On Writing

How Translating Annie Dillard Helps Me Attend to a Dying World

Dillard stalked a world just beginning its freefall into an unprecedented amount of change, and her response was to look, and to look hard.

Jan 30, 2020
What I Learned When I Set Out to Write an “Authentic” Latina Character

Latinidad, to me, was like a shrunken sweater. I never wanted to get rid of it, but I couldn’t imagine how it would possibly fit.

Oct 22, 2019
Women Writing About Complicated Desire Saved Me When the Evangelical Church Couldn’t

What I’d been looking for at the convent, I could find in reading and writing. If other writers could channel their desires, I could use it, too.

So, You’ve Finished Your Book

When my students finished a draft, all I wanted them to do was sit inside of it for longer than was comfortable. To acknowledge and celebrate what they’d accomplished.

My Father Wishes He Were a Writer, Like Me

Writing was just something I thought happened to people naturally, that whatever wasn’t written was eventually forgotten. And I wanted to remember everything.

May 09, 2019
As a Nurse and Writer, I Work Toward a Culture of Care

Despite how fruitless both nursing and writing can feel, I choose to engage with both.

Mar 21, 2019
As a Disabled Writer, I Know My Stories Are Worth Telling

These worlds I dearly love, with science-fiction that supersedes the science in our reality, deserve Smart Drives and automatic doors and disabled heroes, too.

Every Day is a Writing Day, With or Without an MFA

There are far more writers ringing up your groceries, writers pulling your daily espresso shot, writers in the laundries of hotels and security tagging jeans at the mall and filling your prescriptions and pouring your beer into a clean cold glass.

Nov 27, 2018
Don’t Submit. Pitch.

Writers, take note: A submission says, please pick me, I’ll be waiting. A pitch says, catch me or you’ll miss the ball.

Sep 17, 2018
The Tides of Success: A Two-Artist Marriage Confessional

You loved his talent first. You hope that he will not love you less, for all that you do not now achieve.

Sep 06, 2018
Portrait of the Author as a Woman with Adult Acne

Will my face betray me when it’s time to talk about my book in public?

May 24, 2018
A Memoirist’s Terror & Insight: Writing My Ex-Husband on the Page

I wasn’t looking for pretty stories. I wanted messy, ugly, honest secrets.

May 09, 2018
How Publishing My First Novel at Twenty-Five Almost Ruined Me for Life

I thought I was the exception to every rule about writing being a hard living. I got exactly what I deserved.

Mar 27, 2018
On Envy, the MFA, and Writing Under Capitalism

“No one had told me to prepare myself for this—for wanting what someone else had.”

Mar 19, 2018
How This Lawyer Learned to Call Herself a Writer

My vision of a writer has always been someone quiet, someone introverted, and—especially—someone white.

Jan 30, 2018
Magic and Echoes: How Music Helps Me Write

Acoustic-rich spaces feel enlivening and the echoes they produce sound like life.

Jan 09, 2018
My Editor Was Black

Debut author Naima Coster on working with Morgan Parker, the whiteness of publishing, and literary self-determination.

Dec 11, 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
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
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