Blog

The Center blog is teeming with tips and inspiration for starting and maintaining your writing practice.

Whether you are using your personal experiences and observations in memoir, short story, or poem form, you get to choose what you include. Shawna Ayoub Ainslie guides truth-tellers with three self-reflective questions to make choices in writing about their own lives a little easier to live with.
When I got to midtown and parked the car, I combed the sheet of newspaper, four pages, double sided. There it was, the story of a man who had bought a shoe store during hard economic times. One shoe store became two, then three, then twenty-five. A chain of shoe stores! The man had accumulated wealth, and had the means to help others—which he did. “During hard times, expand,” is what he was quoted as saying.
Remember being a child and stomping in mud puddles? Or playing kickball on the school playground, or building forts or snowmen, or fishing, or racing bikes, or making mud pies, or blowing bubbles? Remember childhood? Remember play? What do you think about when you look at this image? Write about it.
Shawna Ayoub Ainslie shares meditation-inspired tips for identifying your best writing ideas and clarifying your focus.
With writing, as with all people and practices that matter to us, we have to devote time and energy to maintaining their presence in our lives. Stacia Fleegal writes on how to be aware of the challenges and have a plan for balancing them.
Writers in touch with the sources of their inspiration are the ones who will keep writing. Stacia Fleegal offers tips for actively pursuing them, rather than waiting for them to strike, by cultivating self-awareness.
Have you ever needed to blend in, become part of the background? Ever want to hide? Or maybe this photo makes you think of the genius of camouflage, the relationship between living beings and our environment, or of what lurks unseen, but seeing, in the tall grass? What do you think about when you look at this image? Write about it, then enter March's photo writing prompt contest.
Shawna Ayoub Ainslie reflects on how writing can be a friend in difficult times.
I saw a red-tailed hawk last week, camouflaged in winter white, no red tail flashing—playing on the wind! I stopped my car on that country road where I rarely meet another traveler. The hawk tumbled like a crow. I’ve seen crows play on the wind. This hawk wasn’t hunting. It was having a wonderful time!...
The coronavirus pandemic has the world in upheaval. We are distancing ourselves from others, isolating with our families, and working and learning from home. Our days probably look and feel radically different than they did even a few days or weeks ago, which might produce a great deal of anxiety, fear, and frustration. But we will be ok.