After The Show Q&A with Laura Leigh Abby – find out what her biggest challenges are as a writer and how she handled rejection. Laura dishes on what it was like to write for Amazon Kindle Singles, Cosmopolitan magazine and her latest book, 2Brides2Be: A Wedding Resource Guide for the Modern Lesbian Bride – forthcoming this fall with Archer Books.
Make sure you listen to our interview for all of the juicy details on the success of her career as a columnist, reality tv star, and author – at the bottom of this post.
Her Kindle Single, The Rush – is now available for order on Amazon.
AFTER THE SHOW Q&A
What is your biggest challenge as a writer and how do you overcome it?
Trusting myself is my greatest challenge. Writers are compelled to do so, but often we’re relying solely on that instinct to keep ourselves working. As rejections pile up it’s easy to succumb to feelings of inadequacy, but maintaining trust in my voice is imperative. I do this by continuing to seek out publications and not taking “no” for an answer. Rejections don’t mean scrap an idea, they mean work harder, try again.
Were there any memorable rejections that actually led you towards something bigger and better?
Yes. I pitched an online publication and I felt so confident the piece was perfect for them. My pitch was rejected. I re-wrote my pitch and aimed even higher, and that was piece was accepted and published by Cosmopolitan.
Did you take any writing courses that you found particularly helpful?
I was a writing major in undergrad at Emerson College and I got my masters in the New School creative writing program. The courses I took over these years helped me immensely. In grad school writing workshops I learned to take criticism and write for a particular audience. I took weekend workshops as well that really helped me develop my voice. Author Sue Shapiro teaches a course on writing a “humiliation essay,” and that course led to my first ever published piece which was for Salon.
When you write an article, how many times do you go through edits before your final submission?
First I give myself a few days to jot notes and write down any ideas that pop into my head. When I have the time sometimes I take a whole week. I call it marinating. After that I start to shape the piece based on the ideas that stand out. From there sometimes it’s only 2-3 drafts until I have a final edit. Sometimes I’ll edit a piece so many times I lose count. It really depends on the subject and how quickly I’ve managed to make my point. I bet most writers have stories of when an idea took hold and she had a pretty polished piece almost immediately. I’ve had a few experiences like this.
You are currently working on your next book, 2Brides2Be, a resource guide for the modern lesbian bride. It’s due out this Fall through Archer Books. How has this experience been different from publishing with Amazon Kindle Singles?
Self-publishing with Amazon was a casual writing experience because the work was evergreen, we weren’t working with any hard deadlines and there weren’t any particulars to check off as we went through the editing process. With 2Brides2Be the material is so timely, it’s important for me to get the book into reader’s hands as soon as possible, but I also want it to be the best that it can be. There’s more collaboration with the decision-making process as far as the design and material. Both experiences have been great. I am so excited for the publication of 2Brides2Be. I think this book needs to be available to brides planning same-sex weddings.
What are you reading right now?
I’ve really hit the ground running in 2016 with books by female writers. I just finished FATES & FURIES by Lauren Groff, which I loved, then I moved onto a couple of memoirs by Gloria Steinem and Michelle Tea. I’ve just started Mary McCarthy’s THE GROUP which has been on my list for quite some time, and I have a few YA titles on my shelf as I think about ideas for publishing a YA novel of my own.
Columnist, Author, and Reality TV Star Laura Leigh Abby discusses writing out of the closet with authenticity. She shares how writing about her most vulnerable self led to truly connecting with an audience she didn’t know existed and how to persevere with writing when you receive a rejection.
Listen to the live interview below:
Laura Leigh Abby is the author of The Rush and the creator of 2Brides2Be, an online wedding resource providing inspiration for the modern lesbian bride. She has written for Cosmopolitan, Upworthy, BuzzFeed, The New York Observer, and Salon.