3 Ways to Demystify Writing


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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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

Write Your Book in 2019

When I tell people I’m a writer, they usually respond with some version of, “I’ve been trying to write a book…” and then this trails off into infinity. But then I ask, “What’s it about?” And I’m genuinely interested.  I want to see everyone write the book they’ve been wanting to write. I thoroughly enjoy discussing manuscripts and drafts with writers. It’s something I geek out over. I especially like having these conversations with people who don’t yet call themselves writers. 336 Continue reading

When You’re a Writer Who’s Not Writing

Placeholder ImageThere was a time you actually called yourself a “real writer.” You took every opportunity to write. You were desperate, at any time of day or night to get to your notebook. Maybe you slept with it next to your bed so you could write your dreams and thoughts immediately. You were an active lover of the written word and your nose was always in a book—if you weren’t writing. Continue reading