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…
Recently, someone asked me why Dean and I continue to teach writing workshops. Most established writers don’t, unless they’re asked to address a college class or spend a week at Clarion. Even then, they’re following someone else’s format, and simply putting their spin on it. Dean and I have developed an entire curriculum, both online and in-person, and we continue to add to it. We […]
The in-person Oregon Coast writing workshop ended on Saturday, and worked relatively well, considering all the things we had to do to deal with my unexpected need to remain here in Vegas. Some things worked as usual, and others didn’t. Surprisingly for me, I ended up as tired on Sunday as I usually am when I am talking with everyone in person. I think that […]
I’m allergic to dairy. It’s one of the many allergies that sent me to Vegas. In Lincoln City, restaurants didn’t understand that no dairy meant no butter, no milk products, no cheese. The restaurants would often scrap off the offending item if they accidentally mixed it into my food, not caring about cross-contamination. Between that and my perfume allergy, I was no longer able to […]
Well, I’m sitting in a breakfast nook, surrounded by sunshine, in a condo I hadn’t seen as of January 1, living a life that I hadn’t expected to be living on that day either. Dean and I are now going back and forth between Las Vegas and Lincoln City. In fact, he’s in Lincoln City right now, while I’m helping two traumatized cats adjust to […]
Last week’s blog, “The People in Your Office,” sparked a lot of discussion on writer and reader websites. The comments section deals with both points of view as well. A lot of the comments have rattled around in my brain since the post went up. I love how Jonathan Moeller summarized one part of it: I really think that two of the keys for long-term […]
Because dozens of you have asked me, both privately and in comments, how I write with a chronic health condition.
There really is a trick to the writing while chronically ill. But the trick is personal, and it’s tailored to each individual person.
So, more personal stories—and then tips.
Sometimes, art provides a different perspective, a new way of thinking about important things. And sometimes, we just hang out with a little boy wizard fighting a big powerful evil because it entertains us.
This is not light stuff. It is not unimportant. It is extremely important.
As I said, I wrote about this in October. But I didn’t tell you how to keep practicing your art in difficult times. So let me add that.
So…how do we do our jobs when our world is on fire?
According to lore and the internet, either Stephen King or Ernest Hemingway first said that there are two kinds of writers—putter-inners and taker-outters. (I can’t find the quote. I’m pressed for time. You find it.) I would add that there is at least one more type of writer, and that would be “all of the above.” I’m getting the novel I finished last week ready […]
I made a promise to myself when I started this blog up again a little over a year ago that I wouldn’t use the blog to put extra pressure on myself. This morning, I finished the last chapter of a book I’ve worked on for eleven years. I’ve done six different half drafts of the book—all with different characters, starting in different places. Earlier this […]