Archive for the ‘Writing Tips’ Category

Make Space for Your Art

Thursday, January 16th, 2014









Maybe’s it’s physical space, maybe it’s mental. Whatever your creative pursuit, it needs a little space in your life.

Years ago, I started writing by candlelight to feel closer to a character who was writing a journal in the 1820s. I still do it when I can, usually a few times a week in our library/music room. The circle of light is plenty bright enough to read and write by, and it limits my ability to see the distractions outside the glow. Maybe it even connects me to all the writers who wrote before electric light became wide spread less than 100 years ago. (more…)

Showing Up

Friday, November 29th, 2013

Woody Allen says that 80% of life is just showing up – an adage that is certainly true for me and Hedgebrook. I’ve attended multiple Master Classes and Salons, as well as other assorted special events and workshops. I first heard about Hedgebrook in the late 1990s through a friend, who pestered me to apply for a residency at a time when I had absolutely no confidence in myself as a creative writer. I didn’t get in (not surprisingly). Years later, someone dragged me to a Salon, which is when I heard about the new Master Classes. A week with Theresa Rebeck? A cottage all to myself? Sign me up!

Little did I know how much I would change over the next few years, none of which would have happened without the women I met at Hedgebrook. Every Master Class, Salon, and event I attend expands my world a little more, and today I am in a place I could not have foreseen when I first drove to Hedgebrook. Master Classes gave me the opportunity to learn story-telling (and the writing business) from phenomenal writers, to spend time away from the world, and to commune with other women writers – not to mention spoiling me with delicious food.  (more…)

My Guilty Pleasure: Revision

Thursday, November 7th, 2013




“Revision is not going back and fussing around, but going forward into the

highly complex and satisfying process of creation”

May Sarton

“It’s not how you write; it’s how you re-write.”

Gloria Steinem

If it wasn’t for revision, I never would have become a poet. If it wasn’t for revision, I never would have become a published writer at all. There would be no way to improve my work if I didn’t spend hours, days, and sometimes years, revising. Writing is one area of life where obsession is a good thing. Or can be a good thing. I think I may have to stop writing and revise that last line. As a writer, I consider each word; its sound and sense. I want the best words in the best order. Sounds so simple and yet… (more…)

Questions for our Winter Salon Teachers

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Our Winter Salon teachers share what they are reading, writing and what excites them about teaching for our Winter Salon.

Anna Bálint

 What are you reading?

I always seem to have several books on the go at once. I’ve just finished “Nervous Conditions” a wonderful coming of age novel by Zimbabwe’s Tsitsi Dandarembga, and have started on “Bloodroot” by Amy Greene, another novel, this time an intergenerational family story set in Appalachia and told in multiple voices, (something I love…) I’ve also been dipping into “One World: a global anthology of short stories” which I was happy to come across and is introducing me to some fantastic writers I’ve never heard of before from various parts of the world. Lastly, but no means least I’m reading “Making Peace With the Earth” by environmental activist and feminist Vandana Shiva. (more…)

Cures for Writerly Envy

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

In the winter of 2006, I had taken a leave of absence from my job in Boston and was living in Florida, where my mother was gravely ill. I’d started a novel a few years earlier and had hoped, that year, to finally finish a draft. Instead, my life was taken over with daily visits to the rehab hospital, vociferous advocating with disinterested doctors, and tours of assisted living facilities. I felt overwhelmed and ill-equipped for the task in front of me. And I was sad, and a little resentful, that this had become my life, rather than the writing I wanted to do.

One day in the midst of all this, I received an e-mail from a good friend, a fellow writer. Her novel had been sold to a major publishing house! For actual money! It would be published the following year. My reaction to this great news from my hard-working, generous and deserving friend? I curled in a ball on the floor and wept.