3 Ways to Demystify Writing

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1) Know this: there is no such thing as writer’s block. There is you, in front of your screen or holding a notebook on your lap, typing or moving the pen over the page. This can always happen. Even if you don’t know the direction the work is going. Even if you feel like every word is awful. You know how to write, so do that. An idea I’ve always liked is, “You have to get through the bad stuff to get to the good.” And I’ll repeat it again, stop expecting literary gold every time you sit down to write. The beauty comes by way of revision.

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(Un)naming

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Fagin. First of all, I’m not even sure it’s an accurate last name. I don’t know who my biological grandfather is. (Not going to go looking, either.) My biological grandmother, Annie Ruth, gave birth to six children.  Five of them, including my biological father, were raised by her older sister, Dorothy Lorena Davis, who I came to know as my grandma. I never met Annie Ruth until I was in my early 20’s. Since all of Annie Ruth’s kids had different fathers, they decided to give the children the same last name, Fagin. So there’s a one in six chance that my last name should actually be Fagin. Continue reading