“Fix that. And then never, ever do it again!”
One of my all-time favorite teachers said that to me in a workshop once—in a voice more good-natured ribbing than barking command—after I wrote “my sisters and I” when I should have written “my sisters and me.” It was a small flub, one my classmates didn’t even notice.
Continue reading “Fix That”
In his excellent book How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, Alexander Chee at one point compares writing to being sequestered in jail by your own story: “You in a small dark room with no answers to any of your questions, and no one seems to hear your pleas, not for days, months, years. Indifferent the entire time to all requests for visits or freedom. Hard labor too.”
Or, as my student Christola puts it: “I’m writing at writing.”
Continue reading “Don’t Despair”
Shortly after Thanksgiving, a friend of mine confessed he’s abandoned a project he’d been working on intensely through the summer and fall. This tumultuous year has been especially wearying for some of us, my friend included.
“I’ll pick it back up in January,” he said.
Each year, once the December holidays begin, this is a common refrain: We have too many end-of-year deadlines to meet, parties to attend, or gifts to buy, on top of the usual demands of modern life. “I’ll start up again next year,” we say. Continue reading “Keep Going”