Take Honest Criticism

I had a recent writing speed bump. Last week, I had my final meeting of the semester with my writing mentor, Manette Ansay. Before our meeting, she wanted me to condense the first 200 pages of my memoir to about 50. Amidst end-of-semester work, I scrambled to produce 8 re-written pages. The worst part was I actually thought they were pretty good. We sat down in our usual meeting place, and I could tell what was coming. “It just seems like you’re tired,” she said, sifting through my meager writing. “Finish up your finals, take a couple weeks off writing, …

Novel Update

Since January, I’ve been writing a novel based on me getting to know my Dad late in life and his battle with cancer.   I’m done with the first fifth, and it’s already 200 pages. I found a writing mentor at UM to help shape the story and she’s been a huge help. I usually just plow through a story with no thought to editing. My mentor recommended that I edit this first fifth, really nail it down to the essentials (70pgs max) so I have a solid format for the other four parts of the novel. I’ve never gotten …

Keep Going When it Hurts

When you’re doing your work, there are going to be minutes that seem to stretch forever. That was my writing today. And that’s okay. It’s like that sometimes. Embrace that some days, you’ll feel like you haven’t moved the ball forward. But the fact that you didn’t quit is enough. Some days, I fly through the writing (not often). Some days, I feel that at least I moved the story forward. And some days (today), it was two hours of suffering. Hey, but I didn’t quit. Don’t quit. Do it, then do it again tomorrow. 

Trust Yourself and Keep Going

“Even if you let ‘em kill your dream, it’ll haunt you.” —J. Cole, “A Tale of 2 Citiez” Doing what you love, you will encounter huge resistance: the heavy cloud of doubt, the racing mind designed to distract you, the negative self-talk stealing your energy. Don’t give in. Fight through that. Do the thing you know will make you happy. Not give you pleasure necessarily, but make you happy. Doesn’t matter what people say. You wanna write? Do it. You wanna get married and have kids? Do it. You wanna build a business? Do it. It’s your life. Listen to …