NaNoWriMo · On Writing

How to Thrive as a Writer: Bring a One-Line Story Summary to Parties

The holidays bring gatherings. If you go to a party, dinner, event, and anyone knows that you’re a writer, you can count on being asked what you’re working on right now. (That follows the guaranteed probing into whether you are published and where; be ready with an answer for that one.) If you’re working in… Continue reading How to Thrive as a Writer: Bring a One-Line Story Summary to Parties

joy · life

Ways to Thrive: It Doesn’t Matter How You Start, Just That You Do

He was in his forties, fat, out of shape, a hard-core smoker. An afternoon hiking with his kids changed all that. It was late August and the family was squashed inside Grandma’s warm, inviting Cape Cod home. Somehow it was proposed that he take three of the children hiking in the White Mountains, a short… Continue reading Ways to Thrive: It Doesn’t Matter How You Start, Just That You Do

creativity · On Writing

Ways to Thrive as a Writer: Playing Inside the Box

Every teacher in the high school had the same rule: only two white-outs/type-overs allowed per typed page. Three masked-out and corrected errors earned an automatic fail. The only recourse was to type the page over again, with two or less mistakes well covered up. In my typical thrashing fury of creative desperation up against deadline,… Continue reading Ways to Thrive as a Writer: Playing Inside the Box

creativity · On Writing

Ways to Thrive as a Writer: Write When It’s All Wrong

That picture above is not low-hanging fruit. That apple is on the top branch, the scariest one to access, the one that you need a ladder and steady hands to pluck. Hard-won fruit is the most delicious pleasure that you can enjoy — and when you’ve finished every incredible morsel and licked your fingers, you can plant… Continue reading Ways to Thrive as a Writer: Write When It’s All Wrong

Business · Marketplace · relationship · The Good Life

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

A writer forwarded a link to Tom Colicchio’s letter to chefs which ultimately led me to Micheline Maynard’s “My Open Letter to Tom Colicchio and Every Other Guy in the Restaurant Business.” I clapped for both, sent enthusiastic responses to both pieces, heard back from Maynard: “Thanks — have you tried anything new in particular?” I stammered… Continue reading Where Everybody Knows Your Name

books · On Writing · writing

Ways to Thrive as a Writer: Write the End Before the Beginning

Yesterday, I had the great good pleasure of chatting on Facebook with Laura Heffernan about Sweet Reality, her latest novel. Effervescent and wide-open fun, our conversation zipped, darted, and turned upside down the way that I have always believed that a novel was written. I write the ending first, she said and laughed. My agent… Continue reading Ways to Thrive as a Writer: Write the End Before the Beginning