Writing Advice Archive

When a Workshop Goes Bad (Part 1)

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice 1 Comment
I have been a part of many writer’s workshops. College, post-college, online, extension school, gathering of friends. You name it. I’ve done it. For the most part, I believe workshops made my writing better. After all, there’s only so much that you can perceive regarding your own words. Unless

Finding Time to Write

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Very few writers can actually support themselves with their writing. Since, like the vast majority of writers out there, I work during the day, people often ask me when I have time to write. After all, with a corporate job, family life, varying attempts at a social life, fantasy


Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice No comments
When you’re drinking Rolling Rock with a bunch of poets after a sparsely attended reading in a far-flung corner of Brooklyn, it’s hard to keep in mind that writing isn’t just an art—it’s a business. Especially in poetry, it’s easy to become enamored of the bohemian aspect of the

Rules, Shmules

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Because several of my preceding posts have been very earnest, and also, possibly, a little depressing, I thought that it might be nice to end my tenure as a Ploughshares blogger on an upbeat note.  With this in mind, I recently asked a group of anonymous literary authorities to

The Fine Art of Saying No

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice 3 Comments
Whether I’m a spectator at a reading or taking part in one, two questions that I often hear during the Q & A session are “When do you get your writing done?” and “Do you have a set schedule?”  Despite having heard these questions many times before, I’m still

Rated R for Racy

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In the mid-90s, when I was a graduate student at Indiana University and nervously facing my first class of undergraduate creative writing students, I understood within the first couple of weeks that there were few things more fascinating or more daunting for writers than the moment they decide to

Dead Stories: When to Say When

This week we welcome three new Get Behind the Plough bloggers to Ploughshares. The first is fiction writer Christine Sneed, whose story “The Prettiest Girls” appears in our Winter 2010-11 issue edited by Terrance Hayes. Christine will post on Mondays through April. Guest post by Christine Sneed The harsh

New Year’s Resolution

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Guest post by Fan Wu I was awakened at 3:36 a.m. by my two-year-old daughter’s crying. I went to her room and lay down beside her, as I always do when she wakes up in the middle of the night. Half an hour later she fell sleep, while I