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Teach What You Don't Know

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As a writer and teacher, I’m interested in both the gaps and overlaps between the two fields.


Not surprisingly, I feel most at home in front of my creative writing classes – I’ve studied craft formally, have read hundreds of books about the creative process, and have been practicing writing steadily for the past twenty years.


But this year, I have found myself in the strange position of teaching a film class – strange because I don’t own a television, haven’t watched a movie all the way through in years and know next to nothing about the art ...

May 14, 2015 | Ben Berman

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Please God!

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A black and white cartoon my mother cut out of a magazine twenty-some years ago is still etched in my memory. A seemingly apprehensive young woman was about to step onto the scale. The caption read, “Please God, please! Let me weigh 110 and then everything in my life will be perfect. ” I can still hear my mother giggling. 


While there is no working scale in my home, and I haven’t frequented church since high school, the cartoon stays with me.  Throughout my life, I too have found myself pleading, “Please God, just let this happen ...

February 3, 2015 | Leslie Martini

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The Importance of Creative Incubation in the Writing Process

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For years creativity experts have agreed that for most people, creativity comes to them in a cyclical fashion. It's a rare person who can create and create and create nonstop (people with hypergraphia come to mind...but that almost seems more like torture in many ways).

When it comes to creative effort, motivation goes hand in hand. Creativity researcher Raymond S. Nickerson explains his 1999 essay, Enhancing Creativity, that:

December 25, 2014 | Crystal King

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Getting Started Again: Writers’ Tips for When You Get Stuck

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Tip #1:  Make Writing a Good Habit
Most pros say, "Just start."  It's true, that's the solution.  Sit down, open the document, type something.  Or pick up the pen and begin describing what you see.

But most of us don't believe it's that simple.  We have a thousand reasons we're not ready to start again.  Truthfully, we dread opening that document because of what horrors (bad writing) it could reveal.

December 9, 2014 | Mary Carroll Moore

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Hearing--or Not Hearing--Voices

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As writers, we’re familiar with the wisdom that in order to write, you need to silence the censoring voices in your head. Whether those are the critical murmurings of the family members portrayed in our memoirs, or the encouragements of our mentors over the years, we need to learn not to listen to them while we engage in the business of getting the words onto the page. (There will be time later in the process to heed the advice of mentors and editors and classmates--and perhaps of family members, too.) But what to do about public voices, voices that speak ...

June 26, 2014 | Henriette Lazaridis

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