Making It Big in 30 Minutes

Transcript: Episode 3, Maurene Goo

Making It Big in 30 Minutes

Transcript: Episode 3

Maurene Goo


Terri:
What does it mean to make it big? Having money, fame, worldwide acclaim, climbing the corporate ladder, or crushing it in your business? One thing's for sure, there isn't just one way to do it.

Terri:
Welcome to "Making It Big in 30 Minutes," a podcast for, by, and about the Emerson community. You're about to meet an Emersonian who's making it. Making a living, making a difference, and sometimes making it up as they go along. As far as we're concerned, if you're making something, you've made it big time. I'm your host and Emerson alumni, Terri Trespicio, and we've got 30 minutes, so let's get started.

Terri:
There's part of your brain that tells you to be smart, practical, and responsible. Then there's this other part of you that doesn't give a crap about all that, and wants to do what it wants, but feels good. Both parts of you are not easy to deal with, because neither one is totally right or totally wrong.

Terri:
What's really interesting is when you end up doing a thing you didn't really plan to do, because you swore it wouldn't be practical, or loving work that you'd never thought was a fit or even remotely possible. Meet Maurene Goo. By our own account she's extremely practical, and so she's as surprised as anyone that she's making a living as a YA novelist.

Terri:
Maurene graduated from Emerson in 2007 with a master's in writing and publishing, but it's what she did while she was at Emerson that was most surprising. She kept writing this book she had started. She never thought in a million years it would turn into anything, or that you could write books for a living. It seems silly, but that's precisely what she did, and does.

Terri:
Maurene's fourth and most recent book is Somewhere Only We Know, which the New York Times described as a delightful romp, and which also won a Cosmopolitan Best Book of 2019. Maurene gives us her honest take on criticism and why she doesn't read reviews, and also the writing advice that she thinks people should really stop giving. I couldn't agree more.

Terri:
I give you Maurene Goo on what it means to make it big as an author. Talk to me about the vision of what you thought might happen, even when you were at Emerson in the masters program, and then what is happening?

Maurene:
Actually, I would say that I never envisioned this for myself. I went to Emerson to study publishing. It was a publishing and writing program. I was torn between two programs. I was torn between the Emerson's master's program and The New School's creative writing for children's literature. And I chose Emerson because, well, one, I wanted to live in Boston over New York.

Maurene:
I was scared of New York when I went to go visit, and then when I came to Boston it was very cozy and cute and everybody at Emerson was so nice. But two, I didn't think that you could have a job writing kids books. Even though I applied to that program, it was almost like I did it in a weird, whimsical, on a lark, just to prove that I could get in.

Maurene:
Whereas I thought, "Okay, if I go to Emerson's program, I can get a job working in publishing," which I thought I wanted to be a children's book editor. So I chose Emerson for that, to become an editor after the program. And it just so happened that throughout my time at Emerson, I kept working on the book that I had started as a writing sample for The New School program, because it was just fun and I loved working on it.

Maurene:
And so my journey from going to Emerson to becoming a published author was a long, not straight path. And it wasn't straight for a lot of reasons, but mainly because I never had this end goal of being a published author in mind, which sounds kind of wild.

Terri:
You went to Emerson, you were thinking like, "I'm going to get a job in this industry." Like you were thinking job.

Maurene:
Yes, I was thinking job. I worked while I was at Emerson, like a lot of people in our master's program. It was just like a real publishing job. But it was in academic publishing, which was not my dream, but I still learned a lot and it was great because I got to make money while I was in school.

Maurene:
But when I graduated, it was 2007, so there were no... It was just the worst possible time to look for a jobs, and try to find a job in publishing in Boston was hard. And so I applied to jobs in New York and it was hard. So I ended up going back to LA, because I just didn't trust that I would be making enough money to live in New York.

Maurene:
And I worked at Art Book Publishers. I worked for them on and off and freelanced. So I was kind of working in publishing, but not really what I wanted to do. And so that's why I kept working on my book, because to me, that was like my connection to what I actually wanted to do, which was what I thought was working in children's books. Little did I know I would actually just end up writing them.

Terri:
And you didn't really see that?

Maurene:
I didn't.

Terri:
You were like, "I'm going to edit and maybe publish." So before that, because you could go get a job in publishing anyway. So there must've been something that made you think, "I'm going to do the master's, because..." As opposed to just getting a job at a publishing house. What was that for you?

