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Posts Tagged: the writing life

Vonnegut’s Secret Weapon

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Without his wife Jane’s faith and encouragement in his writing, it’s highly likely we wouldn’t know Kurt Vonnegut’s name from Adam. The New Yorker explores Jane’s influence on her husband throughout his career as an author. Kurt was more pragmatic, casting about for career ideas—teaching, reporting, opening a library with a bar. Jane had just […]

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Guildtalk #3: Lori Ostlund

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For our ongoing Authors Guild series, Lori Ostlund speaks with Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Russo about what it means to live a literary life in the 21st century.

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Less Room

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New York is the worst. What are all these writers still doing here? My years spent in New York (where I had also grown up), had made it clear to me there was less and less room for failure in that city, and therefore less room for creative freedom. Fatin Abbas picks up and moves […]

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Quit Your Day Job

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The writing life ain’t cheap. Longtime Rumpus friend and contributor Antonia Crane has declared this the “Summer of Love: Stop Stripping, Start Writing” and she can’t make it happen without us. Help her raise the money to attend Bread Loaf and Byrdcliffe Art Colony this summer, and score some pretty cool perks in the process (naked VIP manuscript review, anyone?). […]

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The Write Life

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At The Billfold, Christine Sneed gets real about the long, hard path to finding success writing books—even after being published—and why she wouldn’t have chosen a different career path regardless: I can’t imagine not being a writer. Maybe this seems a failure of imagination. I know that if I needed a steadier and better income, […]

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The Incompletist

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I was excited to see the New York Times’s announcement that a regular column by the writer Geoff Dyer called “Reading Life” would be appearing in their weekend Book Review. I was even more intrigued and, somehow, encouraged, when eventually it appeared only three times.

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Keeping the Mud Alive

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While I’d never admit it, I’ve always harbored a shame about wanting to write. Even fictional characters who aspired to the same goal made me squirm with unease. Every Thursday night, as we watched the television series The Waltons, I waited in dread for the inevitable scene where Richard Thomas’ character would talk, rant, whine, […]

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To MFA or not to MFA? That Isn’t the Question.

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Recently, it has become fashionable to debate the pros and cons of pursuing a MFA. However, for the Millions, Hannah Gersen suggests that this debate has steered the conversation away from a more difficult question: how do we support writers who do not have the means to pursue graduate degrees? For some writers, getting an M.F.A. […]

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Now, Writing is for Extroverts Too

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When my wife proposed writing a novel together last year, I was initially resistant but not for the most obvious reasons. I wasn’t worried about our ability to work together. I wasn’t even worried about whether we could actually produce a good novel. We had decades of writing experience between us, mostly as reporters for […]

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Guildtalk #1: The Rumpus Interview with Eddie Joyce

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Guildtalk, brought to you by The Rumpus and the Authors Guild, brings attention to exciting new voices in American literature. The first installment features Richard Russo and Eddie Joyce.

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The Fossils of Storytelling

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For the New Yorker, John McPhee writes about our dwindling frames of references: Frames of reference are like the constellation of lights, some of them blinking, on an airliner descending toward an airport at night. You see the lights. They imply a structure you can’t see. Inside that frame of reference—those descending lights—is a big airplane with […]

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So You Think You Can Write?

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A recent poll shows that the majority of Brits would choose the writing life as their ideal career. At the Guardian, Tim Lott isn’t sure they could handle it: To master dialogue, description, subtext, plot, structure, character, time, point of view, beginnings, endings, theme and much besides is a Herculean labour, not made more appealing by the […]

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Disappearing Digital Ink

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Writers like to believe their words will make them immortal. But in the digital age, most writing careers outlive publications. Carter Maness discovered that most of his career as a music journalist has faded from existence as the publications that published and paid him shut down the servers hosting his words. This evaporation of content can […]

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Dumb Luck

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Fred Vinturini explains over at Medium how he happenstanced into becoming an author: She finally turns to me and asks me what’s the secret to getting published. How did I get my seat at the front of the Powell’s event next to Chuck. I’m almost surprised that she finally realizes I exist up there, and […]

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