ARCHIVE FOR Behind the Launch Lab: Craft & Commerce

Top Four Writers' Phobias, and What to Do About Them in 2018

grubstreet Image

By Katrin Schumann

I write a lot about writers’ insecurities because for 99.9 percent of us, fear lurks behind the brave faces we put on. Depending on where we are in our careers, we may all be afraid of different types of failures, but these deep-seated anxieties rarely go away completely.

Most artists learn to live with fear—and some learn to use it to drive toward better work. I might even dare to say that if you don’t experience doubt or fear, you should be worried. Overconfidence usually doesn’t serve writers well.

Katrin Schumann

Craft Advice Events The Writing Life

Author Newsletters--Yay or Nay?

grubstreet Image

By Katrin Schumann

Media marketing experts agree that maintaining a robust newsletter is one of the best ways for an author to build a core audience--a group of people who will be more interested and committed to you and your work than, say, that stranger lurking on twitter or the random people liking your Instagram shots.

Katrin Schumann

What to Do While Your Book is on Submission

grubstreet Image

By Katrin Schumann

I've been on submission many times over the years. It's fun, until it's not. Or... it's fun and then gets a lot more fun. Here's what I've learned.

1) Create a serene environment around you. Preferably light a candle first thing in the morning. Not one of those scented things called Enticing Aroma's Fall Festival or, god forbid, Pumpkin Spice. Something classy and reeking of intelligence, just like you.

Katrin Schumann

Books & Reading The Writing Life

Is it Crass for Writers to Worry About Pleasing Their Readers?

grubstreet Image

By Katrin Schumann

I was on the phone in my office, scanning my bookshelves and chatting when my eye stopped on Leo Benedictus' book THE AFTERPARTY. He's a British writer, not well known in the US. I admire him for his witty, powerful, original writing; I aspire to that kind of authority combined with fun in my own writing. 

"Ah, yes," I thought. "Leo with the great last name. Wonder what you're up to?"

Katrin Schumann

Just Do It--Get Your Stories Down on Paper, Now!

grubstreet Image

By Katrin Schumann

My friend Stephen had an incredibly interesting life. When he died at age 50, he left behind a small family and lots of burned bridges. One thing he didn’t leave behind—something so important that its absence is a tragedy—was any kind of cogent record of his life or work. 

There are pictures and half remembered stories. There are paintings and sculptures, covered in Saharan dust, the details of their provenance lost forever

Katrin Schumann

Craft Advice The Writing Life