I had never spent as much time away from a story as I had when I set my book aside for three months this past fall. This was intentional. I had returned…
A few weeks ago I, a notoriously slow reader, was lumbering my way through a novel with which I had fallen in love. Because I am such a slow reader, my…
Nothing makes writers feel worse about ourselves than feeling, believing, knowing we should be writing but are not. We stare at the ceiling. We check…
I had not heard from Somayeh Malekian for several years when in the spring of 2021 I got an email that began with an unnecessary apology. “To be…
I had not heard from Somayeh Malekian for several years when in the spring of 2021 I got an email that began with an unnecessary apology. “To be…
....and so Aretha Franklin, inspired by a riff that came after many trials and interminable errors, begins to sing “I Never Loved a Man,” and the…
In the pantheon of gratuitous writing advice, alongside write what you know and find your voice, is the admonition to take risks. Often this advice…
This newsletter began forty chapters ago as a journey propelled by a question: Is it inevitable or even essential that writers suffer? That journey…
I’ve long admired the writer Suzy Hansen, whose sharp and insightful writing from abroad about American foreign influence has resonated with me for…
The writing life does not lend itself to work/life balance. Writers define themselves by what they do, and if they don’t they should, even if it means…
I was 19 when I first went to Cuba and I fell in love with the country almost instantly. There was so much beauty in Havana – the colors, the buildings…
Writerland, Chapter 36: You’re Smart. Don’t Think So Much. Hold on, you say: your advice makes no sense. You tell us we are smart but not to think too…