anything else to say. After all, the basics of query letter writing don’t change much, mainly because its purpose hasn’t […]

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Not Talking About It

A while back, I got a deceptively simple question with an apparently obvious answer, all of which turn out to be neither so simple nor so obvious as they at first seemed. The question was, in essence, “What parts of your writing career can you talk about […]

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Six things I wish I’d known

Last Friday, Minnesota Public Radio reran a series of round-table shows in which they asked groups of people from various professions – teacher, musician, entrepreneur, doctor – what six things they wish they had known when they were starting out in their profession. Most of the answers […]

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The Fun Part

Writing isn’t any fun. At least, that is the impression I often get from listening to earnest young would-be and beginning writers discussing their work. There are all these decisions you have to make and things to pay attention to, from word choice to plot twists. It […]

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Saying no

These days, a career in writing has innumerable options. Even if you limit yourself to fiction, there’s screenwriting, playwriting, comics and graphic novels, short fiction, novels, and that’s all before you even get to the Internet and ebook side of things. And it’s not just a matter of deciding for yourself […]

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The Submission Outline or Synopsis

There are several reasons why, for the last two posts, I have been using terms like “planning” and “pre-writing” and “notes” more often than “outline.” The main one is that the outline that the writer sends to an editor as part of a proposal is a very […]

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Questions regarding foreign rights, film/tv subrights, and other business matters should be directed to Pat’s agent Ginger Clark, Curtis-Brown, Ltd., 10 Astor Place, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10003,