A variety of things can push us through in our writing.

When published writers expand on their process, we learn that it takes more than mere determination to find the words. Calamity, serenity, even serendipity I’ll always remember what Ta-Nehisi Coates said about creative breakthrough. Indeed, our roughest times in life can open us.  Sometimes we emerge from those dark days bleary-eyed but fortified. Our wordsContinue reading “A variety of things can push us through in our writing.”

A Slower Pace Reveals My Unhealthy Habit

Barbados is beautiful by its people and by its landscape. As the days progress and the frenzied pace decelerates, I truly feel this is my island in the sun. But here is the thing: I’m getting skinny. Stress can do that. Some people put on pounds; I lose them. In Toronto, planning for this work tripContinue reading “A Slower Pace Reveals My Unhealthy Habit”

Needed: A Heroic Writer’s Movement

I’m getting through Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah’s New York Times feature, “The Radical Vision of Toni Morrison.” It’s not going to be finished in a single read, or so I tell myself. Or will it? I fight feebly to get up and wash those dishes in my sink. The images of America’s great black woman writer, at 84, show aContinue reading “Needed: A Heroic Writer’s Movement”

This WRITER’S CIRCLE: Tortured writers?

Exactly what is it about a difficult time that makes us want to write? “I’m going out on the road to find out what it’s like to be poor and needy and then I’m going to make a picture about it.” – John L. Sullivan in Preston Sturges’s film Sullivan’s Travels [1941] Years ago, my friend told meContinue reading “This WRITER’S CIRCLE: Tortured writers?”

Aspiring journalist? Be prepared. Be on point.

Let’s be honest, not every interview we get with someone shines. It happens. Sometimes we crash. The timing was wrong. Interruptions. Bad audio. And sometimes, we’re the reason behind that dashed opportunity. I once accepted an assignment to interview an actor and submit an article the same day. I knew little of this man andContinue reading “Aspiring journalist? Be prepared. Be on point.”

Aspiring writer? Be anal about name spelling.

Years ago, a feature article I wrote for Word magazine appeared (without my knowledge) in a novice publication called Prelude. I’d expand further on the unacceptable practice of reprinting a writer’s work without her permission, but the magazine folded after one issue so I’ll save that rant.  The feature profiled Carl Cassell, an artist andContinue reading “Aspiring writer? Be anal about name spelling.”

Aspiring journalist? Use recording devices

I recently read Wired magazine’s “Sore Subject” (October 20, 2012), a report and editorial response addressing every journalist’s worst fear: doubt.  At issue is an article by Noah Shachtman. The piece, “Russia’s Top Cyber Sleuth Foils US Spies, Helps Kremlin Pals,” profiles Eugene Kaspersky, creator of the Kaspersky internet security software. Here is what can happen toContinue reading “Aspiring journalist? Use recording devices”