What every writer needs: a smart, honest, critical reader. Or in a perfect world, a posse of smart-honest-criticals. Let's face it. If you have an Einsteinian friend, but he only heaps praise upon your work and doesn't share what could be better, how does that help? If you have an Eeyore-type who honestly sees prickles… Continue reading Smart, Honest, Critical
Writing is a solitary pursuit. I remember telling my professor-uncle I wanted to be a writer. His response was that I should prepare for a painful, lonely existence. I was in college and had taken a few writing classes. Still high on workshop praise and being ever the pragmatist, I decided writing was the "career"… Continue reading Writing is a Solitary Pursuit. Being Read, a Sociable One.
If you're a writer, you may start out thin-skinned, but if you're to survive, you can't possibly stay that way. Most writers fall into the craft because of some strategically-timed compliments, generally given by authority figures and well-meaning English teachers in our formative years. This is usually coupled with an insatiable appetite for reading.… Continue reading Spontaneous 7 Oxymoron: Thin-Skinned Writer
This may be my favorite exercise ever. Donald Maass calls it tension-on-every-page. You're probably thinking, Thanks for the tip, Captain Obvious. What writer would purpose to write even one boring page? I hear that. But the way we go about adding tension matters. I could just throw my veggies in a pot, dump in some… Continue reading Spontaneous 6: Tension on Every Page
In Spontaneous 5 I mentioned spending upwards of seven (it was actually more like ten) hours on my first page. Well, you can see the fruit of that labor and even vote anonymously whether or not you'd keep reading my work HERE. This is me, begging you. I'm not asking for strokes. Vote your conscience.… Continue reading An Invitation to FLOG This Writer AND…I Got Shot
Ever wonder why that would-be writer is taking FOR. EVER to produce something? I mean, Where's the beef? You've been at this for, what? –a year? So and so writer churns them out with the regularity of vegan bowel movements, and you're still just...writing? Here's how non-writers regard book-writing. They take the time it took… Continue reading Spontaneous 5: Where’s the Beef?
If you're a cup half-empty person, you're always asking and answering that question. I am, admittedly, a prophet of doom. I can ALWAYS see how things can get worse. Just ask my husband. He'll tell you about the giant trees that stood majestically on our front lawn, the ones I imagined falling. Not in just… Continue reading Spontaneous 4: How Can This Get Any Worse?