writing life

the value of story

Confession: I've been dealing with some artistic jealousy lately. I started watching the Netflix series Chef's Table, which provides documentary-like looks into the lives and philosophies of the world's most successful chefs. The culinary arts are fascinating to me. They're also always in high demand. Because, well, we all have to eat. Between jobs, I've… Continue reading the value of story

reading lists, writing life

3 Books to Inspire Your Writing Life

The writing life is often an isolated one. Writing groups are few and far between. The internet alleviates this somewhat, but is an imperfect replacement for real fellowship. All of us live with and through books. That's part of the reason we got into this writing business in the first place. So why not look… Continue reading 3 Books to Inspire Your Writing Life

writing life, writing process

writer unblocked

One of my students is obsessed with the concept of writer’s block. In her mind, writer’s block is this metaphysical monster or force that’s totally impossible to overcome. If she's got it, she finished. She’s right to be worried. An unknown entity that stops her from being able to write completely? Yikes. If her conception… Continue reading writer unblocked

process, writing life, writing process

my biggest (writing) weakness

There are two kinds of writers. Those who love writing first drafts, and those who love revising. I love writing first drafts. The first words of a new idea open a hidden door into a new world. Writing the first draft is exploring it, breathing foreign air, seeing new places unfold, and strange characters share… Continue reading my biggest (writing) weakness

writing life, writing process

the novel as multiverse

One of Flannery O’Connor’s most popular statements goes, "I have to write to discover what I am doing. …I don’t know so well what I think until I see what I say." The more popular paraphrase is a little easier to parse. "I don’t know what I think until I read what I say." Novel writing… Continue reading the novel as multiverse

blog origins, origins

prequel: why write about writing

I've been practicing creative writing since I was a kid. Never studied it formally. My education was free at my local public library. After college, I thought, well, heck, I've read all these books. I'm going to write one. So I did. It was bad. I had no idea what I was doing. I could… Continue reading prequel: why write about writing