Author Archives: Nancy

The Myth of the Published Writer

When you disclose to a stranger that you’re a writer, the first question you will be asked is, “Are you published?” It feels good to say yes, to have a small list you can name off as validation of your … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Comparison, Competition, Completing a novel, Consumerism, creativity, Elitism, failure, marketing, Process, Public appearances, Self-worth, Society, Strength, success, survival, The market, Uncategorized, what artists need, Writing career | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Writing Revolutionary?

I have a button that says, “Writing is revolutionary.” I wear it to remind myself of this truth. Art is a very difficult thing to believe in these days. Even though I insist on writing, I often wonder, given the … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, creativity | 4 Comments

The Shame I Feel

I’m stupid. I’m inadequate. I am a failure. This is what I grew up believing about myself, and there was no place that proved these points more often, more relentlessly, and more consistently than school. All day long, five days … Continue reading

Posted in Book tour, Completing a novel, creativity, Day by day, Decisions, depression, economics, education, emotion, Energy, failure, fiction, History, Listening, Magic, Maintenance, marketing, Pain, Play, privacy, Process, Public appearances, Publishing, research, silence, Society, spaciousness, spirit, Starting a new work, Stillness, Story, Strength, success, survival, The market, the world, Uncategorized, Visibilty, what artists need | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Making Art in the Age of Trump

Writing takes spaciousness. It requires managing time and psychic space. It requires holding part of yourself away from things: reality, jobs, bills, money, even marriage and partnership and family. It requires keeping a large part of your heart and mind … Continue reading

Posted in Book tour, comfort, Community; Genorosity, Completing a novel, creativity, Day by day, Decisions, depression, economics, emotion, Energy, failure, fiction, Grief, Listening, marketing, privacy, Process, Public appearances, Publishing, research, silence, Society, spaciousness, Starting a new work, Stillness, Story, Strength, survival, Uncategorized, Visibilty, what artists need | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Relearning Stillness

For two months I have been on the move within a twelve mile radius. I was forced to leave my beloved studio (dubbed the treehouse) where I have worked and taught my classes for ten years. There was a lot … Continue reading

Posted in comfort, Day by day, emotion, Energy, fiction, Listening, Maintenance, Process, procrastination, silence, Starting Again, Stillness, The Writer's Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Soothing the Reader

There is something important to remember and that is that the reader wants you to succeed. The reader of a novel wants nothing more than to forget she is reading. She wants to fall into your fictional world so deeply … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, comfort, Completing a novel, creativity, critique, Decisions, Drafts, emotion, failure, fiction, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Alchemy

Years ago, when I first started teaching, a woman signed up for my class at the John C. Campbell Folk School in the N.C. mountains because her doctor had told her that if she didn’t do something for herself soon, … Continue reading

Posted in creativity, depression, emotion, Energy, Magic, Process, Prompts, Self-worth, soul, spirit, Story, survival, Telling our stories, Transformation, Uncategorized, Visibilty, voice, women | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Walls, Doors and Windows

I am thinking about walls, doors and windows, and the rooms that many writers feel they are kept out of. The feeling is real. I have a lot of experience with walls, doors and windows. Besides the fact that I … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, class, Community; Genorosity, Comparison, Competition, creativity, economics, Elitism, emotion, Energy, failure, Gratitude, happiness, Magic, Maintenance, privacy, Process, Public appearances, research, Self-worth, silence, soul, spaciousness, spirit, success, survival, The Writer's Life, Uncategorized, Visibilty, work, Writing career | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Art of Listening

If you are a writer, you must listen. You must listen to your instincts. You must listen to the world. You must listen to the things that lack conventional voice. You must listen to the trees, the river, the deer, … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, comfort, Consumerism, creativity, Day by day, education, Elitism, emotion, Energy, Exploration, fun with what we do, intuition, Magic, Philosophy, Play, privacy, silence, spaciousness, spirit, Uncategorized, Wildness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Free Advice

When you’re a writer, you receive a lot of free advice. A good deal of it (most, I’d say) comes from people who do not write. I’ve been told I have to learn Latin (which I have nothing against, but … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Community; Genorosity, creativity, Day by day, Decisions, Elitism, Energy, fiction, happiness, Magic, Play, Process, spirit, success, survival, The Writer's Life, Uncategorized, Wildness | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments