Category: Write

EPC — Art vs. Craft

There  is some lively discussion within  these interviews  about if and how you can learn writing from a teacher. Caroline Bird expresses skepticism, then off the tape revised her position, saying, “I think you can teach the craft of writing. The art of writing has to come from within, that cannot be taught.” Talent without discipline is not fruitful, but discipline without talent lacks effective voice.

Setting direction

First time I drove a car, my father told me to get in to our aging Cadillac and drive it down the main street of Perkasie, our small town  In retrospect, I am impressed with his confidence in me, that…

Imposter Syndrome, for authors

For those of us who truly care about writing, owning our author-ity as an author is sometimes a challenge, both because there is almost always a writer more successful than we are, and also because there are so many pretenders.…

Restructuring time

Work creates a structure in our lives.  A steady job circumscribes our time.  Instead of circadian rhythms, we adapt to corporate rhythms, rising with the echoes of old punch clocks and factory whistles, timing our commute to the tides of…

NaBloPoMo: a post-Sandy alternative to NaNoWriMo

NaBloPoMo (nah-blow-POE-moe)  is a blog-centric riff on NaNoWriMo.  (nan-oh-WRY-moe). Lest you think I am writing gibberish, let me expand. NoNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month –which occurs annually in November. Their tag line is “November 1-30, 2012:  thirty days of…

EPC — Allowing for Change

Rachel Vail’s “Permission not to have to be Mozart” really resounds for me. I have wrestled with the myth that, to write and let you read it, my thinking  has to be fully mature, complete, finished—and that five years from now, I’d agree 100% with what I wrote. There is something daunting about the permanence  of the written word. A phone call fades, even e-mail is more likely to be deleted than not. But a written  note can be taken out and read over and over again, over time. And it continues to speak from the person who wrote it—who I might not be in five years.

EPC — Integrating Voices

We are sometimes pressured  to be homogeneous, to be all one mode: all nice, or all pro or con an issue, clear and uncomplex. Yet when I find a personal truth, very often it is a paradox, combining both polarities. Truth inside out. We can love fiercely, and disagree vehemently. So we can write clearly and ambivalently, in focus and confusion, clearly committed and questioning. We can choose to be broad, with texture  and dimensions, messy and stainless-steel polished.

Speaking  and writing  with  your own voice does not mean  silencing parts, but integrating  them. Like the Tibetan monks, who chant with two tones, we do not have to speak in just one voice.

EPC — Choosing Voice

Choosing voice is about  application: When  do we speak and when do we keep silent? What do we choose to give voice to and what do we choose to ignore, or remain  silent with? Using our voice is taking  a stand, defining ourselves.

In any given situation there are three basic choices: exit, loyalty, or voice. We can leave, disassociate, or remove ourselves; we can remain loyal to the  situation,  supporting  or with  silent  consent;  or we can choose to give voice—and thereby express our unique perspective.