Maurene:
I felt really ill-equipped after graduating from undergrad. I went to UC San Diego and I studied communication and I minored in English literature. What happened was I thought I was going to be a journalist when I went into college, and then I realized I have no interest—

Terri:
I don't want to do that.

Maurene:
... in current events. And I'm like, "I'm not intrepid. I don't seek the truth."

Terri:
Wait, that is my favorite line. "I am not intrepid," Maurene Goo.

Maurene:
Yeah. Every time I see journalist stories now, I'm so far removed from wanting to be a journalist. I'm like, "What was I thinking?" I just don't have that in me. So I graduated and I had ended up taking all these English lit classes instead, because I kept getting drawn back to books. I loved reading as a kid.

Terri:
You like the work.

Maurene:
Yeah. I just love reading books and talking about books, analyzing books. And I had a friend suggest to me like, "Oh, why don't you work in publishing." Yet again I was like, "What is publishing?" I forgot that's an industry, and I didn't know that was a job I could have.

Maurene:
Living in Southern California, the proximity to that is so... It's not a part of your life. So I looked into it and it's like, "All right, there are literally no publishers here. I kind of need to go where the jobs are. I don't have money. I also need to learn about it."

Maurene:
I'm a good student, and so my natural inclination was like, "I should study this and then I'll have the skills." Because I really felt ill equipped to get a job after undergrad. So I thought, "Okay, I want to get a practical degree that will teach me about this industry and will leave me equipped with skills to get a job, like a normal adult."

Terri:
Did you feel like that?

Maurene:
I actually did feel that way in a way, and in a way I didn't, and it was partially my fault. Because yet again, I didn't end up taking an editing class. I took a copy editing class, but I didn't focus my studies there on book publishing. I took one overview book publishing course, which I really liked, and it was super helpful and it still is helpful for me to this day, but I didn't take editing.

Maurene:
And instead I ended up veering, I took literature classes, I took a really cool alternative magazine journalism class, where Noam Chomsky came and talked to us.

Terri:
Wow.

Maurene:
Yet again, when I was in school suddenly I'm like, "I just want to take classes that are fun." And so in the end I felt equipped and I didn't. I felt kind of like, "Uh-oh, there I go. I took a lot of lit classes again," and wrote a lot.

Terri:
This whole time I hear that you're explaining this, you scratched the left brain itch. You're like, "This is the practical thing," but what you're doing, the part that you actually don't have as much control over, is part of you that's being pulled toward the art of it, which is the books and the literature.

Terri:
You just said that the book you were working on as part of an application to The New School, ended up being something that took root and ended up introducing you to the world of authorship. My question is, as a graduate of the MFA creative writing master's program at Emerson, I'm surprised you didn't apply to that one too?

Maurene:
I know. It's funny, because my roommate was in that program and I ended up taking a lot of overlapping literature classes with the MFA people. But again, I felt like, "Do I want to spend money getting a degree writing?" That just felt so frivolous, even though now in retrospect I'm like, "That was..."

Terri:
You couldn't believe it was a real job.

Maurene:
Yeah, exactly. It just never occurred to me. That is kind of going back to your original question, that's why I never envisioned this job.

Terri:
And it is a job.

Maurene:
Oh, it's very much a job. And when I hear people talk about dreaming of being an author since they're a kid, I'm always like, "Gosh, I wonder what that would've looked like if I actually knew to have that dream?" Because I didn't, it was not a part of my life.

Terri:
And you didn't. That's what's fascinating. You've written four YA novels. First of all, that's an extreme accomplishment, bar none, but nothing else.

Maurene:
Thank you.

Terri:
And then consider how popular YA novels, fiction writing is being so widely consumed, and not just by this demographic, but by grown women in their 40s, like me, like there's plenty of people who are reading YA. And let's be honest, there's a lot of boxes that you check right now that put you in a great position to get the publicity you deserve.

Terri:
You would deserve it anyway, but being a woman author, writing for YA audiences in a very screamingly popular segment of publishing, and also to be Korean American, where the Koreans are sort of like having a moment right now.

Maurene:
We are.

Terri:
Can we just say that? What is that like? I mean do you feel like, "Oh wow, I arrived at the party just in time," or how does that feel to you?

Maurene:
I actually feel like I arrived at the party a little too early.

Terri:
Really?

Maurene:
I feel like I'm benefiting from everything right now. Like the stars are aligning and I can't complain, but my first published book came out in 2013, and that was not a good time for my books actually. It was right about to be a good time. And so I had four years between my first book and my second book for a lot of reasons, and the difference between the reception was wild.

