Category: Developing a Writing Life

Book Festivals: Why Authors Should Spend the Money to Travel to Book Festivals”
Book festivals are a tradition I’m thinking a lot about lately. By the end of the year I will have taken Some Kinds of Love: Stories to...
Book Festivals: Why Authors Should Spend the Money to Travel to Book Festivals”
“The Secret Uncertainties of a Writer”
You know something? The inner critic is mean. It loves to play on existing insecurities and drill into them as if debriding an open wound....
“The Secret Uncertainties of a Writer”
“What’s Your Book About? How to Make a Pitch”
When my first novel was complete, I sent it to an academic press. (You could do that then.) The editor liked the book, but decided it would...
“What’s Your Book About? How to Make a Pitch”
The Writer and Her Time
The Writer begins when she is young. She doesn’t want to waste time. Reading is wonderful but writing feels better. After she finishes...
The Writer and Her Time
A Writer’s Writer: Colum McCann’s Thirteen Ways of Looking
Irish writer Colum McCann is best known for his National Book Award winning novel, Let the Great World Spin. Despite winning one of the...
A Writer’s Writer: Colum McCann’s Thirteen Ways of Looking
“How to Improve Your Odds of Sticking to Your Writing Resolutions”
On the evening news not long ago a fitness guru offered three tips to improve your chances of sticking to your fitness goals in the New...
“How to Improve Your Odds of Sticking to Your Writing Resolutions”
What’s the Big Deal about Leading a Writers’ Workshop?
Well, I’ll tell you. It probably teaches you as much as it does the other participants. Perhaps more. I led a workshop Saturday for my...
What’s the Big Deal about Leading a Writers’ Workshop?
“Why I Love Literary Citizenship”
Much is being written lately on the topic of literary citizenship. Since this was the topic of my Master’s final research paper,...
“Why I Love Literary Citizenship”
“Ten Habits of Effective Writing Critiquers”
Creative writing workshops can be a place where writers help colleagues shape their written work so that it effectively communicates the...
“Ten Habits of Effective Writing Critiquers”
“Use Writing as an Excuse to Travel to Beautiful Places (and other Confessions of a Conference Monster)”
Up in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the mornings were cold and the internet worked only after the sun came out and re-charged the cells...
“Use Writing as an Excuse to Travel to Beautiful Places (and other Confessions of a Conference Monster)”
“The Writer’s Brain on Data”
There is always another email to answer, another link to share, another picture to upload, another article to read, and always another...
“The Writer’s Brain on Data”
“Seven Reasons to Attend a Writers’ Conference”
If you have never been to a writers’ conference, you are missing great opportunities.  You don’t need to be a writer to...
“Seven Reasons to Attend a Writers’ Conference”
Eight Reasons to Consider Pursuing an MFA
  Okay, in advance, I confess. I have an MFA. You may detect a bit of bias in favour of MFAs in what follows.  So be it. Here are...
Eight Reasons to Consider Pursuing an MFA
What’s the Big Deal about Public Readings of Your Writing?
Well, I’ll tell you: dry mouth, sweaty armpits, and the urge to call for your Mom. And the reason, of course, is that you are taking the...
What’s the Big Deal about Public Readings of Your Writing?
A “Real Job”: The Legitimacy of Creative Writing
Over the course of my creative writing MFA, the topic of the work-writing balance has come up more than a few times. Some of my colleagues...
A “Real Job”: The Legitimacy of Creative Writing
“Fostering Literary Community in the Digital Age”
A writer is accustomed to solitude. Writing requires a certain amount of isolation in order for words to become stories, poems and essays....
“Fostering Literary Community in the Digital Age”
“The Overly Sensitive Writer”
Anne Lamott recently wrote an article titled “Me, the overly sensitive child,” adapted from her book, Stitches: A Handbook on...
“The Overly Sensitive Writer”
“Learning How: Courses, Workshops and Tutors”
"Beginning writers must appreciate the prerequisites if they hope to become writers. You pay your dues — which takes...
“Learning How: Courses, Workshops and Tutors”