Beth Barany

Beth coaches and teaches writers and those who want to write. She's done so in two of her favorite places in the world (so far): the San Francisco Bay Area and Paris, France. Raised in Sonoma County, California, Beth knew she wanted to be a writer from a young age, and started at age 7 by writing her first book about her family's cats with her brother. Beth started teaching writing by teaching it to ESL students in Oakland, California. Soon, they were surprised to be writing short stories in their new English-language skills, and most importantly, they were enjoying it. (Well, most of them were.) Determined to get published, Beth published her first journalism article in the Paris Free Voice while she was living in the City of Lights in the early 1990s. It only took four tries and five rewrites! From working in journalism for 15 years, Beth switched her focus to fiction, and now writes fantasy and science fiction. She currently has a young adult fantasy novel under consideration by agents and editors. On her off-hours, Beth enjoys the outdoors, gardens, watches movies, and reads! Beth is married to singer/song-writer and high school physics teacher, Ezra Barany.

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  • Sharon Ledwith

    Great post, Faith! Love the way you use the analogy of karate and writing, but the truth is practice makes perfect, even if it does smart going over old manscripts or getting hit. Cheers and best wishes for a stellar publishing career!

  • Jodie Jackson

    Thank you, Faith. It’s like saying, “I’ll wait ’til I’ve arrived before I” (fill in the blank: write that novel, take that chance, pursue that relationship …)

    Start where I am. Great advice. Thanks again.

  • Faith Van Horne

    Beth, thanks for hosting me today! And Sharon, yes, it does hurt to pull out those first drafts, doesn’t it? :)

    Jodie, you hit on a good point. You can never succeed without taking some chances.

  • Dave Zarlengo

    This reminds me of an interview with, I think it was Steve Vai. He was the guitarist with David Lee Roth and Frank Zappa. When asked what makes a good guitarist, he said you should know enough technically to be able to play the music you imagine in your head. What you’re talking about here is something I ran into with a story I came up with. I realized when I started writing that I was way in over my head, so I stopped. Figured I’d get back to it. That was ten years ago. Waiting “till you’re good enough” can be an excuse to never finish, start or even try.

  • Faith Van Horne

    Dave, I know that feel. Rule One of Writing (or, if it’s not #1, it’s right near the top) is finish what you start. Actually, I guess that’s Rule Two; Rule One would be to start writing in the first place. So have you pulled out that story again lately?

  • Beth Barany

    I so agree with you, Faith. In fact, Stage 1 of my Writer’s Adventure Guide process is also Start From Where You Are. It’s all about getting moving, right?!