There are two kinds of writers. Plotters, those who plan out the events of their stories before they write, and pantsers, those who write without knowing where they're going. I have been (and probably always will be) a pantser. This is fun for me while I'm writing, but hell when trying to put together a… Continue reading The Problem with the Hero’s Journey
We belong to an impatient culture. We don't wait for anything if we can help it, and if we have to wait, we tap our feet, sigh, and complain. Sitting and thinking that doesn't lead to immediate action is "wasting time" or "naval gazing" or "daydreaming." We have lost sight of the value in waiting.… Continue reading Novel Writing, Consumerism, and the Skill of Waiting
Recently, I taught haiku to a group of elementary students. I started the lesson on the defensive, expecting groans, complaints, poetry bashing, and a general unwillingness to participate. I tried to counter some of that up front by telling the students I loved haiku and that I expected them to be respectful of that. I… Continue reading Write Like a Child
You've set aside a couple of hours to write, and you've been looking forward to it all day. You finally get home. You get your snacks, your tea or coffee, settle down to write, and... You can't find the mental energy to begin the process of writing, or stay in the groove long enough to… Continue reading Why is Writing So Hard?
I came across this line in a tweet the other day: You either make time to write, or you're not a real writer. My reaction was something like: YIKES. Harsh! Who is this person, and why do they think they get to define what a "real" writer is anyway?? It's easy to react to some… Continue reading How Do You Find Time to Write?
Twitter has made me a better writer. Sounds like clickbait, right? It's totally not. When I graduated with my creative writing degree, I lost a lot of involvement in the supportive writing community I had gotten used to. Thankfully, the internet is teeming with brilliant people building virtual writing communities. In particular, there are amazing… Continue reading The Twitter Revision Experiment: Writer’s Edition
I'm reading the novel 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (totally recommend, though I'm starting to take issue with 800+ page novels; they're EXHAUSTING). There's a character in it who's an aspiring fiction writer named Tengo. He has a revelation part-way through the book. He realizes he's never really been passionate about anything. He's performed well in… Continue reading when to give up on a story
Almost every writer successful enough to gain a platform to talk about such things prescribes setting a consistent writing time. So, desiring to be a successful writer yourself, and maybe even a good one, you set aside a block of time to write. You look forward to it. You have visions of filling up all… Continue reading Ways to Spend Your Writing Time That Aren’t Writing
I was talking with a friend about Frank Zappa's view of Art, and started listening to his band, The Mothers of Invention. I'd heard them before, but just little snippets of songs. Today, I listened straight through the first two albums in a kind of wondrous, outraged, joyful daze. It's totally weird. Stream of consciousness.… Continue reading Frank Zappa, Art, and The Frame
I haven't been seeing as much progress in my novel as I would like. Novels take time. My brain takes time to understand connections in the story or among characters. I get that. But I was slipping into a kind of stupor with the whole thing, allowing the process to meander rather than chasing the… Continue reading my writing challenge: a case study