Category: Writing

The literary Advent calendar

Our “literary Advent calendar” made its first appearance last year. The idea is that for each pre-Christmas night of December (or of Advent, whichever) the children open a new Christmas book. Then you read it together. It’s a chance to highlight old favorites in a systematic way, and try some new ones. As modern Christmas concepts go, it’s a much bet… 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 »

The Norwegian secret to getting an article shared 300,000 times

I fancy myself a student of what gets attention on the internet. Beyond the obvious reasons (sex, violence, and cute animals doing adorable things), why do people choose to click on things and share them? I’ve been pondering that this week as the Fast Company post I referred to the other day (“The Norwegian Secret To Enjoying A Long Winter”) took on a lif… 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 »

Notes on NaNoWriMo and pacing

I’m having fun with my NaNoWriMo novel. I started a fresh file and am writing from the beginning. While the characters are the same as the novel I wrote during NaNoWriMo last year, I feel like this year I have a better sense of what should happen, and I know who the characters are. So it’s coming together better than it did in the prior version. I’m sure there… read more »