Our third interview features Dorit Sasson, who is an accomplished nonfiction editor and book coach at The Artful Editor. She is also the award-winning author of the memoir Accidental Soldier and the upcoming memoir Sand and Steel: A Memoir of Longing and Finding Home. Her writing has appeared in The Writer, HuffingtonPost, among others. When not working on her own books, Dorit teaches courses in memoir and nonfiction writing.
It’s easy to call yourself a writer. It’s harder to have something to show for it.
Many writers struggle with productivity (we can’t all be James Patterson). Even if you have an absolutely amazing idea for a book, it can be hard to motivate yourself to actually start writing it. You might write daily, but if you’re only able to write a few hundred words before you lose focus, it’ll take a long time to produce something more substantial.
Writing is a solitary pursuit. Whether you’re holed up in your home office or you set up shop at the local coffee shop, writing is the kind of work that’s quiet, introspective, and (at times) isolating.
That’s all the more reason to push yourself outside of your little bubble and into the writing community. When you attend writing events, you can learn new things, meet interesting people, and take the next step in your writing career.
In Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Captain Wentworth pens a love letter to Anne Elliot that begins:
I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.
In some people’s smartphones, the closest thing to a love letter is a text that reads:
Authors have a lot on their plate: characters, action, time periods, plot, and so on. What’s great is there are these strange people called editors who sweep in, clean up errors and help writers stay on track. Oftentimes, writers repeat the same mistakes, which, if fixed can drastically improve a book. What would reading be like without editors? We shiver at the very thought!
You finish the last strokes on your masterpiece, a painting that stands twenty feet tall and thirty feet wide. It’s beautiful, fully capturing the essence of your idea of this city and the pitfalls of love, hate, and betrayal. You unveil it for your benefactor, eagerly awaiting the slaps on the back and joyous exclamations.
“It’s too big.”