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. 

Get Enough Sleep

You shouldn’t be exhausted in the morning. You shouldn’t be yawning by noon. You shouldn’t be running on E by 7pm. You won’t last. I’m learning this the hard way. I’ve gotten up at 4am every day this week to write and production has been great. This is a lifestyle I’m happy with. But it’s the end of the week and I felt the sleep debt. It’s hard to “grind” all day if I’m nodding off in the afternoon. I’m gonna make sure I can sleep at least 6 hours a night. 10pm-4am. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep because …