A Day in the Life of a Writer, Grace, memoir, Writing

A Day in the Life of a Writer: Excavation via fresh hurts

Sometimes I only have a scent.  Ivory Soap. Pine sap. Old Spice. It’s faint, like an afterimage, as Atwood writes in The Handmaid’s Tale. Other times, I catch a memory when I noodle about something peripheral, like the weather of my childhood. And other times, I am knocked into a pit by something that happens,… Read More A Day in the Life of a Writer: Excavation via fresh hurts

A Day in the Life of a Writer, memoir, Out of the Woods, Writing

Exploring grace

My assignment this week with my writing partners is to articulate my definition of grace because I’m finally narrowing my focus on the theme for my WIP, Out of the Woods.  I thought I knew this definition, but when my partner asked me, I fumbled for what I meant. After our meeting, I stumbled across… Read More Exploring grace

A Day in the Life of a Writer, Authors, memoir, Out of the Woods, Writing

Wrestling with the story

For the past few years I’ve struggled with what I –and others–have perceived to be a gaping hole in my memoir.  Today I realized that the gaping hole is actually the end of that part of my story; I think I need to focus on excavating what I already have and delete what comes after.… Read More Wrestling with the story

A Day in the Life of a Writer, the craft of writing, Videos

A Day in the Life of a Writer: What Makes a Good Story?

A beginning, a middle, and an end. Yeah, thanks. Knew that, right? Check out this TED talk from Karen Thompson Walker, and consider using your own fears to write well-developed stories.  Those fears ARE stories, after all, complete with characters and horrible things happening and an aftermath.  Don’t we create stories all the time? Pema… Read More A Day in the Life of a Writer: What Makes a Good Story?

A Day in the Life of a Writer, memoir, Writing

How to excavate a story from your past: Memoir ideas

  Telling a story from one’s childhood is not the same as excavating it.  One may think that simply writing out a vignette from one’s childhood addresses issues plainly, but it ain’t so. Here’s the thing: First you have to write out the memory exactly as it has been playing in your head for the… Read More How to excavate a story from your past: Memoir ideas

A Day in the Life of a Writer

Perfectionism is the death of done

  “Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping- stone… Read More Perfectionism is the death of done

A Day in the Life of a Writer, memoir

Regurgitation: It’s what’s for breakfast

“As writers we live life twice, like a cow that eats its food once and then regurgitates it to chew and digest it again. We have a second chance at biting into our experience and examining it. … This is our life and it’s not going to last forever. There isn’t time to talk about… Read More Regurgitation: It’s what’s for breakfast

A Day in the Life of a Writer, Musings

first recognize your fear

“First recognize that you’re afraid and slowly build your tolerance for fear…You may still feel it, but you become willing to bear it as you write. You keep your hand moving, you stay there, you move closer and closer to the edge of what scares you.” – Natalie Goldberg, Thunder and Lightning You’d think it’d… Read More first recognize your fear

A Day in the Life of a Writer, Writing

Naming characters

I just discovered this on Facebook, and I think that may be the only place you can use this technique.  If you’re stumped about what to name your characters, try this meme-y thing: Did you know your CELL PHONE has a name? Try this: 1st step: From your mobile number, take the last 3 numbers.… Read More Naming characters

A Day in the Life of a Writer

cut off your head–it’s getting in your way

“Writer’s block results from too much head. Cut off your head. Pegasus, poetry, was born of Medusa when her head was cut off. You have to be reckless when writing. Be as crazy as your conscience allows.” – A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living I do it all the time. :/… Read More cut off your head–it’s getting in your way