Is Art Intrinsically Moral? (And Why the Answer Matters)

Art, in its every form, has always been volatile. It challenges people’s beliefs. It forces them to face uncomfortable realities. It constrains them to see the world through an entirely different set of eyes. In experiencing any form of art, but perhaps particularly the novel, we are plunged into the mind of another human being. […]

3 reasons you shouldnt be writing for money

3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Be Writing for Money

Why do we write? Is it for the fame and the fortune? The respect of family and friends and peers? The goal of making a positive impact on the world? Or is it because of that soul-deep gnawing of creativity that refuses to let us go? Although all of these factors undoubtedly come into play […]

The Most Important Lesson Any Novel Can Teach You

The completion of a novel is always a cause for celebration. And as I step down from the wild two-year train ride of my latest completion, I can assure you my knees are still sore from dancing the Charleston all over the house. That two-inch pile of paper sitting on my desk is the receipt […]

writing rules we dont need no stinkin rules

Writing Rules? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Rules!

Art has to bear up under the strange dichotomy of both following set patterns and breaking those patterns. Writing is certainly no different. The so-called Writing Rules  are what make stories work. And, probably more importantly, they’re what get authors published. Readers and publishers alike expect stories to follow certain parameters. Authors are supposed to […]

The Ridiculously Surefire Way to Write the Perfect Novel

The Ridiculously Surefire Way to Write the Perfect Novel

Is there such a thing as the perfect novel? And, if so, how does one go about writing it? I think most of us would agree that that the answer to the first question is an indisputable no. Perfection in art is unequivocally subjective. What one reader hails as perfection, another will throw across the […]

2 Rules for Making Time to Write

“‘It is only half an hour’—‘it is only an afternoon’—‘it is only an evening’—people say to me over and over again—but they don’t know that it is impossible to command oneself sometimes to any stipulated and set disposal of five minutes—or that the mere consciousness of an engagement will sometimes worry a whole day. These […]

How a Writing Warm-Up Routine Can Help You Write Better

Writers are, in a sense, athletes. We hurdle the high walls of writer’s block, we tackle mountains of research, we sprint through rapid-fire action scenes, and sometimes we even manage to hit a home run or two. So what makes us think that, unlike physical athletes, we can force our brains into action without taking […]

The Importance of Art

Is Art Important to the World?

What is art? Why is this seemingly random act of creation found in every society? Why is it cherished, lauded, idolized? Is art important? For me, as someone who dares claim the lofty title of “artist,” that last question rings the loudest. Why is my writing important? Or perhaps more truthfully phrased: Is it important? […]

why writers should have a god complex

Why Writers (Should) Have a God Complex

“You come upon the person the author put there. … beside the small running river where a boy is weeping and no one comes… and you have to watch without saying anything he can hear. …”—Marie Howe Every author is the god of his own little world. No story is the same; each is a […]

are you emptying yourself into your writing

Are You Emptying Yourself Into Your Writing?

Writing is treacherous business, fraught with fear and doubt on every side. Am I any good? Will I get published? Will I get good reviews? Will I sell any books? But perhaps the most inherent danger of the writing life is the necessary baring of our souls to the world. Writing, at its most basic […]