Category Archives: writing advice
Why I Brought a Film Camera to Rome
I packed an aged Pentax with a heft of approximately 1.5 pounds to lug up ancient staircases. I did this not because I believed the film photographs would be superior to those I could take with my phone. I did this so I wouldn’t go all the way to Rome and miss it. I carried this camera so I would do what one would hope would be natural and automatic: To see. Continue reading
The Thing You Least Want to Write About
In a June 2017 Fresh Air interview, Roxane Gay shared that her book, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, “felt necessary to write because it was the book I wanted to write the least.” She goes onto explain: “When I was thinking about what to do next in terms of nonfiction just before Bad Feminist came out, I thought You know, I’d really never want to write about fatness. And in that moment I knew that’s something I have to write about.” Continue reading
Help! I want my short writings to cohere into something publishable!
A question my clients and students often ask: “What can I do with all the bits and pieces I’ve written?” If you’ve written to prompts over a number of years, you may feel like you’ve written quite a bit without … Continue reading
Is My Manuscript Ready to Send Out?
One of the questions I get asked quite often: Is my book (or book proposal) ready to go out to agents and editors? Unless it’s clear the writer is jumping the gun, this is a tricky question to answer. True benefits abound from jetting out into the world, even prematurely. Most significantly: If the work is circulating, air is getting in and often giving life new ideas, leads, and connections.The downsides are obvious–chiefly, a half-baked project blowing your shot with someone you value and self-recrimination for overeagerness raining down shortly after rejection’s sting. Here are some questions you could ask yourself if you are on the verge of clicking “Send.” And hopefully, your answers will bring you to the right decision–or at least a bit closer. Continue reading