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Creativity Is Your Birthright: Write the Story

Creativity Is Your Birthright: Write the Story

Big Magic is Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, coming in September from Penguin (Riverhead). I’m excited about it because I wholeheartedly believe everything Gilbert says about creativity. These beliefs, mainly that we are meant to create and that we become miserable when we don’t, are what drive […]

Reading for Influence: What Alice Munro’s Stories Tell Us About Writing

Reading for Influence: What Alice Munro’s Stories Tell Us About Writing

You’ve probably heard this before, but it bears repeating because it’s true and incontestable: One of the most important things you can do as a writer is read. That’s why I always ask the writers I coach to read short stories by authors they admire, and to […]

Self-Editing for Story Writers

Self-Editing for Story Writers

Handing your story over to someone for editing is nerve-racking, to say the least. You’ve worked on this for a long time, pouring your heart into it, and you’ve got darlings. You may be afraid those darlings will be killed, or that your story will […]

Getting Past Your Inner Critic

Getting Past Your Inner Critic

Last week I gave tips on how to get past writer’s block. One thing I didn’t touch on, though, was that writer’s block, as well as procrastination, is also often caused by that nasty set of inner voices collectively known as “the inner critic.” The […]

I’m Stuck—Now What? How to Get Past Writer’s Block

I’m Stuck—Now What? How to Get Past Writer’s Block

This post is inspired by a question one of my students, who asked about being stuck while writing her short stories. She wrote: I’m working on a few stories right now; all are in the stage where I’ve done the free writing (having had an […]