Empty-Nest Syndrome: Coping with the End of a Long-Term Project
The Writing Process

Empty-Nest Syndrome: Coping with the End of a Long-Term Project

After nearly 4 months, I finally finished the piece I was working on.  Now that it’s complete, I’m nagged by that dreaded inevitable question: “what’s next?” This feeling is familiar to most writers.  We work untold hours diligently, dedicatedly, even obsessively on a project, completely absorbed in an idea only to finally finish and feel … Continue reading

Writing as Seduction
Artist's Inspiration

Writing as Seduction

French-Russian novelist Francine Du Plessix Gray always begins her writing classes by asking students to compare the following sentences, the first from Nabokov’s memoir of his youth in pre-Revolutionary Russia, Speak Memory, the second from Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. “She turned on the steps to look back at me before descending into a jasmine-scented, … Continue reading

Productive Idleness: Why Play is More Important than Discipline to Creativity
Artist's Inspiration

Productive Idleness: Why Play is More Important than Discipline to Creativity

“‘It must take so much discipline to be an artist,’ we are often told by well-meaning people who are not artists but wish they were.  What a temptation.  What a seduction.  They’re inviting us to preen before an admiring audience, to act out the image that is so heroic and Spartan-and false. As artists, grounding … Continue reading