Kathryn Craft is the author of The Art of Falling (Sourcebooks, 2014) and The Far End of Happy, due May 2015. Her work as a developmental editor at Writing-Partner.com follows a nineteen-year career as a dance critic.
If I don't publish X by age 27, I'm finished. As I passed 27, then 37 and finally 40, I began to take a longer view about publishing careers and realized how silly it was to think that authorship possessed some sort of expiration date.
All agents and editors look for different things in a manuscript. For authors hoping to sell their novel to a major publisher, this variety of tastes and opinions works in their favor: one man's trash is another woman's treasure. But one item comes up over and over again: Voice.
Social media is supposedly the answer to the eternal question of what will make your book a hit, and there are hundreds of people willing to sell you a book (or their consulting services) that they guarantee will reveal the secret to success. It's all 21st-century snake oil.
Content can drive your business. The more content you create (which can be writing, videos, audio, drawings) the easier it will be for readers and potential customers to see value in your expertise and what you sell. When they know you, they'll be more likely to pay for what you do.
If you want to be an actual writer that puts words down on the page, you may need to change how you look writing and make choices to do it. It isn't the forces of the world that conspire against your time for writing -- it's your own way of approaching the world.
At Grammarly, we tend to focus on the nuts and bolts of writing; after all, our business is correcting other people's grammar. But for every so-called rule there exists an exception. This summer, we recommend doing something radical: break all the rules.
What would you say is more personal: a handwritten letter or an email? If I asked a sample group of people over the age of 55, I imagine 98 percent would say a hand-written letter is more personal, and far classier!
Not everyone has to like your work. The arts are full of pretentious cliques, bad art, good art, wonderfully supportive people, people that can't stand you, people that love you, but the key is to embrace it all. Enjoy the contrasts.
Just because you are on the journey yourself, doesn't mean that you are the only one taking a solo journey. We can learn and support each other; each journey will have some common roadblocks, challenges and choices. The path may be different, but the experience is much the same.