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Tag / Writing

Microscopic truthfulness

My favorite book is If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland. I’ve written about this charming, effusively encouraging and insightful book before and was reminded recently of her championing what she called “microscopic truthfulness”. Good writing or art or communication of any sort should be characterized by a detailed and exacting commitment to accuracy. […]

Craft a routine for creative spontaneity

I’ve often taken pride in a seat-of-the-pants approach. With Indiana Jones as a model – “I’m making this up as I go!” – winging it seemed a virtue. With age, though, I’ve developed an appreciation for order and structure and routine. And I’m far from disciplined in actually applying order to my daily life. We […]

Inspiration will jilt you. Move on without it.

From Erin Rooney Doland‘s chapter in the excellent book, Manage Your Day-to-Day: Leigh Michaels, prolific author of more than eighty romance novels, once said that “waiting for inspiration to write is like standing at the airport waiting for a train.” Conditions to produce one’s craft are rarely ideal, and waiting for everything to be perfect […]

Write what you want to read

I’m reading The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson now. (Thanks to my friend, Jesse, for the recommendation.) It’s an epic fantasy novel (1,000 pages in this first of a planned ten book series) and not my usual reading fare. But I’m immersed in it and marveling at the compelling narrative and level of detail […]

“How do I move the needle?”

I enjoyed this video about screenwriter Dustin Lance Black’s writing process linked to today: Black, who wrote the screenplays for J. Edgar and Milk, has a richly complex, yet clear and beautiful process for putting together his screenplays. Watching him lay out all those note cards on that giant table sparked memories, happy memories, of working on […]

Note to self

I’m rereading Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations. It’s the kind of book that you can open anywhere and find something worthwhile to ponder. My copy is filled with yellow highlights, and I marvel at his prolifically quote-worthy (and tweet-worthy) insights into the challenges of living an excellent human life. What makes this book so remarkable, I think, […]

“Resistance”: Using fear to find your way

This afternoon I made a trip to the backyard hammock. I had survived my daughter’s 7th birthday Frozen slumber party and was looking forward to a quiet day. I picked up my old Kindle e-reader, the one with no touch screen and no apps. I usually read on my iPad mini, but reading in a […]

The daily grind, the daily find

A year ago I committed myself to sharing something daily on this site. It didn’t have to be a well composed, lengthy essay about weighty matters. It could have been something small I had found or something I was trying to learn more about. I was fine with reaching the end of a night and […]

Neil Gaiman’s main rule of writing

From Neil Gaiman’s 8 Rules of Writing: “The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs […]

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