Home Forums Brainstorming I Only Wish I Knew…

  • riva pomerantz

    Administrator
    June 10, 2020 at 1:02 pm

    Here’s where you can ask your most burning, fervent questions about anything related to writing and creativity. Here’s a good example: A member just shared that she wished she knew when something was “publishable”. She’s got tons of pieces sitting around but she would love to know how to judge if a piece of fit for publication.

    Your turn! 🙂

  • Fiction Fangirl

    Member
    June 10, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    Well, what is it like being a writer?  A famous writer, more precise.  Like people quoting phrases from your book or creating a whole forum just to dissect one of your characters kinda writer.  What keeps you going when people criticize your work?  Are you intimidated by fanmail?  How do you develop a thick skin?  Are writers like performing artists in a way?  Do you ever regret baring your creative side to others?

    (Pause).

    And here are some biggies.  Financially, can frum writers live off writing fiction?  Would you recommend self-publishing over traditional publishing?  How do you deal with burnout?

    Ah-hoo!  Here’s one more:  What is the complete path of writing a piece until seeing it published?  Can you provide a crash course for dummies:  Here’s how you you get your stuff published.  Write a story.  Polish it.  Reach out to an editor?  How does one contact an editor…and all that nitty-gritty details.

    Ahem.  That’s more than one question.  Come to think of it, sounds more like an interview.

    *shrugs*

    Okay?  I guess?

    • Pickupapen

      Member
      June 10, 2020 at 5:11 pm

      I believe, from my own experience, and maybe Riva will add her valued opinion here, that a good way to know if something is publishable is to forward it to a few people and ask for critique.
      If you’re not comfortable with that then why not just take the plunge and submit? What’s the worst that will happen? So they might say no. And yuk, I know, it’s horrid to get a “Thank you… bla bla bla… but we will not be accepting this piece for publication…” It does feel personal, but it’s very, very often just a matter of a piece being too long/ short or too similar to something they’ve recently published. And they don’t have time to explain bc they deal with a lot of submissions.
      Submitting something and having it rejected can be a learning experience. You’ll wonder why it wasn’t accepted and this might lead you to more carefully studying the publication in question (recommended) to see what they’re looking for… and eventually, b’ezras Hashem, success!

  • Esther

    Member
    June 10, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    Someone was telling me how she & her daughter are secret writers and have a hard time finding outlets for it, so I told them about Masterpiece.  But I want to know – Riva, what do you want us to be telling people we think might be interested?

    Now, the question – how important is grammar???  B”H I have great English (understatement), but my formal education was very choppy.  (I made Aliya after 3rd grade…)

  • Leahle

    Member
    June 10, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    Ok. so I have many Questions:

    1. How do I get myself to publish my writings? – I’m just too intimidated to do it…

    2. How do you transform your Talent into a Profession? I am B”H very gifted, and especially in writing, but how do I make REAL use out of it?

     

    Thanks Riva!

  • riva pomerantz

    Administrator
    June 10, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    You are all asking such good question and each one is so important.

    What I intend to do with this thread is to break out each question into its own thread so that all members can share their wisdom and experience on each topic to explore it with maximum depth and insight. So feel free to continue to ask. This is your wishlist, your post genie. You will get all the answers you need, be”H!

  • Word Warrior

    Member
    June 10, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    how important is it to invest in professional training as a writer? do i need a masters or doctorate? Do i need to take courses and classes in writing? how much research, reading, etc do i need to be a successful published writer? Can i just write from the heart?

    Or do I need to know how to conjugate verbs (whatever that is!)

    Specifically in the Jewish publishing world

    Also, how does the editing proccess work? Sometiems I read books that have so many typos and mistakes (like sometimes it will say, Sarah said when really her name is Rivka!)

    what’s it like to work with an editor- what’s the process, who gets the final say, etc?

    how do you even write a cover letter for a pitch? hi, please read the attached? lol 😉

  • StoryLuver

    Member
    June 10, 2020 at 8:25 pm

    Riva,

    Have you considered a free trial option for those who are intrigued by Masterpiece but intimidated by the paywall?

    I know lots of people who are interested but won’t want to pay up front for something they know nothing about.

    Unless you davka want to keep the crowd here small.

