Writing to the Music of Your Life

Carol M. Highsmith, photographer. Courtesy of the Library of Congress online

Carol M. Highsmith, photographer. Courtesy of the Library of Congress online

I’VE TRIED MEDITATION, dosing myself with the prescription to apply it at the same time each day. And when I do, the silent, tunneling lack of thought sculpts my sharp edge into something I can use in the world, rather than something I merely use against myself. Exercise, too, razors off some degree of my resistance. But neither one has done enough recently to let me write something I want to write, and the longing for words soon became a search for a new kind of support. What to do? [Read more…]

Getting Inspired to Write Memoir

YouTube Preview ImageGETTING INSPIRED TO WRITE memoir is easier for some than for others. My job is to make is easy for all, and I try to do this by providing provocative content on my website, through my own writing, and in all of my classes. And then every once in a while I need some myself, and when I do, I turn to the very best sources in the world. [Read more…]

Writing From the Heart

WRITING FROM THE HEART is one of those phrases that people use and use again and, it seems to me, rarely stop to think about. It’s what I call a shingle phrase. You know, as in a roof shingle? It patches and connects, but merely blocks the light. What does writing from the heart really look like? To me, it looks like the work of Monica Wesolowska, the author of Holding Silvan. [Read more…]

How To Tap Into Creativity On Your Own Time and Terms

Credit: Nancy Vala

Credit: Nancy Vala

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…]

Writing Lessons: The Most Frequently Asked Writing Questions

Sun Shine DownTHE 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…]