Tag Archives | the writing life

That’s Too Much: The Problem with Prolific Writers

This post by Drew Nellins Smith originally appeared on The Millions on 9/2/15. Lately I’ve been struck by the notion that there might be no books more lost than those buried in the overwhelming bibliographies of authors who have simply published too damn much. On Thursday, The New York Times published an op-ed defense of […]

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Virginia Woolf on Why She Became a Writer and the Shock-Receiving Capacity Necessary for Being an Artist

This post by Maria Popova originally appeared on Brain Pickings on 9/9/15. “Behind the cotton wool is hidden a pattern…the whole world is a work of art… there is no Shakespeare… no Beethoven…no God; we are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself.” “Only art penetrates … the seeming realities of […]

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The Psychology of Writing and the Cognitive Science of the Perfect Daily Routine

This post by Maria Popova originally appeared on Brain Pickings on 8/25/14. How to sculpt an environment that optimizes creative flow and summons relevant knowledge from your long-term memory through the right retrieval cues. Reflecting on the ritualization of creativity, Bukowski famously scoffed that “air and light and time and space have nothing to do […]

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Genius Time

This post by Jennifer Crusie originally appeared on her Argh Ink site on 7/10/15. I looked at Lavender Blue‘s first act and realized it was 46,244 words long. That’s too many. I’m not really that fixated on numbers, but I know that readers are going to need to be turned into a new story long […]

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There Is No Map for Grief: On the Work of Art

This post by Lidia Yuknavitch originally appeared on The Millions on 7/8/15. Trauma brought me to the page, it is that simple. When my daughter died in the belly world of me, I became a writer — so that all the words that cannot name grief, all the words threatening to erupt from my belly […]

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How to Become the Artist You Were Born to Be

This essay by Bernard Hiller originally appeared on The Huffington Post on 7/10/15. By becoming authentic. WHAT’S STOPPING THAT? Ask yourself, what did you have to do to be loved, as a child? Most kids are not encouraged to believe in their uniqueness. If you had to behave like someone other than yourself, then you […]

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How Important Is It to Be a “Famous” Writer?

This post by Lauren Sapala originally appeared on her site on 5/12/15. For many years it was my dream to be a famous writer. Like, a REALLY famous writer. My idol was Jack Kerouac, and while that was partly because I loved the beauty of his writing (and still do) it was also because of […]

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The Rewriting of David Foster Wallace

This profile by Christian Lorentzen originally appeared in New York Magazine in the 6/29/15. Nobody owns David Foster Wallace anymore. In the seven years since his suicide, he’s slipped out of the hands of those who knew him, and those who read him in his lifetime, and into the cultural maelstrom, which has flattened him. […]

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Opinion: Why Authors Need to Step Away from the Internet

This post by Debbie Young originally appeared on the ALLi blog on 6/29/15. Author and ALLi Advice blog editor Debbie Young makes the case for self-published authors to occasionally turn their backs on the ever-hungry beast that is the world wide web. As indie authors, we sell most of our wares in a marketplace that […]

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Key Steps to Writing a Book

This post by Christy Heady originally appeared on her site on 4/15/15. Aside from implementing good storytelling and following stellar punctuation rules, when a writer begins the process of writing a book and wanting a successful writing career he or she must keep a few points in mind. These points are not taught in school; […]

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Good Is The Enemy of Great- 5 Things Special Forces Taught Me

This post by Bob Mayer originally appeared on his Write On The River blog on 6/20/15. I’ve had varied experiences, especially in the military. Cadet at West Point, Infantry platoon leader, recon platoon leader, and then Special Forces A-Team leader and other position in Special Operations over the years. I experienced organizations at various levels, […]

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How Much Are Words Worth?

This post by Scott Carney originally appeared on his blog on 4/27/15. Writers tend to keep their thoughts in the realm of ideas rather than calculate the seemingly mundane matter of the mechanics of the trade. However, a few months ago I sat down in a Chinese restaurant with a friend of mine who writes […]

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In a Rush to Publish? Better Ways to Shave Off Time

This post by Elizabeth Spann Craig originally appeared on her site on 6/5/15. There has been a good deal written about the need for self-publishing authors not to be in a rush to publish. And yet, there has been a good deal written about the need for self-publishing authors to quickly produce for financial success. […]

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Cara Lopez Lee’s Thoughtful Rules for Compassionate Critiques

This post by Cara Lopez Lee originally appeared as a guest post on Rebecca Lacko’s The Written Word site. I have a small, trusted circle of critique partners. I know I’m lucky, they’re hard to come by. I met two at Writers’ Studio at UCLA, a couple of years ago, and I count them dear […]

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Seeing the Trees – Ten Ways Around Writer’s Block

This post by JJ Marsh originally appeared on her site on 2/21/15. Warning: strong language. A writer friend is helping me out by checking a Spanish translation of my work. I asked how I could repay the favour. “Encouragement!” she said. “I’m blocked. So many false starts, I need help to get moving again.” Blocks […]

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