Maurene:
I do think my second book was more commercial and had more of a hook, but I do think that that four years, so much had happened. It was my friends who actually debuted with me in 2013, fellow YA author, Ellen Oh. She started writing diverse books. So it was interesting, because she started that because of our experience as Korean American authors, debuting in YA and how homogenous and really narrow the industry felt when we were coming out.

Maurene:
Both of us, our first books were very quiet, under the radar, and I don't think anybody's Asian American books were a big splash back then. And so when that happened, I wasn't surprised, because part of the reason why I was writing my first book, the reason why I went into YA, was not just because I enjoyed it, but because I didn't see those books when I was growing up.

Maurene:
And I really wanted to write my version of high school, like my feelings. And not even just the Korean experience, but growing up in Southern California and focusing on friendships and family stuff, like the stuff that actually felt realistic to me when I was a teenager. And so now though, it's a whole other story, and especially the past couple of years with Crazy Rich Asians coming out, with To All The Boys being such a hit. There's momentum now, and you see it obviously, even Parasite winning and like BTS and K-pop.

Terri:
Oh my god, huge.

Maurene:
And of course I love it and I'm so glad, but I do kind of feel like, "Oh, I started riding that wave a little early." I can still stay on that wave, but because I've seen what it was like before, and I don't quite trust that it'll stay this way. Because everything is—

Terri:
Really? Do you feel like it's like trending and you're like, "Oh, this might go out as soon as it came in?"

Maurene:
Yeah. And that sounds really pessimistic, but I'm just being realistic, because in the end it's not about nobody actually in publishing... Nobody actually really cares about the things that you would hope everybody cares about. It's like, "Does it make money?" I don't blame them. They have to make money. This has to be profit making.

Maurene:
So to me I'm like, "Okay, well, let's see how this... Not everybody could be Crazy Rich Asians, not everybody could be To All The Boys." So there's like this influx, there's like a flood of a lot of acquiring Asian-American stuff, especially Asian American romcoms, which is also a space that I happen to fill.

Maurene:
And so I'm just a little cautious, but I am happy for it. And I feel grateful, because really, I couldn't imagine this. When I first came out with my first book, I wouldn't have known this would be happening.

Terri:
But you were already making a living doing this before it became trendy. To me, you were there before the trend, Maurene, you're going to be there after.

Maurene:
Thanks.

Terri:
Somewhere Only We Know, which is the latest book, right?

Maurene:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Terri:
Was named a Cosmopolitan Best Book of 2019, your fourth novel. The New York Times called it, "A delightful romp, surprisingly fresh as well as sweet and genuine." I don't know what they mean by surprisingly, the New York Times sort of twisting that. But I mean like that alone, to have the New York Times even look your way is a big deal as a writer. When you read stuff like that, what's that like? Is that like, "I can't even believe this is happening?"

Maurene:
Yes and no. The New York Times was particularly exciting, for the obvious reasons. That wasn't on my radar too, so it was a surprise. One day it showed up on my Google alerts, "Oh, Maurene Goo." That review came out three months after my book came out, while the other two books that were reviewed with me, they were like fresh new books that came out that week or the week before.

Maurene:
So it was kind of extra validating, because I feel like my books have never been presented as a splashy big book, but they always managed to find their readers. So I felt really proud that they have kind of a staying power, because people, I think, share my work by word of mouth. I have a lot of support within the Asian American community, YA community, people have been really pretty receptive and kind, but I've also read really bad reviews of my books.

Maurene:
My first book, the first trade review I read was a horrible one. It was like the first review I've ever read from anybody, any human being, a reader.

Terri:
It was your very first time reading a review and it was trashed?

Maurene:
Yeah. It was so trashed. My editor sent it to me with this huge, "Okay, I want you to hear it from me first. I think they're totally off the mark," super sweet. She was trying to cushion the blow and I was like, "All right." I read it, and I happened to be driving in my car, so I had pulled over to read it and I just started crying. And then I looked up and I was parked. I was parked in front of my old high school.

Maurene:
And I was like, "God." It just felt so like an extra punch in the gut. And so I've had that experience and it really kind of traumatized me early on, and I don't really read a lot of my reviews for that reason, because I'm really sensitive I realized. I was like, "All right, I really can't take criticism that well, I don't think." I realize it's not good for me as a writer to be paying attention to this kind of stuff, because I have no control over it.

