26-Year-Old Dana Schwartz Doesnt Need To Stick To A Genre – Forbes

Posted: December 31, 2019 at 10:47 am


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Dana with cat, Beetlejuice.

I really thought I was going to go be a doctor, Dana Schwartz says about her time as a pre-med student in college. Then I had this panicked moment of realizing I was so fundamentally unhappy. My dream was always to be a writer, but I never thought I could make a living that way. But now after three books in the last three years and more projects in the works, that dream has been fully realized for Schwartz.

The 26-year-old author has written the YA novel titled And We're Off and a memoir, Choose Your Own Disaster. Last month she released a humor book, The White Man's Guide to White Male Writers of the Western Canon, with cartoonist Jason Adam Katzenstein. She is the host of the iHeartRadio podcast, Noble Blood, which is executive produced by Lores Aaron Mahnke. She is also working as a writer on Marvels upcoming She-Hulk TV show on Disney+.

While Schwartz was always a voracious reader and liked to write short stories, her writing career began on Twitter. In college, she started the popular twitter account, GuyInYourMFA. It made was making fun of basically my own insecurities when it came to the literary world, making fun of the lit-bros who intimidated me, she says. It got me traction and attention on the internet, which gave me the boost of confidence to think, maybe I could do this.

Her newfound confidence led her to freelancing which led her to a job at Entertainment Weekly. While her online writing portfolio grew, it was still her GuyInYourMFA account that created an opening for her to write books. I had a few publishers reach out to me after the success of the parody Twitter account, she says. Every good thing that has happened to me has been because I made something and put it out in the world. Work begets more work. Its less about having social media to check a box, its more about using social media as a tool to show your sense of humor and your sensibility.

Schwartz has chosen to work in a new genre for every book. I have been all over the place in terms of my work. Some people have said that I would have done better professionally if I had stuck to a more consistent personal brand, she says. The through-line is its always something Im genuinely interested in and excited about. I have never done anything because I thought it would be good for my career, its all things I love.

While Schwartz has bounced between genres and mediums, her newest book returns to her roots making fun of white male writers and the men who worship them. Its a full circle because its loosely based on the guy in your MFA character, she says. Each of my books has been an entirely different experience, she explains. With the humor book, it was just so much fun. I had to do a lot of research into the writers I was making fun of. I was so lucky to have Jason do illustrations which made everything funnier.

Schwartz maintains a busy schedule. Even with the book published, she still has to juggle her podcast, TV job, and new projects, but Schwartz takes it in stride. She says, Success is getting up every day and writing for a living.

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26-Year-Old Dana Schwartz Doesnt Need To Stick To A Genre - Forbes

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December 31st, 2019 at 10:47 am

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