Former NPR Code Switch Editor Tasneem Raja writes about her experience on female genital mutilation in the United States within her sect of Islam, the Dawoodi Bohras.
Do you worry a lot? Sometimes over things you absolutely can't control, so that worrying about them serves no practical purpose? Do you think you worry too much? Do you worry that all this worrying may not be good for you?
It doesn’t matter what your life is like. If you’re an artist or an entrepreneur, or both. Creativity is the beating heart of a million different things. It’s what’s going to help us survive — well, if you’ve turned on the news at all in the last several months, you know. Everything.
Almost exactly 20 years ago, I arrived in Los Angeles in the month of June. I had received my doctorate from UC Berkeley in May and had turned 26 in February. That summer, I found a small apartment in Silver Lake and began preparing for a new career as a professor at USC.
If you miss out on the last few episodes of Saturday Night Live this summer, blame America’s decades-long struggle to bring its health care costs under control.
This is a guest post from Cecilia Lyra. Cecilia is a writer with a reading addiction, a lover of wine and all things chocolate, and the proud mother of Babaganoush, an English Bulldog. She is also a recovering lawyer, but asks that you do not hold that against her.
We came across the following article by Stephen King a little while ago. We believe it was originally published in a 1986 edition of The Writer magazine and republished in the 1988 edition of The Writer’s Handbook. We reproduce it here for educational purposes only. I.
Last week, I wrote about 25 habits that will make you a better writer. This week, I thought — let’s dive into books. After twenty-plus years writing, I’ve collected some resources that I absolutely couldn’t do with out. I love borrowing books.
If one of your goals for 2017 is to become a better or more frequent writer, there are plenty of tools you can use to help you along the way. We scoured Product Hunt to curate some of our favorite apps for writers at every level.
When is the last time you had an opinion but didn’t share it with anyone because you didn’t think anyone would care? When is the last time you got really excited about an idea you had but then never pursued it because you decided it wasn’t good enough? When is the last time you started to make
Hard-working artisan, solitary genius, credentialed professional—the image of the artist has changed radically over the centuries. What if the latest model to emerge means the end of art as we have known it? Pronounce the word artist, to conjure up the image of a solitary genius.
So you want to get paid for your writing, but you've never been published. You have no formal experience, and no one's ever hired you for a writing-related job. The professional legwork that comes with getting paid to write can be intimidating. Honing a few important skills can help you get started.
Someday you want your daughter, niece, goddaughter and best friend’s little girl to grow up and have the option of being a firewoman, a writer, an Olympic gold medalist in boxing, a sergeant, a celebrity chef, the president … or whatever else her little heart desires.
Writing is a muscle. Smaller than a hamstring and slightly bigger than a bicep, and it needs to be exercised to get stronger. Think of your words as reps, your paragraphs as sets, your pages as daily workouts.
A lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens A lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens 09.
Gore Vidal lives in a run-down penthouse above Rome’s Largo Argentina: reconstructed temples from the pre-Augustan era are set incongruously in the middle of what looks to be Columbus Circle without the charm. It is August. Rome is deserted.
Writing isn’t always the easiest thing. Thankfully, there are all types of apps out there to help you stay organized and focused. Whether you are writing for a living or just making a grocery list, these apps will help you complete your project with ease.
In the winter of 2010, inspired by Elmore Leonard’s 10 rules of writing published in The New York Times nearly a decade earlier, The Guardian reached out to some of today’s most celebrated authors and asked them to each offer his or her commandments.
You need to adapt. New technology and on-the-go expectations from your audience have led to a growing need to ‘systemize’ your life and increase your efficiency.
The two literary heavyweights talk about the politics of storytelling, the art of the swordfight and why dragons are good for the economy. Kazuo Ishiguro and Neil Gaiman. Illustration: Tim McDonagh
We tend to picture the world’s great thinkers and artists toiling alone in laboratories and garrets, waiting for a spark of divine inspiration. But great ideas are not hatched in a vacuum. Mozart didn’t construct entire symphonies alone at the piano.
I rarely spend much time wondering why others do not enjoy the books I like. Henry Green, an old favorite, almost a fetish, is never an easy read and never offers a plot that is immediate or direct. “There’s not much straight shootin,’” he admitted, in the one interview he gave.
A daily writing habit is thing number one because it is THAT important. Move your story forward by even a few words every single day and you’ll be surprised by what happens. Or maybe not, since what will happen is this: you’ll write a book.
Kurt Vonnegut (November 11, 1922–April 11, 2007) has given us some of the most timeless advice on the art and craft of writing — from his 8 rules for a great story to his insights on the shapes of stories to his formidable daily routine.
In 1932-1933, while working on what would become his first published novel, Tropic of Cancer, Miller devised and adhered to a stringent daily routine to propel his writing.
At AoM we’re great champions of the lost art of letter writing. Emails, texting, and the wide variety of other digital mediums available to us in the modern age are convenient and efficient, but they can’t hold a candle to the warm, tangible, classy nature of handwritten correspondence.
Not long ago, a friend asked me to read his book. He’d written a rough draft and wasn’t sure what to do after that. After reading it, I explained how writing a book involves not one, but five, different drafts. He was surprised to hear that. Most people are.
Forbes' list of the world's highest-paid authors came out last month. My name's not on it and it probably never will be. My name is, however, on a $786 utility bill that just arrived in the mail.
Shut up and write. No, no, I know. You just wrote me an email and in this email — like in so many other emails by so many other ‘aspiring’ writers — you informed me that you really want to be a writer, but. No, it doesn’t matter what follows after the but. Something about time.