Terri:
Right. And you have to limit.

Maurene:
Yeah.

Terri:
But as an artist, you know, and we all know, that there's people who are also sharpening their writing chops and their ability to be critical, and they're sharpening it on other people's work. That's her or his job to do that thing. And sometimes they delight in inflicting that pain a little too much.

Terri:
But that has nothing to do with you, you had a book published. That person probably couldn't get a book published, so that's the thing. But my question to you is, in terms of your own process, in terms of writing, how does that... I mean, do you take anything from review and go, "Okay, well, I see the point. I'm going to address that," or do you just ignore it and just write what you want to write?

Maurene:
I think it depends. That first review where I was trashed, I don't think helps me, because there is a mean spirited thing, there's like a bit of another agenda happening over there for the reviewer.

Terri:
Of course.

Maurene:
Which by the way, I understand, I used to review books.

Terri:
Wait a minute, wait a minute. So you were a book reviewer?

Maurene:
Yeah, and that was when I was actually writing my first book, I was also taking some freelance writing jobs, and I reviewed a couple of books. I had one book review that I feel very ashamed of to this day, where I delighted in ripping it apart.

Terri:
Oh boy, karma is a bitch.

Maurene:
It is a bitch. And I personally really disliked the book. I stand by that. That book was bad, but there's a way to go about that kind of criticism. And I was that very stereotypical, I was an aspiring author writing this mean book review, and in retrospect, wow, I would never ever do that again, but you can see where it was all coming from. It was just me trying to show how funny I could be as a writer and clever.

Maurene:
And so there's a part of me that if I see a mean review, I think about that. I think about that person that I was, and I'm pretty empathetic. I'm like, "All right. I don't think you're a horrible human. I also know this is not personal."

Terri:
It really has probably nothing to do with your work.

Maurene:
Yeah, it has nothing to do with my book. And so, I let it go. I try not to, but every once in a while I'll see some criticism. I don't go to Goodreads. It's a horrible place for an author if you're sensitive like me, but I have seen a few reviews from readers and I do take to heart if I see kind of a theme or a common criticism a lot of them have.

Maurene:
So I do pay attention to that, because I'm also at heart, a bit of an editor, which is what I wanted to be at one point. I am not that precious and protective about my writing actually. I'm very open to, especially when I work with my editors, like I'm very open to whatever criticisms they have. I don't have the knee jerk reaction of, "No."

Terri:
You're going to continue to write, there'll forever be people with opinions about it, but this is what you do know. And by the way, when was it that you were like, "Oh, I do this now. I don't go to an office now?" When was that big turning point where you were like, "Holy cow, this career has taken on momentum where I don't have to have a job, job anymore?"

Maurene:
It was actually in 2017. So it was when my third book was about to come out, The Way You Make Me Feel, and I was drafting my fourth book, Somewhere Only We Know, I realized, "Oh, okay. I don't think I could do my freelance work." And so I quit that and I was like, "I'm going to just do my books full time."

Maurene:
And that was really wild to me, because it was actually happening and I had just been forcing my freelance work, kind of like squeezing in time for it, because I felt like—

Terri:
So wait, you were trying to make time for the paid work.

Maurene:
Yeah.

Terri:
You were doing the books, and you were getting paid from the books, just living on advances or whatever? People wonder how you get paid from books, you're not making money every single day.

Maurene:
You're not. And the advances weren't that big for the first couple of books, and so I still needed to supplement with freelance. But eventually I didn't really need to, I just felt this... It's that old fashioned, like that feeling I had of like, "I need to have our real job. I can't just write books."

Maurene:
And I realized, "Actually, I can just write books right now." I was in a privileged position where I could. And so once I quit that freelance job, that's when I felt like, "Oh, I am an author and I can fully commit to just my books. Or any other creative writing work."

Terri:
It's so funny, because for your whole life you've been like, "You can't do that."

Maurene:
I know.

Terri:
But yet, you keep doing it. But a lot of people say, "Well, you can't do that." And then they never write a thing, because they believe it's not practical. I'll never make a living at it. You kept saying, "I can't do that." But somehow this very relentless, creative spirit in you, you just kept doing the work.

Terri:
So much so that you had to fire the part of your brain that was making you do work you didn't have time to do anymore. It's kind of fascinating.

