Jan 16 2019
0

When to write on vs. when to write later

When to write on vs. when to write later

Sometimes it might seem like the best writing advice you’ve ever heard conflicts with other advice that also makes sense. Step away and gain some perspective sounds like a wonderful tip…unless what you really need to do is keep pushing yourself and finish that draft! If you’re wondering how to tell when you should do which—write on or write later—this post offers some insight. First, remember that all writers have their own process. You are…

Read More »
Jan 08 2019
0

In a new year, reflecting on the Center’s foundation of creativity, inspiration, and self-expression

In a new year, reflecting on the Center’s foundation of creativity, inspiration, and self-expression

I don’t make resolutions for the new year. I pick a word and try to embody that word. Last year, the word was manifest. I found a new house to live in, found new loves, finished a book that was accepted for publication, started another one, recommitted myself to yoga, and explored other avenues for creative expression. Where there was nothing, I often made something. Where there was a spark of an idea, I often…

Read More »
Jan 01 2019
0

Letter from the director, January 2019

Letter from the director, January 2019

What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger. Do you see the persistence of death and destructive forces or life and generative forces when you look at this picture? Is it one of warmth or coldness, defiance or acquiescence? Where is it? Who is seeing it? What do you think about when you look at this image? Write about it.

Read More »
Dec 19 2018
Comments Off on Helena Writes #6: On watching, and traveling through story-telling

Helena Writes #6: On watching, and traveling through story-telling

Helena Writes #6: On watching, and traveling through story-telling

Helena Clare Pittman, one of the Center’s most dedicated teachers (Writing for Children and Midwifing a Small-Scale Memoir), has written, painted, and taught her entire life. In a new blog series called Helena Writes, she shares a lifetime of wisdom, one pearl at a time. Learn more about Helena through the Center’s Teacher Feature, her reflection on teaching writing, and her artist’s website. In her sixth post, Helena shares, through her own childhood memories, the…

Read More »
Dec 11 2018
Comments Off on Avoid repetitive writing with these 4 tips

Avoid repetitive writing with these 4 tips

Avoid repetitive writing with these 4 tips

Shawna Ayoub Ainslie shares four revision practices that will help you eliminate redundancy in your writing and keep your readers reading. Repetition in writing can happen when writers become too reliant on certain words, phrases, or sentence structures. We can fall into a rut when we don’t add some variety to our choices. Sometimes the best method to break free of writing redundancies is a conscious return to minimalism. If your draft needs work, it’s…

Read More »
Dec 05 2018
Comments Off on How to write what isn’t there

How to write what isn’t there

How to write what isn't there

I recently had a Writer’s Eye student who was drafting a chapter in which one of the main characters in her excellent ongoing story dies. The character’s wife experiences feelings of numbness, entering a state of survival we often describe as auto-pilot: she was simply going through the motions and not actually connecting with anyone or anything. Trauma and loss often result in feelings like this. But how do you write about this particular emotional…

Read More »
Dec 01 2018
Comments Off on Letter from the director, December 2018

Letter from the director, December 2018

Letter from the director, December 2018

Who is this creature, and how did you come upon her? Or did she come upon you–is she running from or toward her own threat? Is she a menacing figure that instills fear, or is she majestic, perhaps an animal guide, a companion? Is she an omen or a sentry, foe or friend? What makes you think so? What do you think about when you look at this image? Write about it.

Read More »
Nov 21 2018
1

Helena Writes #5: On writers’ groups

Helena Writes #5: On writers' groups

Helena Clare Pittman, one of the Center’s most dedicated teachers (Writing for Children and Midwifing a Small-Scale Memoir), has written, painted, and taught her entire life. In a new blog series called Helena Writes, she shares a lifetime of wisdom, one pearl at a time. Learn more about Helena through the Center’s Teacher Feature, her reflection on teaching writing, and her artist’s website. In her fifth post, Helena reflects on her experiences in writers’ groups…

Read More »
Nov 14 2018
Comments Off on Build confidence as a writer in 5 steps

Build confidence as a writer in 5 steps

Build confidence as a writer in 5 steps

I write, but I don’t feel like a writer. I hear this from beginning and blocked writers all the time, and the issue isn’t talent or commitment or energy. The issue is confidence. Do you feel insecure in your writing, like maybe you just aren’t cut out for it? Do you feel like it’s something you enjoy doing and want to do more, but you can’t justify the time spent on it, either because it…

Read More »
Nov 08 2018
Comments Off on Write now, worry later! Avoiding the path of self-censorship

Write now, worry later! Avoiding the path of self-censorship

Write now, worry later! Avoiding the path of self-censorship

Shawna Ayoub Ainslie offers some critical advice against censoring our work in our early drafts. “What parts should I leave out?” a student asked regarding the memoir she’d begun. “Why are you asking?” “Well,” she said. “There are some things I don’t want my kids to know.” I nodded in understanding. Self-censorship is a common theme in all writing, not just trauma-based narratives. Moving our stories from our minds to the physical world can leave…

Read More »