Category: Creativity

The assignment and the follow-up

One of the highlights of third grade at my kids' school is something called "The Wax Museum." The children each choose a historical (or current) famous figure, and research the person's life. Over the course of several months, the kids do multiple assignments, culminating in the construction of a timeline. They display this timeline at the school while dre… read more »

All castles crumble, but still you build them

One of my Q2 goals is to revise the novel I wrote during National Novel Writing Month. During NaNoWriMo, as they call it, people attempt to write a 50,000 word novel within the 30 days of November. I participated this past fall, and wrote my 50,000 words. It was a fun experience, and you can read about some of my experience here. Here is a post from 2014 about the top… read more »

Revision for 3rd graders and others

I think all writers like talking about our processes. We are perhaps a fragile bunch, and talking about a process implies a seriousness that we can struggle to assert. In any case, I like talking about writing and editing, and yesterday I got to talk to one of my all-time favorite groups: my 3rd grader and his class. The children have been working on revision thi… read more »

Finishing ahead of schedule

Distance running and long form writing can both be painful. They can also be fun. So I’m grateful, going into Thanksgiving week, that my two November projects in these categories were more in the latter category than the former. Both also took less time than I thought they would! I’d signed up for the Philadelphia Half-Marathon, which was Sunday, but aft… read more »

“That was my own little MFA” — novelist Camille Pagán on frustration and success

I got to know Camille Pagán years ago when we were both young writers in NYC. I profiled her for a City Journal article on the taxonomy of self-employment (she was the quintessential “soloist”). We started having dinner together on occasion, and she started a writer’s strategy group, based on something she read in The Happiness Project. Our group met… read more »