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process

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For every novel, a font of its own

I've been a designer for nearly as long as I've been a writer, and there's little I love more than a great font. Which is why it can be painful to encounter manuscript submission guidelines that require something like 12pt double-spaced Courier or Times New Roman. Don't get me wrong,

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Finding pleasure in the work

I wrote my very first novel just after high school. As with most first novels—particularly first novels written by someone hardly more than a teenager—it struggles mightily to be good. Oh, young me wanted so badly to be a writer. That eagerness regularly collided with my inexperience, not

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A little bit out of your depth

Felicia shared this video with me recently, and I've probably rewatched now a half dozen times. I really can't get enough of listening to artists talk frankly about their work, their process, their self-doubt. Bowie's first note here is about not "playing to the gallery": But never work for other

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Permission to be creative

In 2020, Ethan Hawke gave a remote TED Talk on the subject of creativity and permission, and I liked a lot of what he had to say here: About defining "good":I think that most of us really want to offer the world something of quality, something that the world

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Leaving a little want-to

I've just spent the weekend putting miles on my keyboard. My hands don't hurt, but they've gotten clumsy. More and more words came out with transposed letters. My word count plummeted. I developed a headache from all of the screen-staring. There haven't been many happy writing stretches in the last

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Got myself a new brain

Every week I write a newsletter. What I write about is usually informed by notes I've kept for myself: Things I've read that interest me, often about artists and process and such. The problem isn't what to write about; it's how to make sense of my notes. I take lots

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Patience, writer-person

This might be some of the best writing advice I've ever read. Don't rush your thinking. Don't rush to make sentences. —From Several Short Sentences About Writing by Verlyn Klinkenborg

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Writing daily

I've been trying, for the last week or two, to string together as many days of I wrote words today as possible. Today, I think, means I've written daily for two weeks (with the exception of one day when nothing quite worked right). All of this writing is for a

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Love or fear

Last week I listened to an episode of Off Camera, in which Sam Jones interviewed Rashida Jones about her life and career. At one point, asked how she made some career choices, Jones said her father, legendary music producer Quincy Jones, had always taught her to make decisions based on

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Morning view

Up a bit early this morning. I wasn't the first one awake—Felicia's often up before me, getting a workout in—but I was the only one stirring upstairs. I went from window to window, pulling curtains and raising shades. The sun wasn't yet up, but the horizon was tinted