Maurene:
It's so true. So I do a lot of school visits, and during the school visits I give a presentation on being an author and how I got there. I always talk about this meandering journey I've had. And I tell the kids, "I'm telling you guys this story, because nobody told me when I was a kid that I could be an author. So I'm telling you guys I'm a normal person in front of you and you can be an author too."

Maurene:
And I also always say, "I thought that I never had this dream and that all the things fell into place so that it made it possible. But I think when I look back on it, the dream was always there. I was too scared to say it."

Maurene:
I never wanted to vocalize it, because it felt too big for a Korean American kid growing up in LA who had never met an author before, who all the books she read were written by old British white men, or like fancy ladies from New York. It just never occurred to me that was a job you could do. And so that is why I don't think I ever vocalized that dream.

Maurene:
But I do think you could see it there along the whole journey. And I always say that in my presentations, because I just feel like it's really something kids probably don't hear all the time, that you could do this job. You could do a lot of jobs with writing. You could write video games as a job.

Terri:
Yeah. And you were freelancing doing other things. You were doing book reviews. What else?

Maurene:
I was doing book reviews. I worked for Taschen as a freelancer for a long time. So when I worked there, I ended up always keeping my connection to my old boss there. She's the greatest, she kept giving me work, whether it was like a copy editing assignment or some research. For Taschen I did a lot of little editing things like copy editing or project management. So that was another side of my brain.

Terri:
Okay, so you were working. This is job, job.

Maurene:
Yeah.

Terri:
That's the side that loves to rule the roost, the project management side.

Maurene:
I know. I always say being an author is actually the worst possible job for me, because I'm an extrovert and I have anxiety issues. I really should be in an environment with a lot of people and a job that is task driven. It's really good for my mental health, but unfortunately I really enjoy writing books and it happens to be the thing that I'm best at right now. And so I've had to force myself to be a productive writer.

Terri:
How do you do that?

Maurene:
Well, one, you have deadlines. Having a deadline is a real motivator, and that's actually what I learned, I need a lot of outside accountability. My own accountability is worth nothing.

Terri:
You're your own worst employee.

Maurene:
I'm like, "My dream is to write a book. That's nice. If someone else isn't telling me to write it, it will not happen." And so—

Terri:
But wait, it did happen though. You got that first book done. No one was asking for your first book.

Maurene:
Well, I had an application for... a sample was required, and then I kept writing it because it was kind of an escape, but I didn't finish it until I took the independent study as my last class at Emerson actually.

Terri:
Oh, you did?

Maurene:
Yeah. And I made the independent study finishing writing this book, and thinking of a publishing plan, editing it and designing the cover.

Terri:
That was smart.

Maurene:
Yeah, I made it a complete project.

Terri:
You paid to finish it.

Maurene:
I did.

Terri:
You paid to finish your own job.

Maurene:
I did, and that is why I finished it. And then the only reason why it ever became published is because I had a friend who knew I was working on it and she said, "Hey, can I read it?" And she's a published graphic novelist. So I said, "Okay." She read it and then she said, "Do you mind if I send this to my agent? I think she might like it." I'm like, "Oh, okay."

Terri:
And that's how that happened?

Maurene:
Yes, that's how it happened.

Terri:
That ended up being your agent?

Maurene:
Yes.

Terri:
Isn't that amazing?

Maurene:
And my agent put me in touch with an editor, and so she helped edit this book with me on and off for like a year. That's why I got finished. I had someone holding me accountable.

Terri:
That's so fantastic. I love this.

Maurene:
I know.

Terri:
I love that that's how it got done. If you could not, for whatever reason, you were like, "I don't want to write another book," or they were like, "Hey, guess what? No more books," or, "We're doing something else now," what do you think you would go pursue next?

Maurene:
I think if I was being practical about what I've learned from writing books, I've become a pretty adept storyteller, and I live in LA, and I have now made inroads in the entertainment industry. So it'd be pretty obvious for me to work in TV or film, which I think would be fun and would pay about a bazillion times more than I'm getting paid right now.

Terri:
Well, yeah, actually it would.

Maurene:
Right.

Terri:
But you do have some fun things coming up, don't you? Talk about that?

Maurene:
Yeah. So I got to announce recently that my second book, I Believe In A Thing Called Love, we are adapting it with a production company called A-Major Media right now, so that's been really great. I'm also working on a comic for Marvel right now, which is really exciting. It's Silk, which is the first, I believe first created American superhero.

Maurene:
She's basically Spider Girl. So this is like third, maybe, run of her. She's already had a few runs, but they asked me to do this one and it's been so fun.

