All an author asks for is a chance. A chance, and the worshipful adulation of millions and the affirmation of our stubborn fathers and skyrocketing sales and awards and parades and magnificent statues looming before grand institutions named in our honor. We are a modest bunch. When I wrote The Green Ember, I genuinely just wanted a chance. I wanted a try-out, to use sports terminology (my … [Read more...] about You Held My Heart
Writing on Writing
Save your spot here! So, this is pretty cool. I did an hour-long teaching at Hope*Writers a few months back for their membership community. I love this community and resonate so strongly with their attitude and approach. Hope*Writers membership is a valuable investment for serious writers (of any stage—beginner to published). They have generously offered some of their most popular teachings … [Read more...] about Free (Online) Writing Teaching from S. D. Smith THIS FRIDAY (3.27.20)
I’m often tempted to be envious of friends who make music in community. The harmony on display is so attractive. I have friends in Nashville who have the kind of creative community people like me dream about. Also, singer/songwriters perform regularly and get instant feedback. They might hear clapping and see smiles the day after they write a song. It’s an endeavor so closely connected to … [Read more...] about Making Art For and With People You Love
This seems a good distinction. One I need to hear right now. "Sit down and put down everything that comes into your head and then you're a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff's worth, without pity, and destroy most of it." Collette HT: Sally Lloyd-Jones … [Read more...] about Writer or Author?
You simply must read this. This is from Jonathan Rogers, author of The Terrible Speed of Mercy: A Spiritual Biography of Flannery O'Connor and many other excellent books (pretty much all of which I have and love). Here is an excerpt from an interview he did with Treven Wax. This was my favorite part. -Sam O'Connor once wrote, "The writer should never be ashamed of staring. There is nothing that … [Read more...] about A Mystery To Inhabit: We Need Stories and Art That Go Beyond Easy Solutions, Being Clean, Safe, and Instantly Uplifting
Hello, I'm Sam Smith and I approve of this massage. <finishes getting a massage> Thank you, I feel much better. I have somehow neglected to tell you guys about a project that was launched recently by Rabbit Room Press. It's a book-length journal called The Molehill and it features many different writers, from Sally Lloyd-Jones, G.K. Chesterton, and Walt Wangerin Jr., to Rabbit Room regulars … [Read more...] about News! My Story in a New Book
Seth Godin has so much wisdom for artists and entrepreneurs of all kinds. I appreciate his books. I don't see how this interview is anything but helpful. Am I missing something? via Ariel Hyatt HT: Chris Yokel … [Read more...] about Seth Godin With Great Advice For Artist/Entrepreneurs
Alan Jacobs on how "...The ability of writers to feel offended or persecuted is pretty close to unlimited..." One of my favorite stories about writers concerns John O'Hara, who long ago wrote the book for the musical Pal Joey, based on his own novel. When the play was making a big run on Broadway, two friends of O'Hara's bumped into him on the streets of New York. "Oh John," they cooed, "We … [Read more...] about Writers: Hilariously Pathetic
This is good, from Frank L. Visco, originally published in the June 1986 Writer's Digest. My several years in the word game have learnt me several rules: Avoid Alliteration. Always. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They’re old hat.) Employ the vernacular. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc. Parenthetical remarks (however … [Read more...] about Excellent Writing Rules. For Example: “Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.”
Donald Miller: "I’ve a shelf at home devoted to books about writing. I’d say I might even have two shelves devoted to those books now. I’ve read most of them and some are better than others. But the best writing advice I’ve ever received didn’t come from a book. It actually occurred to me one morning when I was lying in bed, not wanting to get up and do my job. Maybe it came from heaven, I … [Read more...] about The Best Writing Advice Ever –Seriously
Holy cow this is so true. "Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public." Winston Churchill HT: Andrew Mackay Also, Churchill knew something about … [Read more...] about Am I Strong Enough To Kill This Monster?
I’m learning something about myself as a thinker of thoughts and a writer of words. I must resist what I feel as a need to qualify every potentially confusing thing I write. I’m growing more comfortable with the idea that I cannot provide all the caveats I need to protect myself from being misunderstood. I’m learning to leave more room for possible misunderstanding where it can’t be helped … [Read more...] about The Box-Ticker and the Poet Argue About Qualifying Everything