the writing life

I'm in New York!

Hi Writers,I’m reporting live from New York City, where I’m accompanying our annual competitions winners Alegra Clarke and Mary Feuer. So Alegra and Mary and me are making the rounds to meet literary agents. This is part of their prize for winning our annual competition for the past two years. I...

Miranda Rights for Writers

Hi Writers, I guess you all know by now how much entertainment I get from our writing forum. Anyway, we were having a discussion yesterday about how being a writer affects our close personal relationships. This was contributed by Cindy Adams (aka “Gookblink”) and I’m posting here with her permission. Enjoy....

Ira Glass on Storytelling

Hi Writers,I want to share this wonderful, instructional video I came across: Ira Glass on the art of storytelling. I’m a huge NPR “This American Life” fan and I also recommend “This American Life” on Showtime, which I suppose you might call short video stories of real people. The following video...

Writing through Recession

Hi Writers,Well, I have to admit to feeling more than the usual post-Catholic-childhood guilt lately. Not only is there a global economic recession and I’m actually employed in a volatile industry; The Ultimate Cheapskate (below) yelled at me for my fondness for expensive, frothy espresso drinks. You could argue that there’s...

Maria Gets Cheap

Hi Writers,I met up with one of my favorite WD forumistas this morning at the Joseph-Beth bookstore here in Cincy—the one and only “Ultimate Cheapskate” (aka Jeff Yeager). Jeff has been pedaling his bike around the country on a book tour to spread his gospel of cheapness. You can read all...

Procrastination vs. Writer's Block

Hi Writers,There’s a great piece in Slate “It’s All in My Head” by Jessica Winter, that attempts to make a distinction between procrastination and writer’s block focusing on the work—and lack thereof—of famous writers of the past such as Truman Capote. Here’s an excerpt: Neurologist Alice Flaherty attempts a working distinction...

Hey, Graphomaniacs!

Hi Writers,I know I said Friday was going to be the official rant day here on The Writer’s Perspective, but you never can predict when a good rant is going to come on. I read an essay in the New York Times Sunday Book Review: “You’re an Author? Me Too!” that...

Speaking of Fonts

Hi Writers,As I mentioned in the previous posts, I’m switching fonts for my blog posts—a minor face lift you might say. Fonts seem like a trite thing for writers to concern themselves with. But in the visually oriented magazine world, I’ve observed first-hand that how you present your work really can...

Reaching Your Audience

Hi Writers,A lot of writing books come across my desk and I try to give most of them at least a quick read before stacking them on my bookshelves. So I thought, instead of just hoarding these books, I’d share a tiny bit here. I’m not going to be doing book...

National Editor's Day

Hi Writers, Is there such a thing as National Editor’s Day? Well, there should be. Maybe I’ll send that one in to Chase’s Calendar of Events, where I was most recently the primary contact for National Word Nerd Day—January 8 (this is the sort of thing that happens when editors get...

Friday Rant Day: Googleganger Woes

Hi Writers,I’m officially declaring Friday Rant Day here on “The Writer’s Perspective.” Got a rant? Come here on Fridays to share a tizzy fit with me. To start things off, I came across an article about Googlegangers recently. Names that Match Forge a Bond on the Internet and it brought up...

In honor of National Poetry Month

Hi Writers,It’s National Poetry Month, so I thought I’d offer up an excerpt courtesy of our wonderful new Poetry columnist Dorianne Laux. This is from the June 08 issue of Writer’s Digest (on newwstands 4/15), from a column on word choice:There’s something in the name Romeo—those three sweet, open syllables—that our...

(Fore)going Postal

Hi Writers,Please excuse me for abruptly ending My Archival Wanderings without proper closure, but I have a wonderful excuse: Our managing editor (and contributor to this blog) Kara Gebhardt Uhl had a baby this weekend. Congratulations Kara! I’ll keep posting My Archival Wanderings occasionally, when the spirit moves me. But just...

My Archival Wanderings: WD Covers of the 70s

Hi Writers,I wanted to share more of my WD archival excavations with you. Today’s exhibit: Writer’s Digest covers from the ’70s, which are, shall we say, expressive. For propriety’s sake, I’m restraining my own commentary, but I encourage yours. Enjoy. Keep Writing,Maria You might also like:No Related Posts

Laurell K. Hamilton quote

Hi Writers,In celebration of our April 2008 issue dedicated to Pop Fiction hitting newsstands this week, here’s a quote from our cover subject Laurell. K. Hamilton: I’ve been writing stories since I was 12. Writer’s Digest was one of my first teachers, actually. In the high school library, there were stacks...

Still linear in a networked world

Hi Writers,Prodigious print buyers are winning by a landslide in my poll below “Do you buy less print (magazines, newspapers and books) than you did five years ago?” To continue along that same vein of thought, I read an intriguing article this week on the Publishing 2.0 blog: The Evolution From...

Famous Authors Predict Super Bowl Winner

Hi Writers,I’m sure many of you were, like me, coerced into watching the Super Bowl last night. As a consolation, check out this McSweeney’s piece—a post-football season Monday morning funny for you. Be sure to check out the whole piece on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Enjoy… FAMOUS AUTHORSPREDICT THE WINNEROF SUPER BOWL...

Blogs: Handling sensitive subjects

Hi Writers,Anyone who blogs and is interested in learning how to write about a very serious topic should check out Patry Francis’ blog Simply Wait. I wrote about Patry in my previous post. She’s an author who’s battling cancer. She’s been chronicling that battle on her blog recently. Here’s a brief...

The Liar's Diary by Patry Francis

Hi Writers,I love it when the literary community comes together to help one of their own. In April 07 we featured a write up on a debut author named Patry Francis, a waitress and mother of four who had just written her first novel The Liar’s Diary. She wrote the book...

20 Tips for Good Blogging

Hi Writers, If you’ve been a regular reader here, you know that I spent much of 2007 perusing writer’s blogs for my Project 20/20: Build my Blogroll Project. I spotlighted 20 writer’s blogs (one a week for 20 weeks) and added them to my Blogroll, where you can still find the...

Is it time to ditch Word?

Hi Writers,I enjoyed this essay from Sunday’s New York Time’s magazine, about options beyond Microsoft Word for writers. It’s definitely worth reading this short, amusing essay: An Interface of One’s Ownby Virginia Heffernan. Here’s an excerpt: Our redeemer is Scrivener, the independently produced word-processing program of the aspiring novelist Keith Blount,...

Ultimate Cheapskate Hits the Big Show!

Hi Writers,I wanted to give a shout out to a friend of this blog and frequent WD forumista, Jeff Yeager, aka “The Ultimate Cheapskate.” Jeff will be appearing live on the “Today Show” tomorrow in the 8:00 hour to promote the release of his book The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to...

Showing your ink

Hi Writers,I’m so glad to finally be back from my long holiday/vacation. I hope your holidays were both peaceful and productive. A special thanks to Brian and Kara for keeping the blog fires burning while I was away. Oh the pressure! OK, I really wanted to do a highly intellectual post...

PROJECT 20/20: BUILD MY BLOGROLL WEEK 20 ADD!

Hi Writers,I’m back, shamelessly two-days late for this, the wrap-up of my Project 20/20: Build my Blogroll Project. I apologize to anyone who worried I’d  given it all up to join a roving mime troupe. I’ve been on holiday, celebrating with family and doing good deeds involving small children and their...