Criticism and Rejection
So one of the things that happens when you send the manuscript out is rejection. And my big fear for you is that that can freeze you and stop you from working and just make you feel that the work is that there's no point pursuing the work. So I'd rather see you in that happy state of creating the work and making the work better for a long as possible. Um, but you need to also share your work, and there are ways to do it. And of course I'm talking about your critics. Your you know, your tribe of fellow writers, but you can also share your work, give readings, um, create events where other people give their read their work to, um if you're If you're a ham like me and you're comfortable standing up in front of a crowd, go tell a story at the Moth, which is a fantastic storytelling group all over the country Now. I started telling stories with the Mothman was Onley in New York over 20 years ago. It's all over the country now. Goto a moth story slam and do something really brave. Put your n...
ame in the hat stand up and tell the story. You'll learn a huge amount from doing that. Send your stories off to places like The Sun, a wonderful magazine that's not about famous, well known published names. It's about people telling honest stories really well. And one other thing that this has really changed. There used to be a kind of, uh, it wasn't thought well of. If a person published their own book, it was called Vanity Publishing. That's not the case anymore. Many writers that I've worked with have published wonderful stories themselves. They've just decided I'm not going to be held hostage by the concerns of the marketplace. There are lots of great books that just aren't the kind of book that publisher would, you know, feel they could sell 20, copies off their lots of reasons. Why, Ah, good book might not sell. So publish it yourself. And if you've got the energy and the stamina for it, go out, give talks on it to groups and introduce yourself to independent booksellers and bring your copies along and go to clubs and have that book on the shelf. Just make sure before you publish it so often, writers that I've worked with send me their self published books, and I think, Oh, that could have been really great. They should have worked harder. First, you might have that I t s I t apostrophe s problem or something like that. Just work really hard before you do it. And sometimes. And I think, John, this is true for you. You self published your book about losing your daughter first, and then it was sold to a main mainstream publisher. Yeah, And you know what? After all that happens, you get the agent, you get the publishing deal, the book comes out. Guess what? I'll just tell you. I drive a 1995 Honda Civic. I've been driving that car for 20 years. Um, and it's okay because I didn't get in this business to make a whole lot of money. Every now and then, I have a book has been sold to the movies, and I had a really good year, but I don't do it for the money. I actually that's the good news. Not the bad news. Because if the money was the Onley thing that was going to make it worthwhile for you then for most of you, it wouldn't be very worthwhile. But in fact, there is something much more valuable that you can get from telling your story and actually much more accessible.
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Full-length class: Writing Your Story with Joyce Maynard
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Everyone’s got a story to tell. Some are funny. Some are inspiring. Others are tragic. But no matter how compelling your story might seem, it won’t resonate with readers unless you’re able to effectively translate your concept onto the page.
Celebrated journalist, novelist, and memoirist Joyce Maynard will give you the tools you need to transform your brilliant idea into an absorbing memoir that readers won’t be able to put down.
Maynard will begin by walking you through the process of identifying your story and how best to tell it. She’ll then help you develop your story through language, story structure, dramatic tension, dialogue, description, and editing. Finally, she’ll address the challenges of the writing life, such as how to create a productive practice, design a comfortable writing space, deal with rejection, and find an audience.
In this class, you’ll learn how to:
- Understand the difference between telling what happened and exploring your journey.
- Figure out what to include in your story and what to cut out.
- Decide on a point of view, a point of entry, and a structure.
- Get over your fears of revealing embarrassing truths about yourself.
- Stop worrying about being judged.
- Deal with loneliness and find your tribe.
- Develop the arc of a sentence, a paragraph, and a story.
- Listen to the sound and rhythm of your sentences.