Creative Nonfiction

REQUIRED READING

You would think that by [the end of my second year as a New Yorker staff writer] I would have developed some confidence in writing a new story, but I hadn’t, and never would. To lack confidence at the outset seems rational to me.
— JOHN MCPHEE, DRAFT NO. 4

AS A PROFESSOR teaching creative writing to undergraduates, I’m asked dozens of questions about writing on a weekly basis because my students distrust struggle and mistakenly sense that they’re somehow doing it wrong. I try my best to respond with the few insights about the craft of writing that I’ve managed to cobble together over the years, making it clear that I’ve got the same writerly difficulties. Sometimes what I answer suffices, but more often, the student frowns, sighs, and asks what they really want to know: How the hell does writing work? I always respond with the only answer I know: However the hell you can get it to work.

Writing can sometimes seem to involve two contradictory yet simultaneous struggles: first, to continue to move forward as a writer, and second, to accept that periods of self-doubt and fallowness are part of the work. While, some action to take that will move them closer to actually writing.

Sie lesen eine Vorschau. Registrieren Sie sich, um mehr zu lesen.

Mehr von Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction13 min gelesen
Almost Home
LATE ON MY FIRST DAY out of the fallout shelter, I wander into Flatwoods, West Virginia. I can hear weapons fire in the distance, and footsteps, both of which make me wary, but the message that was left for me outside the fallout shelter said to head
Creative Nonfiction7 min gelesen
All In The Cards
IN CREATIVE WRITING courses, we’re often told that quotidian topics make the best grist for the mill. We’re asked to consider the most mundane of items, the ones we step over in the houses of our memories or don’t notice because they are always there
Creative Nonfiction12 min gelesen
Special Time
A FEW MORNINGS AGO, I found myself wandering through my house, searching for my five-year-old son. “Where, oh where, is my beloved Jeffrey?” I cried. “I’m starting to get worried!” What I was feeling, in truth, was not worry—I’d already spotted Jeffr