5 Reasons Why I’m Ending The Artist’s Road Blog

I'm asked a lot of questions in the blogging classes I teach for The Loft Literary Center, but one I'm rarely asked is, "How do I know when it's time to shut down my blog?" It is perhaps the toughest question to answer. It's also critical. If you just go by software registrations, there are …

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Social Media Dystopia: A Review of Dave Eggers’ The Circle

It's somewhat odd, sharing my thoughts on a novel via social media when that novel highlights the dark fate that can befall us when we become too enamored with sharing our thoughts online. That's how I opened my Goodreads review of Dave Eggers' The Circle. That review was automatically posted to my Facebook and Twitter …

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Road to Publication: Questions to Ask Before Building an Artist Website

I've owned a personalized domain name (patrick-ross.com) for about fifteen years, but have done little with it during that time. For the past four years I have focused on this free WordPress site instead. But with Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road publishing this October, I knew it was time to do something with …

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Internet Companies Don’t Serve Us; They Sell Us

Repeat after me: We are not Facebook's customers; we are their product. This sentence has been in my head ever since first noticing the kerfuffle surrounding Facebook in the wake of the publication of an article documenting how--prepare to be shocked--the company conducted experiments on how they presented our news feeds to see if they …

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The Fundamentals of Middle-School Blogging

On what topics would an eighth grader blog? Anything and everything, I've learned. During an all-day creative writing workshop I conducted with about forty students at Henrico County Public Schools' Elko Middle School, I read student writings on everything from football to indie music, from wrestling to baking. I also read a powerful "open letter" …

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AWP Nugget: Hey Writers, Let’s Meet Up in Person in Seattle in 2014!

BOSTON -- One emotion I have always felt at the AWP creative writers conference is jealousy. Jealousy of the talent and success of the panelists and readers. Jealousy of the way so many writer attendees approach literary editors on the Bookfair floor without fear. But, mostly, jealousy of how so many attendees have made the …

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MFA Nugget: Writing to the Reader, and More

MONTPELIER, VERMONT -- "Who is your audience?" Ah, the age-old question. Vermont College of Fine Arts instructor Larry Sutin said in his lecture here at our MFA in Writing residency that he hears that question asked all the time, adding with his usual dry wit, "enough times that it must be a very important question." …

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