How Long Does It Take?

Many, many decades – The esteemed Elizabeth Bishop, on one line of poetry, the comma moved back and forth. 25 years – Steven Spielberg, on his latest film “Red Tails.” 30 years – Frank McCourt on Angela’s Ashes. 2 months – Richard Paul Evans, author of eleven New York Times best-sellers, including Finding Noel and […]

9 Really Useful Tips

Want to improve your writing?  Try these suggestions culled from my decades at the craft: 1. With few exceptions, stay in the moment. Use your chronology and don’t get ahead of it. 2. Don’t save anything for later. Bring whatever you have right here, right now. 3. Each time a character appears on-stage, some aspect […]

The Value of Routine

Almost everyone has his or her own version of what it takes to get to work. Do you start fitfully like Michael Lewis? Do you stay in bed for a while and have your papers brought to you on a silver tray like Lady Antonia Fraser? Though you may not see another soul all day, […]

The Fear of Failure

We all know the feeling, and we know too that our fears can compromise if not shut down an otherwise perfectly good writing day. Fear may not just precipitate the failure; it may be the primary reason for it. Is there an antidote to its crippling effects? Some writers talk about the need to muster […]

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