Child's Play

I like to play with my poems the way I play with my daughters.

 

We invent elaborate games with ever-shifting rules. We treat familiar objects as if they were not familiar. When we wrestle, it almost looks like we’re dancing.

 

The problem, though, is that other poems – poems I’ve never even read before – love to run over and join in on the fun, start trying to grab my thumb or pull the glasses off my face and before I know it I’m surrounded by a pack of little rough drafts all wanting to play slappy-slappy.

  ...

January 10, 2018 | Ben Berman

The Writing Life

Top Four Writers' Phobias, and What to Do About Them in 2018

By Katrin Schumann

I write a lot about writers’ insecurities because for 99.9 percent of us, fear lurks behind the brave faces we put on. Depending on where we are in our careers, we may all be afraid of different types of failures, but these deep-seated anxieties rarely go away completely.

Most artists learn to live with fear—and some learn to use it to drive toward better work. I might even dare to say that if you don’t experience doubt or fear, you should be worried. Overconfidence usually doesn’t serve writers well.

January 3, 2018 | Katrin Schumann

Craft Advice Events The Writing Life

The Shape of our Stories

Vonnegut wrote his master’s thesis on his theory that all stories could be graphed by computers – with good- and ill-fortune on the y-axis and time on the x-axis.

 

He believed novels were ultimately about how characters get into and out of trouble and that plots – no matter how varied their premises – could be represented by a mere handful of simple shapes.

December 13, 2017 | Ben Berman

Author Newsletters--Yay or Nay?

By Katrin Schumann

Media marketing experts agree that maintaining a robust newsletter is one of the best ways for an author to build a core audience--a group of people who will be more interested and committed to you and your work than, say, that stranger lurking on twitter or the random people liking your Instagram shots.

December 6, 2017 | Katrin Schumann

What to Expect when you're not Expecting

When I first started telling friends that my wife and I were pregnant with our older daughter, my wife would shoot me a look to remind me that only one of us, technically, was pregnant.

 

So I can’t help but feel the pettiest of joys in the fact that my four-year-old happens to believe that while her older sister was born in the most conventional of ways (uterus, birth canal), she somehow managed to emerge out of my stomach.

November 8, 2017 | Ben Berman

The Writing Life