My Coaching Staff
There is this really pathological misconception we have somehow in this culture that you’re not supposed to do something until you’re already good at it and I’m just not sure how you’re supposed to do that. I don’t see how that could ever work. You’re supposed to start before you’re ready and before you’re good at it. And that’s how you get ready and how you get good at it.” Liz Gilbert
The Lie that Tells the Truth: A Guide to Writing Fiction by John Dufresne
Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers by John Gardner
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
Bird by Bird by Annie Lamott
The Forest for the Trees by Betsy Lerner
Finding Your Way in a Wild New World and The Joy Diet by Martha Beck
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Continuing Studies Writing courses – where I found the encouragement of editor and teacher Laurie Scheer
Writer’s Relief – a literary journal and agent submission agency. Lifesavers. Timesavers. Cheerleaders. Reliable. Dependable. Nice.
Proofreader of brilliance, Natalie Karst.
Six Books That Blow My Mind
If these writers can manipulate your imagination and place you in Tahiti (Gilbert), Brahmpur (Seth), a walled town with beasts of gold (Murakami), a Toronto asylum for the insane (Atwood), the Cherokee Nation (Frazier) and playing piano in a Mississippi steamboat dance band (Gautreaux), all while taking liberties with time, love, class, fantasy and history, then I want to do that too.
This stack of novels leaves me quaking, ricocheting between profound pleasure and incredulity. I’m incredulous because I realize, while deep in the fictional universe these novels create, that this is allowed and that writers are allowed to do it to all of us.
So much of writing is about feeling that I have permission to make something from nothing; these books embolden my writing practice. These writers are brave, innovative, intense and possess such confident and bold storytelling acumen that the pages feel like a miracle.
It’s critical for writers to be reading as much as possible. If nothing else, the insights a writer gains by reading something so thrilling it sticks with you like a cold that just won’t go away, is invaluable. On top of that, reading is much cheaper than a writing course or a master’s degree in creative writing.
Click on the title to visit some of my favorite bookstores and purchase this stack. I’ve included reviews for your reading pleasure. But trust me. These novels are so mind-blowingly good they will slay your sense of what a book is supposed to do to you. Yes, a writer can do that.