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The Writing Life

3 Blogging Myths That Are Hurting You

Tammy Letherer | Posted 11.21.2016 | Arts
Tammy Letherer

You've learned a thing or two in this lifetime. Maybe you know the secret to making the perfect souffle. Or how to be a stepparent to kids who refuse ...

Why Plagiarism Makes You A Better Writer

Tammy Letherer | Posted 10.05.2016 | Arts
Tammy Letherer

When you write something, no matter how many times the idea has been conveyed, it is unique because YOU are unique. No one will a write something exactly as you do. And we need every last version, every individual nuance, every voice.

How to Read a Publication Like Your Future Editor Wants You To

Rebecca L. Weber | Posted 04.29.2016 | Home
Rebecca L. Weber

Not sure why your story ideas aren't selling? If you ask an editor for advice on the best way for a freelance writer to break in to his or her publication, they often have the same response: "Read it first."

The Lonely Arts Club

Katie Li | Posted 04.01.2017 | Home
Katie Li

When I began writing ten years ago, I quickly discovered how solitary writing can be, how easy it is to become isolated. Even if you participate in a workshop or attend readings, the majority of your writing time is spent by yourself.

Voices in My Head

Melinda Wentzel | Posted 03.17.2017 | Comedy
Melinda Wentzel

I'm a writer, which implies that I spend a sizeable chunk of my day staring off into space or glowering at my laptop, stabbing at its keys in hopes of...

Still-Foreign Correspondent

Daniel A. Olivas | Posted 11.06.2016 | Latino Voices
Daniel A. Olivas

Mainstream media must start figuring out that it makes good business sense to rely on Chicano talent as news anchors, authors, artists, actors and film directors. By going to the source, I assume the representation of Chicano culture would be more honest and accurate than what we often see.

Writing on Writer's Block

Marie Solis | Posted 07.30.2016 | Home
Marie Solis

Since I've graduated from college, I've been suffering from horrible writer's block. The kind that makes you lose complete faith in yourself and in your trade.

Writers of Color Need Something More

Vanessa Mártir | Posted 03.24.2015 | Home
Vanessa Mártir

You learn that in order to succeed, you have to assimilate to a culture that is not your own and does not welcome you, no matter what you do.

4 Killer Ways Writers Can Combat Rejection

Lev Raphael | Posted 02.21.2015 | Home
Lev Raphael

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?

Dispelling the Myth of the Poet: Why All Writers Should Defend Their Craft

Lisa Marie Basile | Posted 07.14.2014 | Home
Lisa Marie Basile

I cannot blame people for their lack of understanding. Most educated individuals who spend countless dollars on university expect that other people are on a similar trajectory.

How Do You Write a Novel? Six Things That Stay the Same Every Time

Holly Robinson | Posted 05.25.2014 | Home
Holly Robinson

We are happiest when we're in our native environments, scribbling in journals or tapping out love stories and action scenes and terrifying near-death experiences on our keyboards. Writing is the only cure for publishing a novel. The sooner we get back to it, the better.

Dear Me on My Deathbed

Bino A. Realuyo | Posted 03.16.2014 | Healthy Living
Bino A. Realuyo

There are some of us who, because of our cultural backgrounds, are expected to walk certain paths even if we cast nary a shadow there. And we continue walking on these life paths even if we don't see the light.

The Four Most Common Stumbling Blocks for Writers: How to Overcome Them and Keep that New Year's Resolution to Write Your Novel

Holly Robinson | Posted 03.06.2014 | Home
Holly Robinson

"I'm going to finally write that book," you vowed on New Year's Eve. Maybe you whispered it to your partner in bed, or brazenly trumpeted out your res...

Kill Your Darlings: Why I'll Never Use Social Media the Same Way Again

Nica Noelle | Posted 01.23.2014 | Technology
Nica Noelle

Twitter has the paradoxical ability to make the world at once bigger and smaller: housewives and celebrities, Pulitzer Prize-winning writers and porn stars, become suddenly, weirdly accessible to each other.

Still Writing

Lindsey Mead | Posted 11.30.2013 | Home
Lindsey Mead

Still Writing is a book to read carefully and to savor over and over. I've read it twice myself already, and I know it will join books like Annie Dillard's The Writing Life in the pantheon of those volumes I trust most and revisit often.

How to Knit a Novel

Holly Robinson | Posted 09.20.2013 | Home
Holly Robinson

I am a new knitter, but an experienced novelist. It's only lately that I've begun to realize what my two favorite activities have in common. PASSION:...

In Bonnets or Sweat Pants, We're Cultural Historians

Holly Robinson | Posted 06.01.2013 | Home
Holly Robinson

Whatever subjects we choose, as women writers we are cataloging historical and cultural events in ways that go far deeper than the two-dimensional stories told by photographs. We get into the heads of our audience in ways that movies still can't.

Writing a Synopsis for Your Novel: A Scary But Useful Exercise

Holly Robinson | Posted 03.09.2013 | Home
Holly Robinson

What is a synopsis, anyway? Just a summary, right? Wrong. Sure, a synopsis is a summary of your novel's narrative arc and describes the main characters. However, a synopsis must also be its own entity, with dramatic turns and a clear beginning, middle, and end.

A Fine Soft Day For A Writer In Ireland

Deborah Swiss | Posted 01.23.2014 | Travel
Deborah Swiss

It had been raining off and on as we made our way from Galway, along the Ring of Kerry, to charming Cahersiveen. The grey-blue sky and rolling mist gave the green fields the magical look that defines the west of Ireland. It's what the Irish affectionately call "a fine soft day."

Don't Forget the Willy Warmer: A Writer's Journey to New Zealand

Deborah Swiss | Posted 08.05.2012 | Home
Deborah Swiss

"Hello happy people." That's a salutation you don't see every day. It was an email from book buyer Colette Doherty and my first clue about Kiwi culture.

A Writer's Journey Through Oz

Deborah Swiss | Posted 04.29.2012 | Home
Deborah Swiss

Aussies proudly read more books per capita than anywhere in the world. Despite this impressive statistic, Australia is aiming to fill its literacy gaps and extend the rewards of reading to every citizen.

Edith Pearlman, PEN Award Winner, On Success Late In Life

Debra Ollivier | Posted 01.29.2012 | Fifty
Debra Ollivier

Why Edith Pearlman is not known to a broader audience is a mystery on par with how the pyramids were built -- so suggests Ann Patchett in the introduction to Pearlman's Binocular Vision: New & Selected Stories.

A Writer's Must-Read List | Posted 09.17.2011 | Home

What books must any writer read? That’s not for me to say. I have, however, compiled a list of works that lecturers cited as must-reads at my recent...

Writer Wednesday

Jon Winokur | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
Jon Winokur

The sixteenth-century French writer Michel de Montaigne, inventor of the modern essay, once remarked that "there are more books upon books than upon a...

'Give It All, Give It Now': A Beautiful Illustration Of Annie Dillard's Writing Advice (PHOTOS)

Lena Tabori | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
Lena Tabori

"Annie Dillard's words are a song for everybody," he said, "no matter what work one does. As long as you love your work, 'shoot it, play it, lose it,' applies."