In November, nearly half a million people around the world will embark on a remarkable quest. National Novel Writing Month (also known as NaNoWriMo) challenges established authors and aspiring writers alike to create a 50,000-word story in just 30 days. Sound crazy? Perhaps.
I went from being a bad writer to a good writer after taking a one-day course in “business writing.” I couldn’t believe how simple it was. I’ll tell you the main tricks here so you don’t have to waste a day in class. Business writing is about clarity and persuasion.
A lot of people want to improve their writing skills, both professionally and personally. In order to achieve that, a key ingredient is often ignored: Reading.
When I first wrote a novel in 1991, I remember walking down the road and seeing a pretty girl and thinking, "She might like me now." This post originally appeared on The Altucher Confidential. I know that a lot of what I write seems to involve whether or not women like me.
Most writers struggle with getting their writing done for one surprising reason. They think writing is a one-step process, when in fact, it’s a three-step process.
Contrary to our romanticized notions, writers don’t just sit around all day, drink coffee and Scotch, and wait for inspiration to strike. Like any other job, they have to be disciplined and productive. While that does involve lots of coffee, it also requires hard work.
When you attempt to envision a writer, I imagine many of you see a quirky recluse, hunched over a desk in some cabin, crumpled paper strewn about as they obsessively work on the next great American novel. But writing is so much more. This post originally appeared on the Help Scout blog.
When you decide to pursue freelance work, you might not have a clue how to actually find clients.
“Writing, at its best, is a lonely life,” Hemingway proclaimed in his short and memorable 1954 Nobel acceptance speech.
Effective writing skills are to a writer what petrol is to a car. Like the petrol and car relationship, without solid skills writers cannot move ahead. These skills don’t come overnight, and they require patience and determination. You have to work smart and hard to acquire them.
Journaling, I believe, is a practice that teaches us better than any other the elusive art of solitude — how to be present with our own selves, bear witness to our experience, and fully inhabit our inner lives.
“In both writing and sleeping,” Stephen King observed in his excellent meditation on the art of “creative sleep” and wakeful dreaming, “we learn to be physically still at the same time we are encouraging our minds to unlock from the humdrum rational thinking of our daytime lives.
Get an accountant, abstain from sex and similes, cut, rewrite, then cut and rewrite again – if all else fails, pray. Inspired by Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing, we asked authors for their personal dos and don'ts 1 Never open a book with weather.
UPDATE: These daily routines have now been adapted into a labor-of-love visualization of writers’ sleep habits vs. literary productivity. Kurt Vonnegut’s recently published daily routine made we wonder how other beloved writers organized their days.
Bret Easton Ellis was born in 1964 in Los Angeles, grew up in the San Fernando Valley, went to a local private school called Buckley, and drove his parents’ hand-me-down Mercedes 450SL. “In retrospect, we were pretty well-off,” he told me. “But at the time, I didn’t feel that way.
In 1966, when John Updike was first asked to do a Paris Review interview, he refused: “Perhaps I have written fiction because everything unambiguously expressed seems somehow crass to me; and when the subject is myself, I want to jeer and weep.
I think nearly every writer who’s ever published a book receives the occasional email from a stranger asking you to read his or her opus. If you’re a writer with a day job in an English Department, it’s worse.
There’s no denying it — the English language can be mighty tricky.
John Angus McPhee was born in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1931, attended college in his hometown, and still lives there today. He tells stories when he drives through town; memories shadow him everywhere he goes. (“I grew up all over campus,” he says.
William Faulkner was born in 1897 in New Albany, Mississippi, where his father was then working as a conductor on the railroad built by the novelist’s great-grandfather, Colonel William Falkner (without the “u”), author of The White Rose of Memphis.
Have you ever wished you could peer inside the mind of one of the greatest writers in the world and find out exactly what makes them tick? Well… here’s your chance.
During the Q&A for How to Read a Book, someone asked whether reading a lot makes us better writers. The short answer is yes. Reading and writing are two sides of the same coin. As Anne Lamott points out, the converse is also true – writing makes you a better reader.
This is the full transcript of the keynote speech, Fiction and Identity Politics, that author Lionel Shriver gave at the Brisbane Writers Festival This is the full transcript of the keynote speech, Fiction and Identity Politics, that author Lionel Shriver gave at the Brisbane Writers Fes
There is no direct flight from New York City to Clinton, Ontario, the Canadian town of three thousand where Alice Munro lives most of the year. We left LaGuardia early on a June morning, rented a car in Toronto, and drove for three hours on roads that grew smaller and more rural.
Author Ann Handley joined #Bufferchat to discuss ways to take your writing to the next level. Check out her latest book, “Everybody Writes” for great advice on writing and content marketing. Check out the full recap on Storify here!
“Man has an instinctive tendency to speak, as we see in the babble of our young children,” Charles Darwin wrote in The Descent of Man, “whereas no child has an instinctive tendency to bake, brew, or write.
You want to write better dialogue. You've learned a few tricks of the trade. Great work so far, but are you unwittingly sabotaging your work, leaving only stilted, one-dimensional dialogue for your readers? Here are six painfully common ways writers botch their dialogue.
Stephen King is one of the most prolific and commercially successful authors of the past half century, with more than 70 books of horror, science fiction, and fantasy to his name. Estimates put the total sales of his books at between 300 and 350 million copies.
From Kapuscinski to Knausgaard, from Mantel to Macfarlane, more and more writers are challenging the border between fiction and nonfiction.