For years, Dean and I have taught that the critical voice is the enemy of the creative voice. I actually use a diagram when I teach that illustrates the point. It comes from this observation: Human beings crave stories. We do most everything in storytelling form. Learning often comes in the form of storytelling. If were lucky enough as children to have literate parents, they […]
How To Put The Fun Back Into Your Writing
In January, while I was preparing to teach a craft workshop here in Las Vegas, I was happily reading a lovely essay on the comma in the Oregon Quarterly. The essay, titled “For Love of the Comma,” written by Kate Dyer-Seeley, is beautifully done, and as I read, I was thinking of recommending the piece on my monthly recommended reading list—until I hit this: …I […]
I’m considered prolific. So from the outside, I look like a writing machine to many writers. I’ve heard that over and over again: How I’m so dedicated and strong and am all about writing.
It doesn’t feel that way from the inside. I don’t write nearly enough. I never get to everything I want to do. I feel like I’m doing things other than writing most of the time.
How do (and did) I get work done, even with a chronic illness that, at its worst, incapacitated me 21 out of 28 days every month?
I don’t expect other people to have the same priorities that I do. It’s up to me to prioritize my family, my health, and my writing. It’s not up to the world. The world is what it is. Other people will do what they do.
One of the comments I heard the most at this year’s Business Master Class was a bit wistful. And the comment usually came in a discussion about something else. I sure would like to get to the place where I can do what you folks do: where I can write what I love. As soon as this [insert detail] is over, I might be able […]
One September Saturday night, I went to see Sutton Foster at the Smith Center here in Las Vegas. Most of you may know Sutton Foster from her TV roles, particularly in Younger (which I have not watched, because it’s about “publishing,” and TV’s idea of “publishing” always sets my teeth on edge). I’ve been following Sutton Foster’s career for at least 18 years now, mostly […]
The writers who come to our workshops have one trait in common: they’re driven. We choose writers to attend our in-person workshops based on that trait above all else. Yes, we mostly teach professionals, which takes care of the whole “can-you-write-well-enough-yet” thing, but even among the professionals who apply to our workshops, we still search for drive. So many professional writers, with sales to their […]
The problem with the hamster wheel school of writing is that at a certain point all of that love of writing, all of that joy in storytelling, goes out the window, and writing becomes drudgery. It’s not fun to write the same story over and over again. It’s not fun to write stories on topics you hate. It’s not fun to write in genres you loathe.
So many writers are doing that, though, and have no idea how to quit…