Becoming Persistent| On Writing & Commitment

JordanA Writer's Guide to Persistence, Writing. Practice.

There’s nothing more humbling to me as a teacher than to watch the process of writers in action. Martha Alderson and I are just back after our first intensive  plot & scene retreat at the Mount Madonna Center in the Santa Cruz mountains. An on-going light-hearted joke,  that was at the same time serious, kept surfacing when we’d encounter an error or confusion: “X happened, because we’re suffering from the human condition.” It became my mantra for the weekend. We all experience the human condition—joy and pain, elation and terror, frustration and delight, error and success—it’s how we suffer and grapple with our being human that makes meaning of it. This applies very neatly to our writing. How we suffer and grapple with … Read More

JordanBecoming Persistent| On Writing & Commitment

Writing for the Long Haul

JordanA Writer's Guide to Persistence

“I don’t teach writing. I teach patience. Toughness. Stubbornness. The willingness to fail. I teach the life…” Richard Bausch Many of you know by now that I’m working on a book called A Writer’s Guide to Persistence: A Toolkit to Build & Bolster a Lasting Writing Practice (Writer’s Digest Books, 2015). Many of the posts on this blog over the next year between the writing and release of the book will be on subjects related to building and sustaining a writing practice. I prefer that phrase “writing practice” to any other describing the career of a writer.  For one thing, “career” seems to link hands specifically with money; you learn pretty quickly, if you’re in the writing for the money, … Read More

JordanWriting for the Long Haul

Don’t Start Something New in 2014 (Finish Something Old)

JordanCraft, Fiction Writing, Writing. Practice.

I know the temptation of the New Year to clear the slate, push all those half-finished projects and goals of last year to the side and start fresh. The pressure of everyone slapping on new resolutions like fancy new outfits could make anyone feel like a slacker. Consider instead finishing something “old” or “in-process” at the New Year instead. Here’s why I suggest it. That half finished novel, the short story you intended to send to that contest, the stack of essays you think might make a memoir—they may only physically live on your desk or your desktop, but here’s what you may not realize: unfinished projects also live inside you, in all their impartial nature. They take up psychic … Read More

JordanDon’t Start Something New in 2014 (Finish Something Old)