Oct 18 2017
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5 types of journals to keep

5 types of journals to keep

Why journal? To chart your progress, jot down ideas on the fly, list goals and challenges, record feelings, make lists, and so much more. Check out these five types of journals to keep:

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Oct 11 2017
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How to make the “write” work space for you

How to make the "write" work space for you

My writing space is a deeply personal realm. I enter it to make art; and while I can technically write anywhere, my home base for writing is a sanctuary for my creativity. I firmly believe that the self-expressive comfort of my desk, bookshelves, and bulletin board is directly related to my productivity and the quality of my writing. Why? Because when creating my writing space, I adhered to these three “rules”:

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Oct 04 2017
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5 tips for sharing your writing for the first time

5 tips for sharing your writing for the first time

Some of the most difficult aspects of writing make themselves known after the first draft is on the page or screen: revising, cutting beloved passages that don’t advance a narrative or metaphor, choosing a title, editing to make tone and voice consistent, and so on. When they get stuck anywhere in this process, many writers turn to other writers for help and a different perspective. If you’re new to sharing your writing with someone else,…

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Oct 01 2017
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Letter from the director, October 2017

Letter from the director, October 2017

Dear writers, Fall has fallen. I know I’m not alone in preferring this season over all the others, even as I enjoy warm weather activities and dread the barren landscape, biting cold, and ice-covered roads that follow. The grand metaphor of the Earth preparing for a long sleep by first putting on a brilliant show of color is energizing to me. Be slow, fall, said the poet Robert Frost: O hushed October morning mild, Thy…

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Sep 20 2017
Comments Off on 5 reasons why word choice matters so much in good writing

5 reasons why word choice matters so much in good writing

5 reasons why word choice matters so much in good writing

Writing is one set of choices after another—about imagery, sound, what to include, what to leave out, who to name, who to kill off, where to give background info, when to let readers fill in the blanks for themselves, and so on and on and on. I want to talk a little about our building blocks, as writers: individual words. In workshops and writing courses or groups, feedback frequently references “word choice.” One of my…

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Sep 05 2017
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How to make more time to write (and why it’s probably not a time problem you have)

How to make more time to write (and why it's probably not a time problem you have)

I hear that phrase so much, writers: make time. As if we can possibly manufacture more time than there actually is in a day, week, month, or year. Or can we? My suggestion to you, if you’ve ever complained that you can’t make time to write in your busy life, is to re-frame the problem. My guess is, it isn’t always a time problem you have…

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Sep 03 2017
Comments Off on Letter from the director, September 2017

Letter from the director, September 2017

Letter from the director, September 2017

In a few short weeks, summer will be over and fall–and the first fall session of Center courses–will arrive. As usual here in the northeastern U.S., it feels too soon, like we can’t possibly have already moved through the warm months even though we can feel with visceral clarity the morning chill in the air. At this time of changing seasons, I am reminded that there are seasons in our creative lives as well. Sometimes…

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Aug 22 2017
Comments Off on Which writing form is right for you? 7 questions to ask yourself

Which writing form is right for you? 7 questions to ask yourself

Which writing form is right for you? 7 questions to ask yourself

You have an idea, an image, or an interesting phrase that you want to turn into a piece of writing. You sit down in your favorite chair with your favorite pen or device and start getting some words down. Maybe the question of whether this is a poem, short story, or essay begins to pull at your attention while you’re writing, or maybe you create a full draft of…something…before you begin to consider form or…

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Aug 15 2017
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How to create your own personal writing retreat

How to create your own personal writing retreat

If you need a change of both setting and pace and a reprieve from distractions to put in some serious, focused writing time, consider creating your own retreat. Make no mistake, there are some fabulous organized writing retreats out there. The Center offers affordable and scenic writing retreats, but we don’t have any scheduled for 2017. When we do, we’d love for you to join us! Until then, if you’re browsing the offerings on Poets…

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Aug 08 2017
Comments Off on Tips for beginning writers: Resist distraction and embrace solitude to write more and better

Tips for beginning writers: Resist distraction and embrace solitude to write more and better

Tips for beginning writers: Resist distraction and embrace solitude to write more and better

For a long time now, I’ve wanted to say something to writers, especially to beginning and aspiring writers, about embracing solitude. Perhaps it’s an overly romanticized notion, that writing is a solitary path. Perhaps it’s even strange for me to say–me, who tries to create a community around writing through the Center and in my personal life, and who emphasizes to my students the need for community. The need for community, though, is born of…

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