Too often the burden of “genius” is placed on the fragile shoulders of individuals trying desperately to create, to live up to expectations, to outdo their own previous creations, and to essentially justify daring to call themselves artists (or writers, or musicians, etc.) to begin with.
Archive for the ‘The Craft of Writing’ Category
It’s 2130 on a Saturday night, and I’m alone in my apartment, in front of my laptop.
I can’t shake the feeling that there’s some amazing party, filled with fascinating people, somewhere nearby. Artists and intellectuals and adventurers, all mixing and charging the air with stories. I wasn’t invited.
et’s say you are sitting at your desk, with something to write, and you notice some anxiety, and an urge to go instead to one of your favorite distractions.
And let’s also say you decided to adopt my approach, the Obstacle is the Path.
Since I can’t tell why, for sure, a story was rejected, I keep submitting to places that meet my minimum requirements. When I run out of places, I put the story in a folder that’s labeled ‘stories I still believe in’ and I review it once in a while.
A short story is like a pie because, first, you can do one relatively quickly. Second, everyone likes pie.
Third, with both short stories and pie, you can use the finest ingredients in the world and still come up with an inedible mess.
MFA Programs and the efficacy or use thereof tend to come up in discussion periodically. For those of you interested, here is a run down of the types of programs and what to expect. I personally have an MFA in Poetry from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and am currently looking into applying for a second MFA, this time in Fiction. I might be addicted to school. Or it might be that MFA programs really are just that awesome.
This year, Odyssey is offering three different online courses covering some of the most critical issues for developing writers.
Don DeLillo wrote: “One truth is the swing of the sentence, the beat and poise, but down deeper it’s the integrity of the writer as he matches with the language.”
Can the same thing be said about a writer’s connection to the work of another?
In Silent Interviews, Samuel R. Delany said: “I begin, a sentence lover. I’m forever delighted, then delighted all over, at the things sentences can trip and trick you into saying, into seeing. I’m astonished—just plain tickled!—at the sharp turns and tiny tremors they can whip your thoughts across.
The biggest reason people fail at creating and sticking to new habits is that they don’t keep doing it.
That seems obvious: if you don’t keep doing a habit, it won’t really become a habit. So what’s the solution to this obvious problem? Find a way to keep doing it.