Why Writers Write

In the current issue of Poets and Writers. Michael Bourne offers an inventory of his own writing effort and its incumbent frustrations. In “Why We Write: Failure is an Option,” he asks a question I’ve long sought to answer: why do writers write when it can be such unsatisfying work? His answer: “I keep writing fiction because it isn’t easy, because it is the only discipline I care about that I will never truly master, no matter how long I work at it.” Continue Reading »

I’m a LinkedIn misfit. When I signed on eons ago it seemed a professional necessity. More recently I’ve gravitated to Facebook for the density of interesting posts. On Facebook people are snarky. They reveal their wit. They’re outspoken, often intelligent, and unafraid of judgment. Continue Reading »

I’m a social-media coward, disinclined to comment on controversial subjects. That said, I’m commenting on a well-known but seldom discussed underside of Oregon civility, a banal intolerance that could be amusing if it weren’t real. Continue Reading »

I’ve never been very good at networking. Write it off to my introverted personality. While I’ve always been responsive to others who call on me for professional assistance, I’ve never felt comfortable doing the same. I still cringe at the prospect of requesting a letter of recommendation. Continue Reading »

My venture into this public sphere is characterized by long silent lapses. I post nothing, sometimes because I have nothing to say, or because I’m busy with life, or working on other writing. Continue Reading »

Women Writing Men

As I’ve started circulating my novel to agents, I’ve received the question – always from women – “Why is your protagonist a man?” Continue Reading »

Over dinner with a few writers the conversation evolved to a discussion of agents. Two present had met agents through local writers conferences. Both were invited to submit writing samples. Neither heard from the agents. It’s not the first time I’ve heard the story.

Here’s what I’ve gleaned about the matchmaking business that occurs at writers conferences. Organizers know they can draw more registrants if they’re enticed with the opportunity to meet literary agents. Everyone has dreams. Continue Reading »


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