Lots of people carry in their heads the image of the tortured artist: the writer/painter/musician whose brilliant artistic achievements spring from a soil rich with personal failures, miseries, addictions, and/or mental illnesses. Writing guru Julia Cameron persuasively argues that creativity does not require depression. Or agony. That well-adjusted artists are, actually, quite successful and productive--maybe even more so than the… Continue reading Do Negative Emotions Sharpen Perception?
Is it just me, or do most off days seem to be Mondays? It's strange, because my Sundays seem so inspirational. I spend time with my family and read for pleasure. Usually that reading leads to one or two "aha!" moments, in which I jot down the solution to a problem that's been plaguing me for the past… Continue reading Mondays
"When you're a novelist, you're a gossiper of the imaginary." -Jane Smiley, winner of the Pulitzer Prize It's been awhile since I've written any fiction. Sometimes I think I'm too analytical to do a good job of it. I am, after all, a philosopher by training, and philosophy requires thinking very systematically, and favoring rigor… Continue reading A Gossiper of the Imaginary
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… Continue reading A Silly Writing Habit That Works
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… Continue reading Unschooling and Sound Craftsmen
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… Continue reading The Slave Driver and the Muse