Why We Read

A few weeks ago, I read a blog post by someone who was upset by research that suggested people don’t read in order to find information that could make their beliefs more accurate but primarily in order to confirm the beliefs they already have (a noted exception being the times we read work by authors we love to hate,…

A Silly Writing Habit That Works

I’m going to go out on a limb here and tell you an embarrassing habit of mine. When I’m trying to get some perspective on a piece I’m revising–trying to step back and see where improvements can still be made, where it’s not quite up to par–I pull a book off one of my shelves. I…

Ready for Air

Kate Hopper’s memoir of her daughter’s premature birth–Ready for Air–has finally arrived. And it…is…luminous. On the Brevity Blog, Hopper describes her difficult, ten-year journey to publication. The manuscript of Ready for Air was rejected over and over, by both agents and editors. Many of them complained that the book was “too dark.” Even once she completely rewrote it, it garnered…

Unschooling and Sound Craftsmen

Every morning, I click around the WordPress universe looking for a few blog posts worth reading. This weekend brought me two posts that were not only intellectually stimulating but actually put tears in my eyes. I believe that reading them made me a better person, and I want to share them with you. Here are the links, along with…

Nurturing Genius

Today, at age 15, Jacob Barnett is recognized as a genius. But when he was two, experts believed he would never learn to read, or possibly even speak. Kristine Barnett’s memoir The Spark (released in April 2013) tells the story of her refusal to accept the standard therapy for her son’s autism and attempt to draw him out by responding to his interests…

The Slave Driver and the Muse

In my last post, I discussed how the unconscious nature of much of what a writer does can induce fear and insecurity: doubt that one will ever be able to do it again. Now obviously writers are able to do it again and again. That’s why authors’ names are quite often printed larger than the titles of their books. We…