Tag Archives: advice

The Ploughshares Round-Down: Labels, Action, and Confidence

A couple weeks ago, author and marketer Ryan Holiday wrote a piece for Thought Catalog titled, “Can You Call Yourself a Writer?” In it, he argues that “[j]ust because you have done something, doesn’t mean you are something.” In other words, calling yourself … Continue reading

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Research Unleashed! And Leashed.

I knew I had a problem when I started envying my dog’s cone collar. Now, my dog’s problem was a hot spot. Allergic, itchy, hot, and double-coated, my German Shepherd had chewed her hind leg raw over the course of … Continue reading

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The Ploughshares Round-down: Why “Don’t Feed the Trolls” Falls Short

Over the last two weeks, the internets have exploded with news about terrible comment sections and how to handle trolls. As writers, we know that since comment sections are where humanity goes to die (Ploughshares comments excepted of course), putting creative work online basically means exposing … Continue reading

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The Ploughshares Round-Down: Why “Do What You Love” Is Bad Advice

In 2005, Steve Jobs gave a now-famous graduation speech at Stanford University. “You’ve got to find what you love,” he said. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly … Continue reading

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Writing is Not Like…

For the past year or so, I’ve contemplated the ways that writing is like many other everyday tasks we undertake. In that time, I’ve reached for some unlikely comparisons. (See baseball, cooking, going on vacation.) As the year comes to … Continue reading

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One Year In—Writing the Novel: Celeste Ng

After one year of writing my novel, I took stock of what I’d accomplished—which seemed like very little. Would writing always feel like flailing? How do novelists find their way through? For guidance, I turned to published novelists, whose interviews … Continue reading

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Writing is Like Making Snowballs

It snowed today. It was supposed to snow, but only for a minute, and it was not supposed to stick.  Instead it snowed all day and as the sun went down at 4:30 (alas) the snow was still there on … Continue reading

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Revising Like Alice(s)

There has been a flurry of praise for Alices lately—Munro for her much-deserved Nobel, McDermott for her highly-praised new novel Someone—and it has me thinking about why these two authors are having a cultural moment. They write about women, often … Continue reading

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Punctuation I Have Known And Loved

Fall is correcting season for me, and while I try not to turn into the grammar police while I’m reading, I usually cannot resist the chance to amend errors. One of my all time favorites was an essay that suggested … Continue reading

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“Let’s Get You an Agent”—An Agent’s How-to for Writers

So—Eric Nelson is an agent with the Susan Rabiner Literary Agency. His own blog, “How to Think Like Your Agent,” is full of quick, no-nonsense advice. Here, he lends our readers a special dose of it: how to get an … Continue reading

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