SOMETIMES CREATIVE INSPIRATION tries to knock right on your head. You’ve had this happen: That feeling that you should be paying attention right this minute to that story idea that seemed to just fly into your brain. The whole-body response is like no other: Thrilling and yet private, enthralling but making you want to drop whatever is in your hands and rush to the desk and type. And, if like me, what is usually in your hands at that moment is your child, or the steering wheel — something so utterly important to your life’s joy or safety that if you were not holding onto it you would shake a fist at the gods as you wonder why such gorgeous inspiration is knocking on your head at that exact moment. How to tap into creativity when you want to do so? I think I have a clue. [Read more...]
THE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED WRITING QUESTIONS have to do with process. “How do you do it?” People ask this more than anything else, and when they do, tucked into that inquiry is the hour-to-hour, at the desk or standing up, alone or at the library, music on, music off, what hours of the day, and more. Why? Because they want to succeed. Simple as that. When author Gillian Marchenko and I began discussing her contribution to Writing Lessons, we quickly agreed that she take on process and share hers with you. Please read on. [Read more...]
HE HAD TO LIE to make his father human. Now he tells us. And it’s wow heard ‘round the world, since the writer who is speaking those words is the great Pat Conroy. It’s an issue you’ve faced, as well, haven’t you? Do you lie or do you fictionalize when writing memoir? [Read more...]
I GENUINELY BELIEVE that much like in life, success is writing depends on which details you choose to emphasize. It’s a hard-won illumination, and one that speaks of nothing less than how to explore self-knowledge through memoir, a topic that the truly-marvelous Poe Valentine takes on here for you in his blog post. The great Tom Robbins refers to Poe Ballantine as “the most soulful, insightful, funny and altogether luminous ‘under-known’ writer in America.” I agree. I consider it an honor to have him here. Read on.
WRITING SOMEONE ELSE’S STORY might, at first, appear to be a straightforward assignment. Unless, of course, that other person is your mother. Then, just what does the story become, as you learn family tales, secrets, and gain insights into the person who raised you? No doubt the process changes you. But what does it do to the story? Oh, how I love this topic, and to bring it to you, let me introduce you to Nancy Key Roeder, author of Going to the Well, A Mother-Daughter Journey, another book from the fine Plain View Press. Read on. [Read more...]