Never underestimate the value of having your own website. My writer website helped me land 8 agent offers.

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I put off building my author website for years. Some of the excuses I rattled through:

If you’re anything like me, I’m here to help you set aside that anxiety.

Because the best time to create your website is right now.

I can’t stress how important it is to have a…


Millions of people listened to my Y Combinator-backed startup’s story. This is what happened after everything fell apart.

Two summers ago, I attended a friend’s birthday party, a small gathering of around a dozen people on a roof in Crown Heights. I found myself talking to an assistant producer of a big podcast, who was a few years younger than me. She was friendly and interesting and I was doing my best to friend-court her.

And then she asked the question I dreaded most.

“What do you do?”

I swallowed and did my best to maintain a cool, calm expression. “I tutor. And write.”

“Oh,” she said. She turned and waved to a guy across the roof. …


I can’t believe I’m writing these words: I was lucky enough to get offers of representation from eight literary agents, a month after I began querying my first manuscript.

Writing the book that brought me to this moment was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It was a terrifying roller coaster of a ride that I stepped off of many times. I repeatedly questioned if I was mentally prepared to deal with these highs and lows on a consistent basis. If I had the talent, patience and resilience that this industry demands.

While querying, I poured through dozens of inspiring…


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Note: This article is intended for people who are healthy and have the luxury of choosing between cooking and ordering takeout.

To all of us ordering a $20 pizza during another monotonous week of self-isolation— I get it. Life is hard right now. But it is much harder for many others.

By placing a delivery order, you are asking someone else — someone in a more vulnerable economic position — to risk their health for yours.

Please make sure your tip reflects your understanding of this grave reality.

For any delivery, regardless of the minimum, please tip at least $20.

This is why:

The tip you provide shows that you understand the…


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Today is World Mental Health Day, and I wanted to talk about one of my favorite topics: antidepressants.

I have suffered from mild depression and anxiety for most of my life, but it took me a long time to feel like I was depressed ‘enough’ to seek treatment.

Starting Wellbutrin was one of the best decisions I have made, and I only wish I had started it sooner.

Below are some of the myths and stigmas I had to overcome before I could come to terms with my depression.

I didn’t feel depressed ‘enough’

I grew up in the 90s, and I thought of depression…


Don’t save up all of your joy for the finish line — that faraway land of a ‘published success’. Celebrate the small, daily accomplishments.

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That is the point, the purpose, the peak: to enjoy the world you inhabit when you write. — Heather Havrilesky

After I read Heather Havrilesky’s advice column last summer, ‘Should I Quit My Day Job to Write a Book?’, I sat stunned.

I then tweeted it, texted it to everyone I knew, and printed out key parts. These now lie taped to the otherwise blank white wall above my desk.

Before I read Heather’s advice, I felt like I had to save up all of my joy and pride until after I’d finished my book and published it — if


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My close family friend, whom I’ve known all her life and refer to as my sister, has just embarked upon the horrible and soul-crushing process of applying to full-time jobs.

Last month, we stayed up late nights preparing for her first crucial interview at a company that she has been following since she was a freshman in college. We went over interest formulas and Excel spreadsheets and how to answer the dreaded ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years’ question.

The big interview went down this week. When I asked my sister how the interview went, she told me…


The simple yet effective ways that Medium helps you grow as a writer.

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When I was 21, I booked a 1-on-1 writing session. The coach was very helpful, and one piece of advice she gave stuck with me. When I said that my goal was to write a book about my experiences, she didn’t laugh in my face (which is what I would do, if I could go back in time).

Instead she asked, “What about starting out with a smaller goal? Like publishing an article?”

It took me eight years to heed her advice. Starting a regular blogging practice…


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I wrote the original version of this blog post back in 2015. It was a whole different world back then. Before #metoo. Before Trump got voted in over Hillary. The world’s way of reinforcing that when it comes to two imperfect candidates, the man will always win.

This week, I have returned to thinking about the subtle and not-so-subtle sexism that pervades Silicon Valley. …


Photo by Niklas Hamann on Unsplash

For three years, I have been writing blog posts and throwing them out. I’ve hit ‘publish’ on exactly two stories. I write, but I don’t share — because I’m scared.

I’m scared that no one will read what I write, and that anyone who reads it will think it’s bad.

I’m scared that what I want to write has already been written, and that I will have nothing new to add to the conversation.

I’m scared that people will poke holes into everything I have to say, that there will be major flaws that I will have failed to suss…

Lauren Kay

Founder & writer / Rep’d by @sabrinataitz at @wmebooks / www.laurenikay.com / www.laurenkaywrites.com / instagram.com/laurenkaywrites

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