We Need to Talk About Writer’s Block

I don’t know if it’s shame, denial, or something else that makes us cling to the concept of writer’s block when life provides so many real roadblocks to writing. We can’t set aside work, family, and other responsibilities; we can’t control how illness, disaster, and trauma swallow up our energy and skills. Why enable more barriers we can’t control? Maybe artistic pursuits are so romanticized that we don’t like to admit how much hard work, patience, and failure goes into them, especially when we don’t always know what our efforts will yield. How do we excuse the days spent staring … Continue reading We Need to Talk About Writer’s Block

Looking Forward

Now that you’re through the crush of finals and have (hopefully) had a chance to relax, it’s a good time to think about your summer writing goals. It can be hard to imagine finding time to write while working, taking summer classes, or planning vacations, but during the last two semesters we found that we were better able to make the most of our scant writing time when we had other writers to encourage us. The writing group was a source of inspiration, encouragement, accountability, even commiseration when needed. Whatever the topic, our discussions always left us inspired and eager … Continue reading Looking Forward

Diversity in Writing

Last week we spent quite a long time talking about how to use diversity “correctly” in our writing. All to often when we try to be inclusive we end up being judged as pandering, detrimental to the cause or just plain wrong and even offensive to the group we are trying to convey. We went over using race, economic background, disability, sex, religion, cultural differences and more but one thing we did touch on was age. Writing about an age that you aren’t anymore of haven’t been yet can be very difficult. As someone creeping slowly toward “middle age” it … Continue reading Diversity in Writing

The Poetry is Coming

Hello Creative Writer, April is National Poetry Month so lets get the poetry flowing. If you’re like me then poetry might not be your strong suit. You might even feel as though this is a genre that is completely and utterly for other people, magical people who can make their poems feel touching rather than cheesy and eloquent instead of childish. When I was a very young writer I started out writing poetry and I was unafraid. I was fearless because I wasn’t judging myself against anyone else. I hadn’t read an epic poem; I’d never even dived into the … Continue reading The Poetry is Coming

Minutes from March 25, 2019 Meeting

Yesterday we began our discussion on diversity in fiction. You may recall that we touched on this topic a little when we discussed character development and especially cultures in worldbuilding: the more varied perspectives you bring to a work of fiction, the stronger it will be, because it will reflect reality; the more realistic your worlds and your characters, the more immersive your fiction will be. In yesterday’s meeting we discussed how that kind of argument fails to get at the deeper truth. “It will make you a better writer” is a handy way to incentivize inclusion, but that should be … Continue reading Minutes from March 25, 2019 Meeting

Minutes from March 18, 2019 Meeting

Sounds like everyone made good use of their time off! A couple of us have been working on unfinished novels and a couple more have been editing finished work, but we still had brain space to tackle a few difficult questions yesterday. Over Spring Break a question about finding an editor turned into a discussion about knowing when your work is ready to be put out into the world. We continued that discussion in the meeting yesterday and managed to tie it to another question, how things become canon in a work of fiction, sparked by J.K. Rowling doing that thing … Continue reading Minutes from March 18, 2019 Meeting

Minutes from March 4, 2019 Meeting

Yesterday we wrapped up our workshop from last week and did a little brainstorming with the writers. Afterward we talked about the four basic types of writing: expository, descriptive, narrative, and persuasive writing. The first three types are crucial elements of fiction writing, and exposition was a frequent topic in this workshop—some of our stories could have benefited from a little more of it, others from a little less or some fine-tuning of what was there. It’s not always easy to tell when you need more exposition to fuel your story and when your exposition is bogging everything down. There … Continue reading Minutes from March 4, 2019 Meeting

Minutes from February 25, 2019 Meeting

This week’s meeting was our first workshop session. There wasn’t enough time to cover all the stories in an hour, so we’ll be extending the workshop to next week to fit in the last couple stories. The love story challenge proved pretty versatile; the stories were varied in tone and each one seemed to take the theme in an entirely different direction from the last. It was wonderful to have a chance to bring so many different writing voices together for each piece. We did a bit of brainstorming with the writer of each story discussed, and the writers had … Continue reading Minutes from February 25, 2019 Meeting

The Workshop

Why: Writing happens in a bubble, but if you want your writing to improve, it can’t stay there. In a few short months we’ve seen how talking about our writing in a group has inspired us to write more, to push our limits, and to think critically about our writing. But because writing is so personal, it’s impossible to be completely objective about our own work. Sharing your work with other writers and being open to their feedback can make a huge difference in the quality of your writing. The format: The writer receiving feedback does not speak. Readers take … Continue reading The Workshop