Your Summer Writing Plan

janav Productivity, Time Management, Writing 0 Comments

Last weekend, as we wrapped up our day-long writing workshop, my writer’s group went around and stated what we planned to work on over the summer. We’re meeting again in September, so it was good to state our goals, especially after having received feedback on our work. Hearing others’ enthusiasm for their work and mine got me jazzed up to get back to working on a project I’d set aside as having too many thorny story problems that needed sorting. Summer is often the odd season out. Vacations, the lure of weekends spent outdoors, kids off school, and all the …

Summer Reading

janav Writing 0 Comments

In the era of blogs and binge-watching tv shows and addictive online games, even writers can be distracted from one of their most important pursuits: reading. It’s easy to forget that we can learn a tremendous amount from simply immersing ourselves in other peoples’ words. There’s reading as a writer, which involves careful analysis of craft elements to see what works and how we might apply it to our own writing. But there’s also the task of absorbing story and language, keeping up with what others are writing in our genre, or actually (gasp) reading for enjoyment. After binge-buying books …

Critique Groups 101

janav Resources, Writing 0 Comments

I’m excited because this weekend my MFA alumni critique group is meeting. We’ve been getting together for five years now, with slightly different configurations of people. The one thing we have in common is that we’ve been through Lesley University’s MFA program in creative writing. We didn’t all graduate at the same time, or in the same genre, and some of us have branched out to other genres over the years. We meet about three times per year, in someone’s house, for a day-long workshopping extravaganza. Writers write in isolation, and often work for years before gaining any audience for …

The Writer’s Life List

janav Creativity, Productivity, Writing 0 Comments

Some people find writing whole-life lists daunting. Others find that what they write at one time in their life no longer applies ten or twenty years later (that has certainly been my experience). I like to brainstorm a list and choose one or two things to focus on for the year. That gives me a manageable time frame to work with, as well as a deadline. One of these is always related to writing. It can be great to think about the all-time experiences you want to have, and to work toward more than one goal at a time. But …

Try This: A Sense of Place

janav Creativity, Try This, Writing 0 Comments

I attended a week-long conference in Denver last week (hence the lack of posts). I’ve been there a couple of times now, and don’t really have a total feel for the place, but to be fair when I’m there I’m not in explorer mode – I’m working, or hanging out with a good friend. What I have seen, I like. The parks, the restaurants, the laid-back feel, the sense of space around the city, and the snow-capped mountains in the distance… it has a very different vibe from the northeast, where I live. Unless you travel frequently, it’s rare to …