On Writing

Why Finding Your Passion Is Such Terrible Advice

Prepare for a hard truth: We’re pretty bad at most things when we first try them.

This article, published in the New York Times Smarter Living newsletter, holds important lessons for memoirists and other nonfiction book authors. Namely, that writing—even if you’re passionately drawn to it, takes a lot of work, […]

By |2019-05-22T18:54:06-06:00April 26th, 2019|Categories: On Writing|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Write Your Story, Change Your Life*

One morning in mid-August a few years ago, I stood in my small condo in Denver paralyzed by fear and inertia. My beloved older sister had died of cancer ten months earlier, my mother died two months after that, and my father decided that very morning he didn’t want to […]

What Teaching Writing Has Taught Me About the Human Condition

I’ve taught writing for years, primarily to adults who yearn to tell stories about personal experience. I’ve worked with doctors and lawyers, comedians and chronic liars, entrepreneurs and private eyes, and not one but two strippers—both of whom also happened to be English teachers.

Sitting at a glossy mahogany dining table […]

By |2019-04-17T16:48:10-06:00January 30th, 2019|Categories: On Writing|Tags: , , |4 Comments

How Storytelling Changes You

I’ve worked as a writer ever since I graduated with a journalism degree in 1982. For almost every piece of writing I’ve done, I’ve had a contract to write it ahead of time. I’ve known the topic, the length, the audience, and how much I’d be paid for my efforts.

With […]

By |2019-03-12T09:03:06-06:00September 6th, 2017|Categories: On Writing|Tags: , , |0 Comments