Helene Pappamarkou, Melena the Leopard Girl, Yagureté or "true carnivorous beast": these names are aliases, and Eleni Sikelianos jumps into each one in her genre-refusing essay-memoir-invention You Animal Machine (The Golden Greek).
Writing has allowed me to find myself when I found myself looking for answers. But most importantly, like Anne Frank, it allows me to build courage consistently to pursue my dream. I hope you will take the time to find your voice using your writing as your guide post.
You'll often read or hear the advice that writing is basically getting to it, sitting down and doing it, or more elegantly that 'The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.'
I must admit that it took a while to get over my fear. When I slowed down or met an obstacle while writing, I wondered whether or not the disruption was due to the new process and the difficulties of having to remember the new strokes on a computer keyboard.
In his debut collection of essays, Regret (Lettered Streets Press, 2014), author Ryan Spooner explores these assumptions with gentle regard, subtle self-consciousness, and a wholly new type of investigation into masculinity.
I haven't made a New Year's Resolution in many years, because they've always struck me as somewhat desperate. A bit like lines drawn in the sand: bold and dramatic and exciting. That is, until the tide comes in and washes them away.
A couple years ago my friends and I made a list of 52 goals we wanted to accomplish, the equivalent of a bucket list for a year's worth of achievable things. Most of them were simple goals, but measurable.
There's a renegade thrill to Vonnegut's wisdom. Going into the arts as a career can render you into fiscal dreck, but the act of producing art, particularly writing, will endow your interiority with a sense of plenitude, of satisfaction that is hard to replicate.
I got fan mail and queries from agents -- but for five years after that, not one editor anywhere accepted another story of mine. Rejection is a part of every writer's life. How do you deal with it and keep going?
Time management sounds like such a dry topic, but it's really about letting some things go so that you can do what you love. These two strategies won't work for everyone, and it's of critical importance to discern which strategy works best for you.
You need to be careful about who you share your goals with, especially when they're in their early stages. Because they're still under-developed, these nascent ideas are like gossamer, very fragile and susceptible to discouragement.
Imagine the line you draw as a river and the turns in the river occur whenever one of the scenes changes the narrator in some way (i.e. narrator gets married, has an epiphany, suffers a loss). When you're done, notice if there are any scenes missing.
Writing is the key to freedom for me and the gift that allows me to reach inside and bring parts of me into the light that would otherwise remain shrouded. In this first week of the final month of another calendar year, I look ahead ask myself: Will writing take me to places I've never been?
There's nothing wrong with having a daily goal if that works for you as a writer, but why should you be ashamed or crazed because you don't reach that daily goal -- what's the sense in that? Why have we let the word count become our master?
If I could tell every person one thing about presenting her work to peers, I would say this: prepare a lot, and when you feel like you're about to die, find a way to laugh and congratulate yourself because you're doing it right.
I consider teaching to be a privilege, and consider myself lucky to have loved my job. Shepherding talents like DeLeo's, witnessing her insight, hard work, growth and self-rescue, there is no greater satisfaction for a teacher than this.
Turn off the practical humdrum switch in your brain, comforted by numbers and lists and repetitive functions that can cause carpal tunnel brain syndrome. And let your thoughts stretch your imagination.
As I stepped up to that mic and dared to read my writing at the workshop, I learned that poetry is voice, and the courage to use it. With this courage, we free ourselves and become capable of influencing others.