I recently spoke with the gracious and articulate bestselling author Cheryl Strayed about Wild and Torch, the future of Dear Sugar, the gifts of wisdom our mothers gave us, being an artist–we even talked about when to skip the day job and live off credit cards. But what resonated most with me were her words about the beauty within our hardships, and her strong conviction that we do not have to apologize for being who we are. You can find our conversation at The Millions.Comments closed
Here’s a little news for the early Fall.
- TEACHING: I’m leading three writing workshops at 3rd Ward.
1-Learn to Love Your Artist Statement has affectionately been called “artist therapy” by one of my students. My goal with this workshop has been to help artists who are traditionally hostile or uncomfortable with writing about their work to discover the original viewpoint or ambition present in what they create, and to learn to articulate what is unique about what they are trying to accomplish with all those hours they spend in their studios.
Here’s how one student took the time to describe his experience of the workshop:
“I’d…like thank you for teaching a skill that…at first glance appears both confusing and dubious. Without resources like your class to make them understandable and accessible, the mechanisms of art (beyond its initial creation) often appear opaque and impenetrable to those who have not chosen to make it their profession but would like to participate in it.”
2-In Write a Press Release, Publicize Your Event, we cover the basics of press-release writing, students write a release for their own project/event, and we spend the remaining time talking about how to build press lists and find opportunities for media coverage of independent events. By the end of the 3-hour workshop, students will have a press release and a list of local contacts.
3-In Your Own Words is more like a consulting session than a class. This small, unstructured workshop allows students to bring in whatever professional-writing project needs extra help–such as polishing a résumé, finalizing a business proposal or editing a business plan. Students work one-on-one or get feedback from others; each workshop is customized to meet students’ individual writing goals.
- WRITING: I’m working on interviews with two authors that you’ll see online in the next few weeks at two publications I respect, read and admire. And that’s all I’m going to say.
- 100 DAYS AND…: YES, I am still working on the 100 Days project! I am learning so much more and less than I expected to learn about myself as a writer. On Day 100, October 8, 2012, I will have written 100 first-draft essays of least 1,000 words each, on 100 consecutive days. But I’ve never written just 1,000 words, so that’s well over 100,000 words for the summer. I’ll definitely write something about the whole experience…but not until after I take a much-needed quick escape from New York. After that, I, um, may or may not start curating a new series of events. You’re welcome to prod me or pitch me about that, if you read this far…
- THE BOOK: I have an outline for my book. Finally. So expect my hermit ways to continue throughout the fall, though I’m hoping to do a few readings to balance out my newfound introversion.
That’s all I have for now, please spread the word about my workshops (see 3rdward.com for details and to sign up), and thank you for your support!Comments closed
THREE new writing workshops at 3rd Ward starting this week and continuing throughout the summer:
1–Learn to write a press release, release it into the wilderness, and talk about how you’ll be promoting your event. One night workshop.
2–Create an artist statement for your portfolio in a workshop setting that helps you explore what you’ve always wanted to say about your art, without using clichés.
3–Write This: Bring any writing project you are stuck on to this one-night workshop that feels more like a one-on-one consulting session than a class.
I’ve been working on a new project this summer, 100 Days (or sporadically on Twitter, #100days). I am writing one 1,000-word essay every day for 100 consecutive days. I don’t have any plans to post these anywhere while the project is in-progress, although once I pass day 30 I’m going to start editing a few of my favorites.
I’m not alone in “100 days,” which I learned the first week. Through the #100days hashtag I discovered a painter on a similar mission who is releasing prints of her 100 days of paintings. Coincidentally, we started on the same day. Then I found out that a friend of mine, local artist Cameron Blaylock, has also started a paint-on-consecutive-days project, An Apple a Day. He’s painting an apple every day (and then he eats it). He also started on the same day, July 1, but as far as I know he’s going to stop after 30 days. Lots of coincidences lately. In fact, on two separate days, while I was writing the day’s essay, a butterfly joined me–landing on my hand and then on my keyboard on both occasions. I can’t think of better writing coaches.
I’ve overwritten the word count on most days, and I’ve also written two essays a couple of times–once as a false start, and then yesterday a new idea came up as soon as I finished the first essay, so I wrote two. I don’t have a total word count, and I didn’t plan to count, but I can safely say that I’ve written 25,000 words in the last 22 days, in 23 separate first drafts. As every other writer says at some point, but my friend Audi said to me most recently: writing is a verb.Comments closed