Once upon a time, in Mrs. Lingo’s Happy Time Kindergarten, gold stars were everything. I didn’t get many, but that didn’t stop me from wanting them. Fifty years later, I’ve found a new way to earn my own stars every day.
Creating stories that resonate deeply and linger in the mind long after reading is a journey of learning, not just about literary techniques, but about the profound depth of the human heart. Whether they realize it or not, writers who touch those depths become gifts to humanity. Yet, their journey to artistic expression isn’t an easy one. They must navigate the tricky terrains of the teaching landscape, push past negativity, and continue learning despite challenges. Their motivation? A burning desire to make sense of chaos and pain, and the unyielding belief that their words have the power to heal.
Even veteran writers continually struggle with questions like ‘How do I become a better writer? Where do I start? What should I write?’ Sometimes we forget that the answers are deceptively simple: ‘By writing. With the writing. And whatever you write.’ These truths remind us that writing molds us, making us the writers we aspire to be. Start anywhere, with any idea. The key is to keep writing. Just as it was for the ancient shamans, practice, experimentation, and curiosity shape us into storytellers. Embrace the act of writing. It creates the writer.
How do we abandon the concept of being good, or getting it right? How do we train ourselves to produce stories on command? Those are hard questions to answer, since no two writers are quite the same. But brains do have some common characteristics. Brains are all about recognizing patterns. Where no pattern exists, the […]
You can write faster than editors read their slush.
Every year, I go to a group of cabins in the mountains on the banks of the Mackenzie River here in Oregon for Ghost Story Weekend. We set the goal of starting Friday night and having at least one story ready to read out loud on Saturday night. Most years, pretty much every writer gets […]