Good morning, friends! Thanks for the recommendations of funny novels yesterday. I’m looking forward to my weekend of bookish delight.
But you also made me curious—and gave me an idea. What if I shared the names of YOUR books, the work of the Wordling community?
So, if you’ve published a book (traditional, indie, crowdfunded, all welcome!), hit reply on this email and send me the link for purchase. I’ll share them all with you next week.
Enjoy the issue!
Natasha Khullar Relph
NEWS & VIEWS
What does this have to do with writing?
Well, it turns out when people turn to spirituality and mindfulness, they really really like to read about it. COVID-19 didn’t kick off the trend, but it certainly did accelerate it. In Britain, readership of Mindfulness & Health titles grew by 21% during the first lockdown and the number of people worldwide searching for the word “prayer” on Google skyrocketed just as the pandemic took hold. This, in addition to the fact that religious/inspirational titles are already a $720 million industry, the only nonfiction category in the top five highest grossing book genres.
“The publishing marketplace is hot for titles ranging from handbooks on personal transcendence to academic examinations of how the swell of secularism became a force in American culture and politics,” Publishers Weekly reports.
The takeaway? If you’re writing about spirituality, mindfulness, or transcendence, you’re in vogue, and this is a good time to get those books into the hands of agents and publishers.
Or, as might have been uttered on a Zoom call recently: Meditate like a mofo, pitch like a boss.
Don’t charge an hourly rate or you’ll end up being penalized for working smarter and faster. Nick Nolan talks about what to do instead.
Don’t write free test articles if you want to be taken seriously. Be paid for your time, even if you’re just checking each other out, says Steven Toews.
Don’t fear pitching and learn how to do it right with a system that’s landed writers bylines in the New York Times, TIME, National Geographic, BBC, The Atlantic , and more. (Taught by The Wordling founder Natasha Khullar Relph.)
SPOTLIGHT: ARTEM CHAPEYE
This week, we’re running a special series with a spotlight on Ukrainian journalists and authors.
Today, we feature Artem Chapeye, author of “The Ukraine,” who is currently serving as a private in the army fighting for Ukraine.
In an interview with The New Yorker, he says:
“The funny thing is: I was always a pacifist, a fan of Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five,” and so on.
“On the first morning of the Russian invasion, my wife, Oksana, and I were woken up by the sound of bombs. We woke up our kids and started moving as far from the border as we could. Luckily, we had grab packs ready, as advised.
“In Ukraine, I think I’m best known for a bittersweet story about a dad of a baby and a toddler who takes a paternal leave to be the main caregiver for his kids, in a rather patriarchal society. But, by the time we had finished evacuating, I knew I had to leave Oksana and our kids and join the Army. My once-hated previous experience as a drafted soldier (when I was a teen-ager) now unexpectedly became useful. Because not everyone is accepted—there are too many volunteers, which is amazing. There’s this bitter joke ascribed to the draft officer: “You were all sick (i.e., evading) when you had to serve in the Army, but now you’re all suddenly healthy when it’s time to fight.”
THE WORDLING PICK
If you’re not getting high-paying freelance assignments, there are only three reasons:
You’re not pitching enough.
You’re not pitching the right people.
Your pitches suck.
You can overcome all three problems, especially with a proven system and a little hand-holding to support you along the way.
You will never know with 100% certainty whether the decision you’re making today is the right one or not.
You’ll need to make it regardless.
Get comfortable with that.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Don’t take anyone’s writing advice too seriously.” — Lev Grossman
SHARE THE WORDLING
It’s the end of the week, which means Wordlings gonna write. Share The Wordling with a friend who’s working on their novel this weekend.
Copy and paste the link to send to writers you know: