The 5 Stages of Rejection

The 5 Stages of Rejection | Sarah Biren Writes

The 5 Stages of Rejection | Sarah Biren Writes

That’s a great motivational quote. Except it’s a lot easier to share it on social media than to internalize its meaning.

Rejection is a horrible experience, especially in the publishing business. To authors, their books are practically their children. For years, they brainstormed, wrote, revised, worried, cried, nearly chucked the drafts into the trash, and finally—finally!—felt confident to send it off to the world. Yet the world sends it back. It stings, especially for new writers entering the publishing game with big dreams and thin skin.

Frankly, after a rejection of my own, I’m not the mood to preach why rejection is a good thing and why writers should embrace it as a way of life. This post exists to validate the emotions of a publisher’s rejection. Like therapy, except free and more entertaining.

Continue reading “The 5 Stages of Rejection”

Pep Talk: Write Garbage

Pep Talk: Write Garbage | Sarah Biren Writes

It is a truth universally acknowledged that writing a book is hard. It takes time, patience, blood, sweat, tears, and coffee. When the going is rough, we doubt ourselves and want to chuck our computers out the window. When the going is good, we doubt ourselves and wonder if we should chuck our computers all the same.

A good book is a balance of pretty prose, developed plots, intriguing openings, satisfying resolutions, realistic characters, and more, all swept together in a mess of ideas that are easier to imagine than actually write. And that’s where many writers get stuck.

Continue reading “Pep Talk: Write Garbage”

Writer Talk #2: Shiny New Ideas

Hello, all. I’m back. Did you miss me during my hiatus? Did you notice I went on a hiatus? No? Well, that doesn’t matter. I’m here now.

A lot has changed since my last writer talk when I was struggling through a new draft of Lethal Shores. Mazel tov to me, since that draft is completed! I decided to take the advice of a good friend who said, “You’re too close to the story. You need to take a break and edit it with a fresh mind.”

Continue reading “Writer Talk #2: Shiny New Ideas”

Writer Talk #1: Editing Slump

“There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” — Ernest Hemingway

There are many posts, videos, and classes about the writing craft, but little about the emotional journey.

Therefore, besides for writing advice and rambles, I’d like to include casual discussions about my WIP on this blog for three main reasons:

  1. Additional motivation, (Writing about writing makes me want to write.)
  2. To share my mistakes so others can avoid them,
  3. To commiserate and celebrate with you.

Continue reading “Writer Talk #1: Editing Slump”

Why You Need a Book Bible For Your Novel

Why You Need a Book Bible For Your Novel

Bible or codex, call it what you want. You need somewhere to store all of the scribbles for your novel. I call mine an almanac.

It’s very easy to lose papers in a shuffle. You can have a great idea for a scene, quickly write it on a napkin, and then someone throws it away. Now, what was that great idea again? It’s gone forever.

Or you could have a sketch of your villain or a list of his descriptions, and when you are writing his scene, you forget what color eyes he had. Were they blue or grey? Wait, you wrote that down somewhere… but that paper is nowhere to be found. Now you have to read through the entire manuscript to see if you mentioned his eyes or just write it whichever way to edit it later.

Continue reading “Why You Need a Book Bible For Your Novel”

How Neil Gaiman’s ‘Make Good Art’ Speech Inspired My Writing Career

How Neil Gaiman's 'Make Good Art' Speech Inspired My Writing Career

There’s always a story behind the story.

Writers don’t write because they have nothing better to do. They write because there is a story they must tell. It’s a difficult craft. It involves discipline and motivation to sit for hours on end, typing words that might never be published. There’s no guts or glory, or a guarantee of success. There’s only hope in what they can accomplish and the fears and doubts that accompany it.

No one hears the author’s story. It is usually hidden behind their work. Yet today I’d like to tell mine. There’s something that changed my life I’d like to share in the hope it will change yours.

Continue reading “How Neil Gaiman’s ‘Make Good Art’ Speech Inspired My Writing Career”

Top 10 Writer Stereotypes that are Totally Wrong

Top 10 False Writer Stereotypes

Writers have a strange name in today’s media. In romantic stories, they are depicted as tortured artists, struggling to get their big break. Their clothes are disheveled and their hair is a mess. They moan over their typewriter, crumbling pages and throwing them onto the floor covered by papers and takeout boxes. One day, they find someone who becomes their muse and suddenly their book gets published and their dreams come true.

On the flip side, in horror stories, the writer is a middle-aged man who is addicted to alcohol or drugs. Either he is tortured by the supernatural antagonist or he goes psycho. Fun for everyone.

Then there are the famous writers in the real world whose books get turned into movies. We don’t know much about them except that they are loaded.

These three examples lead to a lot of misconceptions about writers.

Continue reading “Top 10 Writer Stereotypes that are Totally Wrong”

Step-by-Step: How to Write a Book

Step-By-Step: How to write a book. The 5 stages you need to become an author.

“Becoming an author is easy. You write a story, send it to a publisher, and boom! You’re an author,” said my seventh-grade self.

I was eleven when I decided on writing as a career. I began many stories and didn’t finish them. I was waiting to create the book, the ultimate masterpiece, that I will send to a company and become famous. This misconception stayed with me for years until I left high school and became serious about my career. I researched the field and was stunned by how much I didn’t know.

“What are these beta readers everyone’s talking about? How many rounds of edits do you need? What’s an author platform? Do you need one? Is self-publishing better than traditional publishing? How do you query agents? What’s this? How do you do that? Is that needed?”

Continue reading “Step-by-Step: How to Write a Book”