Showing posts from July, 2024


My sister worked, for a while, as an editor at an engineering firm. Once she went to her boss because there was too much to do and she wasn't sure where even to begin. He told her, "Do something." As in, pick something, anything, and do it.  It sounds really simple, as in TOO simple, but it's turned out to be helpful advice.  Clouds probably don't feel overwhelmed. For one thing, action always helps. Standing frozen with too many competing priorities whirring in your (my) head isn't useful. If nothing else, doing something breaks the power of those non-helpful thoughts. Mine generally include, "Whatever I do will be wrong" or "I'm really going to mess up" or "When will they find out I don't know what I'm doing?" And for another, getting my hands dirty in a project reminds me of that specific project's needs.  As in, "Oh yeah, I remember now--this scene was really difficult and I couldn't figure it out and

What Readers Want

One of the distinct pleasures of interviews after publishing a book is the chance to chat with someone who's read the book and asks questions about these imaginary friends you're missing.  That's a new roof! Every interview/conversation is different, because people have unique needs for their own media outlet, but some questions overlap. As a result, I'm getting better at describing what my book is about and how it started and why it's stayed with me.  And at last I'm finally developing a better understanding why publishers and others in the book community ask the question, "What would you like readers to take away from this book?" It feels presumptuous to prescribe what a reader might take away from my book. But that's also, in a way, why I work at the book in the first place.  I may begin a writing project because it's interesting to me or pushes me artistically. I may stay with it because I'm trying to figure something out, and I'm n