    Just a suggestion.

    • riva pomerantz

      Administrator
      June 10, 2020 at 9:51 pm

      Great questions comin’ through! We will try to address them all, be”H.

      StoryLuver, I offer a 1-week moneyback guarantee for new subscribers so they have a week to test-drive the community and if they don’t like it, I’ll refund them, no questions asked. For $10/month which you can cancel at any time there’s very little risk involved :-). As regards the size of Masterpiece membership, I do intend to restrict it so it doesn’t become overwhelming. Right now, we’re 100+ members and we can easily double and triple, be”H. I will constantly be keeping my finger on the pulse to make sure the vibe stays healthy and safe, but I may need to restrict access at some point.

      I know someone else asked a question about what to tell friends and family members about Masterpiece, so I’ll answer that here: Tell them the truth! 🙂 Tell them what it’s like here and what you’re gaining from it. Tell them that you get unlimited access to some of the most awesome, talented women on the planet! Tell them that I have sought-after speakers lined up every month for you on topics that will help you reach your goals, whether those are personal or professional (or both!). Tell them that this community can change their lives! Just a suggestion, of course… 🙂 Two things to keep in mind: 1. Members must be 18+, and 2. I specifically brand Masterpiece as an online community for “frum women who write”. I intentionally avoid the term “writer” since this site caters to a broad spectrum of women, some who may be intimidated by the term “Writer” (“Me? A writer? Ha! I just scribble on the back of my kids’ homework!”) I want to enable women of all ages and stages to tap into their creativity and develop their writing in whichever way feels comfortable for them. If they want to stay hobbyists, Masterpiece will help inspire them. If they want to become pro, or they’re already pro and they want to up their game and become tops, Masterpiece will take them there. My tagline, Unite & Write, is my true, unabashed goal. We’re making it happen, b’ezras Hashem. Write here, write now! 😉

  • Esther

    Member
    June 11, 2020 at 5:27 am

    Thanks, that was very clarifying.  (Can you even use that word like that?)

  • Fayge Y.

    Member
    June 11, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    [quote quote=18623]Thanks, that was very clarifying. (Can you even use that word like that?)[/quote]

     

    Why not? It’s not just for shampoo.

  • Fayge Y.

    Member
    June 11, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    [quote quote=18561]how important is it to invest in professional training as a writer? do i need a masters or doctorate? Do i need to take courses and classes in writing? how much research, reading, etc do i need to be a successful published writer? Can i just write from the heart? Or do I need to know how to conjugate verbs (whatever that is!) Specifically in the Jewish publishing world Also, how does the editing proccess work? Sometiems I read books that have so many typos and mistakes (like sometimes it will say, Sarah said when really her name is Rivka!) what’s it like to work with an editor- what’s the process, who gets the final say, etc? how do you even write a cover letter for a pitch? hi, please read the attached? lol ?[/quote]

     

    Ooh, I’m looking forward to the breakout thread.

    Write. Write your story. Then go back and read it and correct those mistakes, try your best to fix the grammar, and then, format it neatly for the people you let read it. I’ve done a little bit of beta reading and I have great regret that I said no to someone because I just couldn’t make it through her lack of formatting. I did read her book though and wish I would have had the opportunity to comment beforehand.

    Another point: Research. If you’re typing and have internet, google to check spelling, accuracy, details.

    After you’ve done all this…well, I guess this is why Hashem created editors.

  • Elisheva Halle

    Member
    June 11, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    Here’s a big question: How do you find time to write? Somehow or other I do, because it’s important to me, but there are so many other things going on in life. Even if a writer can make money writing fiction, it’s usually after years of hard work polishing writing skills and getting her name out there…and meanwhile, money has to come from another source. Add a husband and kids and housekeeping and…you get the picture.

    That’s what I would like to know

  • Anagrammer

    Member
    June 11, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    How do you build up a reputation in the editing field? If I’m interested in freelancing, but no one ever heard of me….? Is this a “pull” kind of situation (do I have to dig up “contacts”?)? In general, when someone wants a freelance editor, where do they turn to, and how will they find me?

  • riva pomerantz

    Administrator
    June 21, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    This wishlist is still open, ladies, and you are welcome to leave your questions here to be explored in greater depth!

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