Why Bother Writing More Than 140 Characters?

A few years after my exploratory dips into writing, I came of age at the very same time that updating social networks and engaging constantly with a screen became part of a young person’s routine. I waddled through my formative years with one foot in the “boredom” that Feller describes and one foot in distraction.

April 23, 2012 0

Beware Writers Who Make You Feel Inferior

Some contemporary personal essays and memoirs that I’ve been reading possess a quality that annoys me deeply, but I’ve been having trouble articulating that quality and would like to try to explore it here.

April 16, 2012 0

Your Author Photo Isn’t Cute Enough

Walking past a local bookstore, my boyfriend and I noticed a line of people beginning to form outside. So devoted were these people that they were sitting in lawn chairs or propping themselves up with backpacks. We peeked into the window to see who would be visiting the bookstore that day.

April 9, 2012 0

Everything Is Amazing for Five Minutes

I can think of some contemporary authors who have defined me as a writer and who have also defined the Generation Y-ers of the literary community, but I’m not sure any one piece of writing speaks for and represents the generation as a whole. Would you agree or disagree?

April 2, 2012 0

Violence as Narrative Drive in “The Hunger Games”

Every writer successfully crafting a narrative, just like any runner successfully crossing the finish line of a marathon, needs some kind of driving force. For a runner, that force might be years of training, headphones along with a good running playlist, and a carb-loaded meal eaten at just the right time.

March 26, 2012 0

Essay Writing Can Feel Like Playing Pretend

Imagine being asked to coach an Olympic swimming team. Even though you’ve taken swimming classes at the local Y and have splashed around a pool with your friends, you don’t know the first thing about Olympic-level swimming. That’s how many students feel when they’re asked to write an essay.

March 19, 2012 0

The Danger of Impersonal Rejection

Can you imagine a famous writer corresponding with a no-name writer through a series of hand-written letters? Can you imagine such a correspondence lasting six years and the writers never meeting? Wouldn’t it be nice for every young writer to find that much support?

March 12, 2012 0

5 Things You Already Do to Make Creativity a Habit

This month, GOOD Magazine is challenging its readers to make time for art on a daily basis. The editors even offer 31 suggestions for ways that readers can incorporate art into their lives. I like the suggestions, but few are geared toward creative writers.

March 5, 2012 0

Pen as Ninja Sword

One of my students decided to compare and contrast the way I maneuver my pen to the way a ninja brandishes a sword. I admit that I do wield a certain flourish as I click the pen top and get ready to circle-underline-correct-suggest. I don’t like to think of my pen as an attack against the student, though.

February 28, 2012 0

Writer as Astronomer: On Discovering Black Holes

The writer becomes an astronomer so focused on this new task – very different from writing – that she discovers a black hole: that place where writing disappears after it has been launched into the webosphere and captures the attention of no one.

February 21, 2012 0