Posts Tagged: writing
The folks over at Brainpickings have unearthed a video from 1974 from a show called Day at Night where guest Ray Bradbury talked about writing, love, and life.
“I use a library the same way I’ve been describing the creative process as a writer — I don’t go in with lists of things to read, I go in blindly and reach up on shelves and take down books and open them and fall in love immediately.
The Believer‘s blog has a really splendid interview with writer, editor, and UN employee Summer Brennan.
Brennan talks to Nicolle Elizabeth about what it’s like to write non-creatively for a living, and then come home to write some more but on your own terms....more
If anyone was still laboring under the impression that writing is a lucrative business, a new report from Digital Book World is here to pulverize your hopes and dreams.
After interviewing 10,000 authors at all different points in their careers, DBW found that “the majority of authors make less than $1000 a year” from their writing, and “only 10 percent of traditionally published authors made more than $20,000.”
Read more and check out graphs of the data in this Galleycat post....more
The best things on my CV—the ones I almost want to use comic sans for, just so they’ll stand out—haven’t paid me.
In an essay for The Toast, Jilly Gagnon lays bare the realities of the writing life: handling 3,128 rejections, working a day job, and drying Mom’s tears when she sees the size of the apartment you can afford....more
There are a lot of writing tips out there, but here’s a comprehensive list from someone who’s been “there.”...more
My problem with the grand traditional novel—or rather traditional narrative in general, short stories included—is the vision of character, the constant reinforcement of a fictional selfhood that accumulates meaning through suffering and the overcoming of suffering. At once a palace built of words and a trajectory propelled by syntax, the self connects effortlessly with the past and launches bravely into the future.
“Maybe you write because you’re lonesome. You might stop once you fall in love. Remember we’re each just a self and the page is always there.
Maybe you write because you have a story to tell. I can’t imagine the Herculean act of learning to write for just one story, but some stories burn like that, I’ve heard tell.
Sherman Alexie always loved to read, but it never occurred to him that he—or any other Native American, for that matter—could become a writer.
That all changed when he read a poem by Adrian C. Louis and came to the following line: “O Uncle Adrian!...more
Either in content or in style, in subject matter or in rhetorical approach, fiction that is too much like other fiction is bad by definition. However paradoxical it sounds, good writing as a set of strictures (that is, when the writing is good and nothing more) produces most bad fiction.
The school year has begun, and this essay from Tom Kealey illustrates an afternoon-in-the-life of a volunteer at the San Francisco tutoring center 826 Valencia...more
At the Tazewell County Justice Center, on a Monday night in May, five women gather for a creative-writing class. They microwave plastic cups of instant coffee, then drag chairs up to the conference table where we’ll write....more
One summer day in 1985, a doctor calls my mother and tells her that there is empty space where parts of my brain should be.
“I don’t understand it,” he says. “There should be muscle, and there’s nothing.” More tests, he mumbles....more
…nothing calls for the paper shredder like a story that the writer clearly hasn’t sat on. A story that hasn’t been rewritten, or rewritten enough. So many writers that I encounter send their work in so soon. It shows, it really does.
Policy Mic has a fun post about the four worst things people tell young writers about writing.
Perhaps the most important of these to disregard is “Good writers always write well”:
Imagine you are someone who has no idea how to play a guitar.
But writing poems allows me mastery over a miniature universe. For those moments or hours, I am God of my kingdom. No one tells me how things go. No one can argue against me when I’m writing poems. When I am writing, I get to speak....more
Lately, over crumb-laden dinner tables and cups of coffee and on windy hillsides I ask friends, family, and peripheral acquaintances whether or not they write in a journal....more
A lot of women people (as opposed to men people, or just “people”) are upset that Wikipedia editors have created a subcategory for “American Women Novelists.” But I’m not....more
In what job other than writing must you seek out frequent and concrete rejection? Okay, fine, but go get your own self-pitying rant....more
Start with a hook.
Vomit splashed on my shoes. Another bullshit night on the suck party circuit. (Too Nick Flynnish?) Or:...more
The life of a writer is rarely depicted as glamorous.
We do it because we must. But sometimes we also must do other things like eat, and pay for shelter over our heads, or support those dependent on us. In the age of of information inundation, with high reader demands and little money to go around, the situation is bound to get tense....more
Over at the New York Times “Draft” blog, Benjamin Nugent, author of Good Kids, breaks down the romantic notion that locking yourself away in the “primeval hush of the Midwest” is a certified boon to your writing.
Instead, Nugent discusses the “Victorian foil” of monomania and the way that too much alone time can actually be detrimental to the creative process:
Writing a book consists largely of avoiding distractions.
A glance, an explosive connection, or a kiss that brings on a divorce. Decisions to stay or go. A diagnosis dictating a body’s abrupt end, slow decline, or unexpected recovery....more
In Whip Smart, Melissa Febos unflinchingly chronicles five years in her early twenties when she was a dominatrix and heroin user. But the book is about so much more than those details....more
The Rumpus Book Club chats with George Saunders about Tenth of December, sudden celebrity, why escalation matters if you’re a writer, and how to stick with a story...more