Why Write When Others Write So Much Better?

Danielle Lazarin

Every writer I know can identify with the following:

I was only halfway through Stuart Dybek’s I Sailed with Magellan when I decided I should just give up on writing altogether; that the intimacy he achieves with childhood and adolescence was more than I could ever imagine accomplishing, and I wanted to leave it to him, a far more lyric, braver writer than I would ever be. At these humbling moments, I remember advice I received from Dan Chaon while studying fiction at Oberlin.

That’s from “Becoming a Mapbuilder” by Danielle Lazarin (@d_lazarin). The advice she received from Chaon? There’s a very specific world that only you can write about. Click here to read her entire column over at Glimmer Train.

You can also find the following at their new bulletin:

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Posted in Creativity + Inspiration.

Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the publisher of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors, and was named Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World in 2019.

In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. Her book for creative writers, The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), received a starred review from Library Journal.

Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.

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