Terri:
How does someone know how to write... I was going to say, how do you write a... do know how to write a comic? I wouldn't know the first thing. Or do you have to learn how to do that?

Maurene:
It takes like... For me, I think you read a few comics and you're like, "Okay." I've not been a huge comics reader, but it's kind of always been there because my husband's an illustrator. I know a ton of people that work in comics and graphic novels.

Maurene:
My old agent used to represent every graphic novelists that you know, so it's always kind of been a part of my world. And you would be surprised, I mean, unless you never watched any of the comics movies, you will be surprised at how quickly you realize you know how to write this comics banter.

Terri:
Really?

Maurene:
Yeah.

Terri:
It's in the American, it's in our language, it's in our psyche already.

Maurene:
It is, it's in our language. And if you read them a lot, you're like, "Oh, I get it." But that's not to say I did have to... I did a little more studying. Obviously I took it seriously when I pitched for it, and I talked to my friends who are big comics people.

Maurene:
I don't pretend to be an expert on comics. I'm very open about like, "Hey, is this a commicky thing? Is this allowed in the Marvel universe?" So it's also just so much faster, the process. Once you write a book, writing anything else, a screenplay, an outline for whatever, a movie, like all of this stuff is like, it's not that it's easy, but it's easier.

Terri:
For people who are looking to make writing the centerpiece of their work, what piece of writing advice do you loathe? That you'd say, "Please don't listen to it when people say this."

Maurene:
The one that for me truly never worked for me, and I always felt like, "Oh, I'm a bad writer, because this didn't work for me," is write every day.

Terri:
Thank you so much for saying that. Tell me why?

Maurene:
Sometimes like you are busy or you are seriously uninspired. I don't like to write for the sake of writing, even though I totally get how for a lot of people that is really helpful, because just to use that muscle and to get it revved up. I also feel like life is different for everyone. And so I think the important thing is like, yes, you should finish something. That is the number one thing.

Maurene:
You're not a writer until you finish the thing that you want to write. So you just have to make the time to do that, but I think the write every day puts a lot of pressure on you and it sets you up for feeling like a failure when you don't meet that goal. I tried so many different ways of trying to get a book written. I've learned, I have to do a spreadsheet of my word count. It satisfies me to fill it out. I like to have accountability buddies.

Terri:
Oh my god, you are a project manager.

Maurene:
I know.

Terri:
Tracking word count, someone kill me. Oh my God. I love it.

Maurene:
I actually didn't ever think I would like doing stuff like that, but the little dangling carrot and the little pat on the back is so crucial for me.

Terri:
Now, my last question for you is what do you think it means to make it, and how will you know when you get there?

Maurene:
Yeah. I don't know if I have made it. I think when you think about that, it's a little dangerous to think you've made it, because then what's next, right? What's really wonderful about being an author or a writer, I think, is that the goalpost is always moving. In a way that is really frustrating, because you're like, "When will I ever feel fulfilled?" Because you're waiting for that moment of like, "I did it."

Maurene:
It's what keeps the job super interesting. It's different. Every book is different. Every book is like a weird, different challenge. Your one book may do really well, your next book may tank. Then you feel motivated for the one after.

Terri:
You might cry in front of your high school.

Maurene:
Yes. You might cry in front of your high school and just feel like, "F this." But I think that that's the cool thing about writing, is that your job will always be different. You'll never be bored. And so for me, what it feels like I think making it is about fulfillment. And I think if there's always a balance of doing a job that is nourishing in some way, which for me right now, writing is nourishing.

Maurene:
And the other thing is, I cannot stress this enough, even if you have a creative job that you love, I think you should get compensated fairly. You should make a living wage out of your job, even if your job is your passion, even if your job is in this like cozy world called book publishing. It's your time, your skillset, you have to learn to value your work. I think that people forget that with writing. They forget that with creative work. Something that nourishes you and pays you properly, is to me, making it.

Terri:
Well, we have made it. Indeed. Thank you so much.

Maurene:
Thank you. This was so great. I had so much fun.

Terri:
"Making It Big in 30 Minutes" is a production of Emerson College, bringing innovation to communication and the arts. Sponsored by the Emerson College office of Alumni Engagement and supported by the Alumni Board of Directors. Our theme music was written by Phantoms and Avocado Junkie. For more information about the Alumni Association, please visit emerson.edu/alumni, where you can also find bonus material from the show. I'm Terri Trespicio, thanks for listening.