Silence the Censor

Do you, at times, have your doubts? Do you look over your material and hear that nasty little interior voice saying no way, absolutely not, NO? If you’re going to get any work done, you have to kick the nay-sayer to the curb. That’s just a fact of a writing life. For an hour, a […]

Probabilities and the Written Word

I had occasion, one parents’ weekend, to attend a college math class. The room was filled with rows of computer banks where bright-eyed students sat, in varying states of posture, but all paying attention. White boards were on opposite walls of the classroom, front to back. The professor—a lively young man—moved the discussion along at […]

Trash and the Written Word

It’s probably good to have a moment when everything turns inside out on a project, when you have to start over. I didn’t say fun—I said good. Before I went nearly paperless, I trashed forests-full of material. One project in particular comes to mind: a novel. I had written lots of successful things before this—books, […]

The Cutting Room Floor

I just finished a new essay, my eleventh, and though I say this about every essay or story, it was a devil from the beginning. This one concerned matters of faith, sticky moments, and my father’s death. Any one of these subjects is hell for an essay and I had tripled up my misery. I […]

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