This writing business is not an easy one. At any given moment, you will find folks in the writing community who are celebrating great successes, others wondering if they should quit for good, and all of the iterations in between. As a writer, I sometimes feel like I boarded a tiny boat on a big … Continue reading Stages of Writing
“It doesn't really matter who said it, it's so obviously true. Before you can write anything, you have to notice something.” -- JOHN IRVING “Write from what you know into what you don’t know.” -- GRACE PALEY As a person who has taught more university writing courses than I care to mention, I regularly hear some version … Continue reading Imagination vs Observation
About two *cough* decades ago, I conducted my Ph.D research on parental behavior, using a bird species as my model system. In the biological sciences, it's common practice to use research models to ask questions that then might be applicable to other species -- perhaps even applicable to... people *gasp*. Through my background research, I discovered that there are actually … Continue reading Permission to Let Go: Lessons from The Concorde Fallacy
Apparently the first rule of Write Club is “don’t talk about your writing.” Over the years I’ve heard this message from so many people in so many different ways that I’ve come to accept it as a cultural norm in writing communities, and it’s most common in writing workshops. This injunction can come as a … Continue reading Talk it Out
If you've ever participated in NaNoWriMo, you've had your writing gamified. I've done and won NaNo five years in a row now, and I have to admit that I love watching the word counts rack up. There's nothing like a daily bar graph to encourage you to stay above the trend line.
I’ve heard people say that claiming you have writer’s block is akin to a plumber saying he’s got plumber’s block. To me, that comparison is ridiculous. A plumber has the exact same wrenches and other tools he uses every day on the job. He has a clear-cut list of skills he needs and issues he’ll … Continue reading The Truth About Writer’s Block
Welcome to the third installment in a a series of posts on workflow. In the first post, I shared my general approach to writing and wrote broadly about the tools I use. In the second post I focused on the Capture Stage, or how to get ideas into a computer. In this post, I will … Continue reading Drafting