This Writer’s Life

Everyone’s favorite MFA student, our “Writer’s Life” columnist Kevin Alexander gives his witty take on starting a writing career. Join in his often amusing, occasionally heartfelt experiences trying to get a leg up in this challenging field. Kevin will be posting to his blog weekly so sign up for an e-mail alert for his latest musings.


On (Insert Sad Boyz II Men Song)

I can’t tell you how sorry I am, friends, for this neglect. I feel like the divorced dad who thinks he’s cool because every once in awhile he shows up with a bunch of Nerf footballs and lets his kids swear and eat Wendy’s. This last piece of absentee blogging is all my fault....

On Twitter, Technology, and Lady Internette

I, friends, am not tech savvy. Yes, technically I have a blog, which, in 2002, would’ve very nearly made me a candidate for some venture capital cash money, but this is the same blog that took an entire tech team a week to explain to me how to get the ghosts of web pages...

The Burden of Geniusocity Part Deux: DFW Edition

There was a brilliant article in the New Yorker from March 9th about David Foster Wallace by D.T. Max titled “The Unfinished.” It’s hella long, but intensely interesting, and if you want to read it online, you can do so here. Anyway, the point of it is essentially that DFW was handicapped by the...

On the Cost-Benfit Analysis of Sleep vs Productivity

So obviously, the timing on this will seem off, but I wrote the majority of this blog entry at 5 AM during a rest stop in the midst of a marathon session of writing, and since I know you respect and care about the creative process, it only seemed fair to publish the manuscript...

Discussions Had; Solutions Put Forth; Issues Resolved!

Friends, Post my little public display of reflection, I received a prompt and timely email from the new WD editor, who then quickly got to the bottom of said issue (turns out there was a miscommunication re: invoices), and together we peacefully sat down and negotiated a fantastic way out of said scenario, so...

On Meta: Posting About Writing While Writing

Note: Apologies on the wild swings in blog posting time. I’m going to get back on the Tues or Wed posting schedule, just as soon as I’m not overwhelmed with deadlines and Celtic-Laker overtime disappointments. Pinky swear.  The idea of meta is the whole idea of thinking about the fact that you’re thinking about...

An Auspicious Return; Camelbaks; Journalism Terms!!

If you cared to notice, friends, last week I did(n’t) accomplish two of my goals; one of which was to play Ice Hockey on Nintendo using the time-tested strategy of two fat guys, and two skinny guys on my squad, and the other was writing a sweet, sweet entry for this blog. Apologies need...

The One Where We Talk About Goals for the New Year

Apologies for the 24 hour delay, friends. I spent all of yesterday battling through a return to work that included responding to (roughly!) 23 work emails and (definitely less than!) 4 phone calls, and then made it a priority to attend the redesign party for Boston Magazine. After TK years (eight? thirty?), BoMag totally...

A Holiday Break; A Look Back; And Mo' Mo-town!

Gracious Friends, As per the orders strictly worded in my 70 page WD blogging contract, I am going off air from now until January 6th, when I shall reappear in the New Year stronger, more emotionally appropriate, and in need of a trim around the back of my neck. The thinking is this: You...

On (Literary) Snobbery, T-Giving, and Amy Grant

Hello, friends. I hope your Thanksgiving was a generously portioned and lacked any sort of drama involving your sister, her frequent Facebook status updates, and the phrase, “too-cool-for-school loser.” I ate enough stuffing for three averaged size adult women and watched fifteen minutes of a movie so inordinately unwatchable, I can’t even recall it’s...

A Brief Timeline of My Novel's Existence

History has shown that periodicals like to ask authors, “how long did it take you to write this book?” and the answers are startlingly different, ranging from “twenty two years” to “two consecutive taxi rides.” Preempting the obvious fact that someone somewhere is going to want to profile me very soon and going to...

The New New(ish) Thing

The weather in Boston has finally re-arrived at cold, a situation that always feels like it’s right around the corner, even in July when I’m writing outside in my sports bra and cut off jean shorts summer bathrobe. As I type, I can almost see my breath, and I have no idea how to...

Choose Your Own Commenting Adventure Vol 3

You, friends, know what time it is. It’s time for the third installation of what critics have called, “kind of lazy, but definitely better than listening to you rattle on for 600 words about the HBO show True Blood,” the CYCA3! Directions: Read the graf pertaining to our protagonist Casey, and then take it...

On the Political Process

Little known fact: I was a political science major in college, friends. I had a very real interest in the science of politics, an interest that almost pushed me into the work-heavy grasp of law school, an interest that kept me from taking more than two writing classes in college, an interest that was...

Prevent (Self) Defense(iveness)

This week is, of course, Halloween– our tribute to the old Celtic festival Samhain, and the appropriate time for the professions of nurse/doctor/army chick/hobbit to suddenly become intensely “sexy.” A lot of you may be asking, “Kev, what particularly hilarious costume have you come up with for the festivities on ol’ Hallow’s Eve?” and...

A Mostly Failed Start

Friends–a little ways back I made reference to how impossible it was to jump back into something after you’ve been away from it for so long, and I made a sweepingly clever reference to starting to run, and then eventually training for a marathon. That all seemed well and good when I was just...

Getting back on the (Novel) Train (With Comments about NorCal!)

Friends–I’ve spent much of the last week in the girlish splendor of NorCal, out at Stanford’s homecoming– a school I didn’t attend–  appropriating much more than my standard allotment of Vitamin D and feeling insanely jealous of the people that managed to trick, steal, or academically impress their way onto this campus. Moving aside...

An End of Sorts

As most of you may know by now, our venerable editor-in-chief Maria Schneider is leaving the magazine to pursue other options, and I just wanted to take this opportunity to say a few words about her. Maria was the one who–as an assistant editor– originally “discovered” me, reading my pathetic query for submission for...

So Fresh and So Keen

The Fall is my prime writing time, friends. It is my favorite time of year– you get to drink apple cider, and eat apple-based pies, and the temperature is that perfect 60ish (which is just about the only temp I don’t sweat in), there is football on the TV on Sundays, the leaves start...

Choose Your Own Commenting Adventure Part Deux

Something Kind of Suspicious (Maybe) Welcome back to our 2nd edition of the Choose Your Own Commenting  Adventure. As we stated with the first one, have fun with it, but also, try and  keep your comments relatively quick, because the longer you sit  deciding what to do, the more likely it is that someone...

On the Death of David Foster Wallace

I’m going to interrupt my normal tone because I want to talk about  the writer David Foster Wallace’s suicide. For those of you who don’t  know who he is, I’ll link to his NYTimes obit here.  As readers of  this blog may or may not know, I love Foster Wallace’s work. I became  obsessed...