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Caption: Click the video above to learn more about Lisa’s experience with Writer’s Relief!
As a former lawyer, our youngest client, Lisa Leibow, knows how important it is to spend time wisely. Lisa was frustrated to find that most of the time she spent achieving her writing goals was spent researching and tracking submissions – leaving little time to actually write! The verdict: Contact Writer’s Relief! Now Lisa Leibow has more time to write and has been published in Crack the spine, Rougarou, Sand Hill Review, Sanskrit, and other literary magazines.
Read on and watch the video to see how Writer’s Relief helped Lisa spend more time writing and less time tracking and researching.
In Lisa’s own words
Today I have a fulfilling life as a writer and academic. However, I am also a relaxing lawyer. When I was a lawyer, I billed my time in six-minute increments. This required careful time recording. A little over a decade ago, when I left my law firm, completed the Johns Hopkins Writing Program, and started teaching and writing full-time, I was excited to leave that focus on the time behind me. After a while, however, I became frustrated because I had not achieved my writing goals. I wasn’t expecting how many different tasks I had to do to keep my writing life in order! I think old habits die hard because I decided to keep track of my time for a while to investigate how I spent them. The overall results showed that, outside of the time it took to plan lessons and provide teacher feedback to my students, I spent most of my time researching (submission guidelines, researching which journals are read, names) the editor) dedicated to the writing of inquiry letters. keep up with Publishers Weekly, Set up accounts with Submittable and keep a record of where I sent and who replied. And sometimes after all that, I delayed the submission of the story so long that I had to repeat the market research! What bothered me most was that I spent the least amount of time doing the creative work that I love – creating my novel, my short stories and poems.
I had to restore (or even find) a certain balance in my writing life. I’ve thought a lot about it. Since I wasn’t ready to give up teaching, family, or eating, I tried to restrict sleep for a while. However, this was a failed experiment – everything else is more difficult if you don’t get enough sleep. I focused on the large percentage of my time spent researching, submitting, and tracking submissions. This business side of writing felt most like “work” to me. This is a gross understatement. In truth, it directly drained my creative energy. The discovery that I could outsource the business side of my letter to an assistant – also known as Writer’s Relief – changed everything. (That may sound superficial, but having an assistant was what I missed most in my legal practice.) Working with Writer’s Relief did everything better. With them in my team, I achieved my goal of always having work in circulation. The only time I fail to achieve this goal is when all the stories have been picked up by magazines before the next cycle begins!
It worked so well that not only did I find more time to devote myself to my creative work, but I also found time to provide a platform for others to share their voices by co-founding The Scheherazade Project have an activism through the movement of narrative arts. Through the project, I support a community of art lovers and storytellers from all areas: writers, dancers, visual artists, musicians, comedians and more. I am building a platform for our voices to delight, entertain, illuminate and heal the world’s problems. Now everything is fine in my writing life.
More about Lisa
Lisa is a co-founder of the Scheherazade project, an activism through the art storytelling movement. Your work has been published or appears in Coe Review, CommuterLit, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Eleven Eleven, Evening Street Review, Five on Fifth, Folly, Griffin, Mulberry Fork, NoVA Bards, Pisgah Review, Rote Rose, Sandpiper, and other magazines. She holds a master’s degree in fiction from Johns Hopkins University and teaches writing at George Washington University, Northern Virginia Community College, and community centers in the DC area. Lisa’s novel The plastic world by Ruthie Rosenblum (currently in circulation) is a novelist of the Faulkner-Wisdom Award. She is a dual, merit-based scholarship holder, resident at the Vermont Studio Center, and the winner of Pitchapalooza DC. In addition to participating in numerous conferences, including AWP and the Writer’s Digest New York Conference, she has been a member of the planning committee for the Washington Writers Conference since 2017 and has held leadership positions at both ShutUp & Write and the Alumni Association of the Johns Hopkins Writing Program.
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