Category Archives: Writing

Approaching a Nascent Story Idea

This week, I started a new story project, and am finding that, as I get more experienced as a writer, I find myself committing myself to a specific story form less and less. It used to be that I always either started a short story or a novel, and I would hold myself to the statement that I made initially. As a result, I would do everything that I could to ensure that a short story ended within 7,500 words, and I would give up on a novel far before I would decide to condense it. It took me several failed attempts before I realized how dangerous this mindset can be. Continue reading

It Doesn’t Pay to Pay to Be Published

This is one of those pieces of advice that every writer I talk to seems to understand before I ever bring it up. However, there must be some writers out there that believe that paid publishing, be it a vanity press or a vanity press under the subversive label “subsidy publisher,” is an effective way to get your work out there. Otherwise, these businesses would be unable to turn a profit. So, clearly, there are some out there who believe that they will benefit from these publishers. While it is possible to work these systems to your own benefit as an author, I would contend that the wide majority of paid publishing authors wind up taking a loss on their work. Here’s why: Continue reading

Pain: The Heartbeat of a Story

For any writer even slightly familiar with pain, I’m sure it’s easy to sympathize when I say that pain is ultimately sapping my creativity. I’m 10 months into what my first doctor labeled a cluster headache, and what my second doctor is calling a transformed migraine. Either way you call it, it still hurts and it still hinders my ability to think. So, hopefully this post makes some sense to you – I’ve certainly struggled to write during these months!

Pain is a fascinating part of life. Yes, I was being partially sarcastic, but I’m also being serious. I mean, if you think about it, what story is interesting without pain? The pain of physical hurt or psychological hurt by a conflict in the story is why stories are interesting.

Don’t believe me? Name one story that you enjoy that doesn’t have any pain (conflict counts as pain – pain of a disagreement, pain of a strained friendship, etc.) Continue reading

Finding the Time to Write

This is one of those things which seems so simple when you first start writing. When you first start writing, everything is fresh, new, and interesting, and you are brimming with ideas to share with the world. This is due to a number of factors: You’re usually young and single, probably still in school, and therefore have quite a bit more free time than the working world. This allows you to sit down at a computer or journal for hours on end, letting every thought that comes through your head onto the page until you finally feel that sense of catharsis that writers often seek when they write. Continue reading

“Entering” Into a Story

I have fifteen minutes for the first time in about a week or so in which to do some writing. Normally, I would focus on my stories first, but fifteen minutes isn’t really enough time for me to get into a story “groove.” However, it’s definitely enough time for me to crank out a short blog post. Fifteen minutes is long enough for me to do that, but not long enough for me to do anything story-wise. Continue reading

Graduate School Applications by the Numbers

So, I know, I know, I am doing horribly keeping this blog updated regularly. I am still trying to find my niche, not to mention the hectic nature of what I’ve been doing lately: Graduate school applications! You can probably imagine how those go: A decapitated chicken probably comes to mind. As I come out on the tail end of things, though, I’m finding more time to write. Expect more consistent blogging soon! Continue reading

5 Things Exercise Has Taught Me About Writing

Today, I ran a 5K (A 5,000-meter run for the uninitiated, and a 3.1-mile run for the really, really uninitiated).  Moreover, I ran this 5K in an unofficial event, in 27 minutes, just because I wanted the exercise and the practice. This is not something which would have happened even 4 months ago. Continue reading