7 Strategies for Getting Through “the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” When You’re Hurting

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Lights all aglow. Carols filling the air. Endless exhortations to cheer and merriment. If you’re in a happy mental state when the holidays roll around, the joyful sheen on seemingly everything can expand on that happiness. …

The right collaborators — and the right attitude — make all the difference

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Once your submission get bites, you have some thinking to do.

15. Sign with the right agent or editor

If you get an offer from an agent or an editor, it will be thrilling. But don’t leap without looking. Have a good conversation with the person who has expressed interest; try to get a feel for their personality…

Every submission matters — but no submission is precious

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Once your draft is polished and ready to go, you need champions to bring your publishing dreams to fruition.

11. Do your homework on agents and publishers

Just about the most self-defeating thing you can do is to submit blind to agents (or publishers) simply because you’re excited to have a book ready. Why waste your time and…

Write, rest, revise — and repeat

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If you’re ready to swap pre-writing for actual draft writing, it’s good to have some strategies for facing the tasks ahead.

5. Don’t sweat the whole book at once.

As I mentioned in part one, some writers have trouble knowing where to start; some get out of the gate fast and then get stuck. The answer to both…

I joined AncestryDNA to find family — why was it so hard to call when I did?

I was at dinner with one of my dearest friends when I saw the match, a relative AncestryDNA described with the tantalizingly vague phrase “close family.” After years of third or fourth cousin matches, their names always meaningless, I had not expected much. …

The clues to my father’s identity didn’t mean a thing — until I knew to look.

The story of my family doesn’t begin with four Cuban men standing on a beach in Miami comparing feet, but some part of it is anchored there forever. It was one of a few moments in my childhood that could have revealed the truth, the existence of parallel life narratives…

David Valdes

David Valdes is a Cuban-American playwright and author. He’s written about family, race, and LGBTQ issues for the New York Times, Boston Globe, and HuffPo.

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