Don’t Write Alone: Writing Life

After Fifteen Years, I Stopped Panicking, Started Declawing, and Finally Published My Memoir

At last, I took my teachers’ and mentors’ advice, and scrutinized my own behavior more than anyone else’s.

Jun 16, 2022
How Stand-Up Comedy Helped Me Craft a Public Writer Persona

Writing my first jokes, I’d replaced my anxieties over the public-facing demands of an author career with a greater willingness to show up and be seen.

May 26, 2022
Finding My Authentic Voice as a Late-Diagnosed Autistic Writer

I had always used writing to try and make sense of myself, without realizing just how much of this was a way of processing a divergent experience of the world.

May 24, 2022
I Went to Medical School and Came Out a Writer

Literature and medicine are not opposed pursuits but rather one in the same endeavor to find sense in messy, human stories.

May 18, 2022
Can Fiction Help Solve the Ethical Problems of True Crime?

True crime wants us to believe that our monsters are individual, not systemic—the errant serial killer rather than a violent and inequitable culture.

May 12, 2022
What It Takes to Make a Living As a Working-Class Writer

I was often housing insecure; sometimes even homeless. I’ve had fewer opportunities to publish and I do so at a higher cost.

May 11, 2022
TLDR; I Tweeted Myself Into a Career and Now I’m Stuck Online

As part of our Social Media Week series, Leah Johnson writes about using social media to connect with her readers and how she engages online as a recreation rather than an obligation.

Apr 27, 2022
Why I Haven’t Invited Twitter Into my Writing Practice (a Thread)

As part of our Social Media Week series, Cinelle Barnes writes about being a writer and not being on Twitter.

Apr 25, 2022
Finding Literary Community by Making Bad Jokes on Twitter

As part of our Social Media Week series, Kristen Arnett writes about her journey on Twitter, the Hell App, and how she uses the platform to connect with other writers and try out bits.

Apr 25, 2022
Like Being a Good-Enough Mother, Being a Good-Enough Writer Is Enough

I love and care for my child unconditionally. Maybe I can do that for my writing too.

Apr 20, 2022
Writing Your Little Stories In the Shadow of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop

I was planting my cornfield, hoping that the magic baseball team (a.k.a my writing group) would eventually show up. If you build it, they will come.

Apr 18, 2022
Whose Voices Get Heard in a Writing Workshop?

In my MFA, the people who spoke the most were praised for their intelligence. But the pressure to participate isn’t helpful for every student.

Apr 13, 2022
Poems That Will Inspire You to Keep Writing

To celebrate National Poetry Month, we asked authors the question: “What poem or poet inspires you to keep writing?”

Apr 06, 2022
My Grandmother and I Never Saw Eye to Eye—Until I Wrote My Novel

When my Nai Nai asked me about the book, I felt compelled to tell her the truth: that I was scared, but that I was trying.

The City Writer Versus the Country Writer

Choosing one life means missing out on another; it is not possible to be everywhere all at once, to do everything, to be everyone.

Selling Books Helped Me Get My Groove Back

As I got better at articulating what customers should read and why, I was becoming equally capable of articulating what kinds of stories I wanted to write.

Mar 21, 2022
What to Do When Work Drains Your Creative Drive

It’s a bitter irony, courtesy of capitalism: writers working as writers to support the writing we are too spent to do.

Mar 14, 2022
“Prison Writer”: A Meditation on Histories and the Sentences that Create Them

From PEN America’s ‘The Sentences That Create Us Crafting A Writer’s Life in Prison.’

What Do You Do After the MFA?

Whatever your MFA experience, it takes time to create or recreate the life that you can keep writing in. In this essay, Rachel Taube speaks to her cohort members regarding their first year post-MFA.

Grieving My Father—And My Book—By Building a Dollhouse

My book haunted me, as did Lizzie Borden. I thought by making something with my hands, I could transform that fear into care.

Feb 15, 2022