Are MFA programs worth the time and money? How do people actually sit down and finish a novel? Did you get a good advance? What do you do when you feel envious of other writers? And why the heck aren’t your friends saying anything about your book? Covering questions ranging from the logistical to the existential (and everything in between), this is a guide for anyone who has ever wanted to know what it’s really like to be an author.
[Maum's] style is infectious—the reader gets an insight on what it’s like to be a real-life working writer, while also feeling close to the author and laughing along with her. This book is invaluable for the serious writer who is dedicated to publication, the rare title that’s both a reference manual and a page-turner. A core choice for public library collections, and a logical next step for budding writers who have consumed Stephen King’s On Writing (2000), Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird (1995), and Chuck Wendig’s Damn Fine Story (2017).
... readable, well-organized ... Far from dry and dusty, this account is laced with humor not for its own sake but to make a point—eschewing 'perfectionism,' Maum claims, 'bad writing is the only way you’re going to start writing well' ... Highly recommended for anyone who thinks they have a book in them.
This witty, quirky guide to writing books as a profession, from novelist Maum manages to be both funny and informative ... provides a comprehensive guide to writing and selling books, from getting started and making time to write, to understanding book deals, to managing one’s emotions post-publication. Maum’s approach is eclectic and subjective, which makes the book uneven in places. Her opening section on the craft of writing offers little that hasn’t been said elsewhere; similarly, her section toward the end about whether writers should pursue an academic job unsurprisingly warns against the dangers of adjunct or visiting professor status. At best, however, Maum gives an insider’s take on the path to becoming a published writer ... Maum’s book should prove invaluable to new writers seeking advice and support in navigating their first publication.