How To

The Story I Can’t Write About My Family

In fiction, one needs motivations, wants, and fears; one needs cause and effect. In life, it’s messier.

How Watching Movies Helped Me Write a Book About Music

What I wanted to say about Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs” has everything to do with the movies and TV series I love.

Sep 08, 2017
Between Sex Work and Poetry, a Proposition from a Writing Professor

“I trusted him, as students must their teachers, and he betrayed my trust.”

Aug 29, 2017
How to Coauthor a Book and Stay Good Friends

“You should absolutely burn a penis candle before doing anything important.”

The Invisibles: American Polarization and the Reality Gap

“The fracturing of our political reality is a wound a long time in the making.”

Why I Cannot Write About My Father

“There is no word that explains how girls love absent fathers.”

Jul 26, 2017
You’ll Feel a Pinch: An Attempt to Get Birth Control to Outlast a Presidency

“Taking care of our bodies is a privilege when it should be a right.”

Jul 13, 2017
Agent Provocateur: Finding Representation for Your Book

How to find an agent? Try cocaine and yelling. JK

Jul 12, 2017
The Long Haul: What Creative People Can Learn from Diana Nyad, Tommy Caldwell, and Frigate Birds

Can writing change the shape of our organs? Do brains warp into book-making shape?

Jun 29, 2017
Deal or No Deal: Why Being a Literary Agent Doesn’t Make It Easier to Write a Book

To all the wonderful would-be authors out there: Do as I say, not as I do.

Jun 27, 2017
Fasting With Children

“Fasting has been a source of comfort, a way to become closer to God. All that changed when I had children.”

Pitching and Moaning: A Guide to Submitting Your Writing

How to get a story or essay published if you’re not James Franco.

Jun 15, 2017
When You Hate the Job You’re Supposed to Love

“Jobs are insidiously hard to compartmentalize. So is dying inside.”

Teaching Our Children How to Mourn

“We teach each other the prayer so that when someone dies, we are ready to fulfill our obligations.”

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