How To

Four “Types” of Creative Writing “Careers”

Traditional, stealth mode, performing, or freelance: which approach to a writing career is for you?

May 24, 2017
How to Write Iranian-America, or The Last Essay

“The essay will feel like it’s killing you and the ending will not be what you thought it might be.”

I’m a Person—Not a Pre-Existing Condition

“The worst days I’ve ever known could be my future under the American Health Care Act.”

May 15, 2017
How a New York Times Bureau Chief Wrote His Memoir

Eat your meals standing up. Don’t sneak onto Mt. Kilimanjaro.

May 15, 2017
The Lie in My Novel

“Where the fiction began—and who was authoring it—was getting confusing.”

May 10, 2017
Writing About Marriage When You Want to Stay Married

“I am posting a bulletin from the sanctuary behind that closed bedroom door.”

Apr 24, 2017
The First Time I Got Paid to Write

My first screenwriting gig, a skateboarding chimpanzee, and a hospital cancer ward.

Mar 24, 2017
When I Think About Giving Up Writing

I was happy raising my kid, living my life without worrying about writing.

Mar 20, 2017
Every Novel Is Historical: A Conversation

Is a novel set in the 1980s historical? Or a novel set in 2013 post-crash Ireland?

Voice Lessons: Six Meditations on Language and Authenticity

The works of June Jordan, Albert Camus, and Edward Said reveal the power of voice in literature.

Mar 01, 2017
On Making Things Up: Some True Stories About Writing My Novel

“I want you to believe every single word I say, but don’t be fooled—I’m using lies to convince you.”

Feb 23, 2017
Losing My Voice and Finding It

In the quiet forced upon me, I started to hear the voices of other selves.

Feb 15, 2017
When Depression Is the Third In Your Relationship

Helium balloons, magic robot fairies, and dangerous myths about love.

A Conversation About Poetry and Tarot

“Both tarot and poems know what they know. Both have an ancient memory.”

Feb 08, 2017
Against Fame: On Publishing, Popularity, and Ambition

“The problem with fame is not its rarity; it’s that it is out of our control.”

Jan 26, 2017
In Praise of the Salon: Field Notes for the Aspiring Bluestocking

I witnessed how easily art might braid to politics, how easily fellowship might inspire movement.

Jan 25, 2017
How Solange and Morgan Parker Inspired Me to Write My Heroine

I thought I had to make myself smaller, quieter, in order to survive.

Dec 20, 2016