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It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again

The term “senior” officially applies to those sixty-five and older. But not everyone who is called a senior feels like a senior. And not everyone who retires is sixty-five. Some retire at fifty, some at eighty. Age is a relative thing. Most working artists never retire. As director John Cassavetes put it, “No matter how […]


Laying Track

THERE SHOULD BE some artier way of saying it: I think of it as laying track. If you are America and you let yourself lay track, writing will let you move coast to coast, mapping your interior, enjoying the sights. I believe that what we want to write wants to be written. I believe that […]


It’s never too late to offer–and find– support

One of our chief needs as creative beings is support, and seldom is this more true than when we are beginning a creative endeavor. Especially if we are new to practicing our creativity, it is paramount that we consciously build relationships that can serve as support for our projects and an outlet for our own […]


Ego, Fear and Humility

It is the ego’s dicey proposition that as artists we should always be “special” and different. The ego likes to be set apart. It likes to look down its nose at the rest of humanity. Such isolation is actually damaging. It is like the reverse of the Midas touch turning everything golden into a problem. […]


Morning Pages: the beginning

I have a daily practice of three longhand pages done first thing on awakening, hence, “Morning Pages.” The pages clear my head and prioritize my day. I think of them as a form of meditation. There is no wrong way to do the pages. You simply keep your hand moving across the page, not pausing […]


CONNECTION

We write to express ourselves, but we also write to connect. Connection is a primary human need. From cave dwellers onward, we scratched our message into stone, hoping that it would be read and understood. As we became more adroit at expression, the messages that we sent became more complex. “I am here and you […]


Begin at the Beginning

I’ll begin at the beginning, with a blank notebook whose pages beg, “Fill me.” It’s four o’clock in the afternoon on a bright spring day. I have taken Lily for an extra long walk, and now I am settled in my leather writing chair and I am— yes— writing. It feels good to put pen […]


Returning to the Wonder of Childhood

The part of us that creates is childlike. It is filled with awe, alert to new experiences, and mesmerized by the sensory wonders of our environment: the otherworldly blanket of fresh white snow, the enticing smell of chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven, the crispness of a new pencil, the mesmerizing allure of a […]


The Wall

Writing begins with enthusiasm. We launch into a long project with optimism. We have an idea, we trust our idea, we set about putting it to the page. All goes swimmingly for a time— until we hit The Wall. The Wall occurs, in most writing, about two-thirds of the way into our work. Put simply, […]


Keep the Drama on the Page

Drama belongs on the page. We have a mythology which tells us writers’ lives are dramatic, but this mythology does not serve us. Writers’ lives are best non-dramatic. It serves us to keep drama at bay. Today I woke up tired and crabby. I didn’t fall asleep until 2:30 AM, and this morning I was […]