Three Lessons I Learned While Writing a Novel First Draft

So the retreat to the Mojave Desert paid off, and I've now officially completed the first draft of my novel-in-progress. I started outlining the story this summer, and it has evolved significantly from first doodles to 110,000-word draft. As a published author and professional writer, I know the most important step is yet to come: …

Continue reading Three Lessons I Learned While Writing a Novel First Draft

Giving Yourself Permission to Write

Many of my Twitter peeps are deep into #NaNoWriMo right now, this masochistic movement every November where writers produce a full first draft of a novel in 30 days. I'm exhausted just writing that sentence. While I've been an on-and-off creative writer for nearly three decades now, I've never participated in NaNoWriMo. Part of it …

Continue reading Giving Yourself Permission to Write

What is Your Writing Process? Writing in Order

Many fiction authors seem to have a preference in writing a novel; they either must write the book in order from beginning to end, or they must follow their muse where it leads them, writing ahead as needed. It appears there is consensus among novelists for a beginning-to-end approach, however. That would be consistent with …

Continue reading What is Your Writing Process? Writing in Order

What is Your Writing Process? First Drafts

A non-writer may ask you, "How is your book coming?" A fellow writer may ask you, "What draft are you on?" To the first question I usually reply, "It's going well, thanks," and then quickly change the subject. To the second, my typical response is, "It depends." Many creative writers plow through their WIP in …

Continue reading What is Your Writing Process? First Drafts

Using Your Subconscious as a Ghostwriter

As I've discussed my return to creative writing with others, I'm frequently asked if it's hard to get back into the groove. No, I respond, because I have a ghostwriter who does the hard work of plotting, scene construction, character development, and revision. I simply take dictation. The process I'm referring to is tapping into …

Continue reading Using Your Subconscious as a Ghostwriter

The Creative Writer Returns

I'm back! It's been a bit more than three years since I last posted to The Artist's Road. I launched the blog in 2010 to chart a path that I had set for myself to return to an art-committed life. Over the next five years I earned an MFA, won a few creative writing awards, …

Continue reading The Creative Writer Returns

A Survivor’s Guide to AWP

It's one of the largest annual gatherings of creative writers, publishers, and educators in the United States--usually well in excess of 10,000 attendees--and the largest such event for literary writers. Once again I'll be attending the AWP Conference & Bookfair, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs' annual extravaganza. This year the hordes will be …

Continue reading A Survivor’s Guide to AWP