Writing by Hand vs. Laptop and a Trick to Better Stories

This week I started writing my fiction longhand. I’ve always been a laptop guy, but my writing professor this semester recommended we all try writing with pen and paper. Typing lets you go as fast as you want, lets you follow a train of thought without missing a beat. I always thought writing longhand was inferior because of this. If I think faster than I write, why ever abandon my trusty Mac? Well, I gave it a shot, and I’m here to say that I’m gonna write longhand for the foreseeable future. It’s slower, sure, but it feels more deliberate. …

What Is an MFA and Why I Applied

Over the last few months, a few creative friends asked me about my plans for after graduation. I told them I was applying to get a Creative Writing MFA, and a handful of them asked, “What’s that?” These are people who have awed me with their work in class. This post is for them and any other creatives unaware of an opportunity to practice their craft (and get paid.) Creative Writing MFAs usually last two or three years and can be pursued in fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction. You participate in writing workshops, learning from fellow graduate students and your …

How I Let My Creativity Flow

Writing—or doing anything risky—will always trigger self-doubt. Always. The key is to immerse yourself in the process of writing consistently and allow yourself to watch the story unfold. That way, doubts won’t dominate your mind. This post is about letting your creativity flow. I’ve been tasked with writing a 20-page story for my Creative Writing workshop class, due Monday, and it’ll be critiqued in class Wednesday. All week, whenever I sat down to write this story, I couldn’t get the class out of my head. I couldn’t forget the critical gaze of “the reader.” So I judged every word. There …

Start Somewhere

Today I ran a mile and ate less of a cupcake than I usually would. But I’m starting somewhere. I think people put off major life projects because they don’t let themselves start small. Sure, some people change their lives at the drop of a dime and don’t look back. If you can do that, kudos to you, but I can’t and I don’t think most people can either. Let yourself start small. I didn’t start writing by putting in two hours a day at 4AM. I started with a paragraph in class. Then another paragraph at work the month …

Write Down What You’re Going Through

I woke up in a bad mood this morning. Something was gnawing at me. So I sat down to write, as I do most mornings, and just put it all down. I’m not joking when I say I felt better in ten minutes. It doesn’t always happen so fast, but I can tell you that writing it down makes me feel better nine times out of ten. This is an outlet more people need to explore. Don’t worry about writing well. Just set aside ten or twenty minutes and don’t stop writing. You’ll get to the bottom of what’s bothering you real quick. …