What I'm Grateful For

Publish date:

I know it’s a cliché, but I just cannot believe 2010 is already coming to an end. Since New Year’s is a time for list-making, I am going to make a list of the writing-related things for which I am most grateful in 2010:

•The continued support of my family. Of course their opinions are completely subjective, but their belief in my writing means so much to me. You gotta love it when your dad wonders aloud, in complete seriousness, “I don’t know why you haven’t been published in the New Yorker yet?”

•The same goes for my friends. The night before a piece of mine was published, I went out to a bar to celebrate with a few of my best friends. It’s an incredible feeling when you have a group of people in your life who are genuinely happy for you--it helps you to believe that your dreams are possible.

•The guidance of my teachers. I’m able to see for myself now why certain pieces of writing work better than others. A supportive word from a teacher you admire can do wonders for your confidence.

•Good friends in the program—particularly Eliza Fogel. I now have an army of writer friends!

•Access to great literature. Reading is still the best way to learn writing, and through my classes, I’ve gotten to read some incredible short stories and novels that have really affected my process and the way I think about story…. “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver, “The Swimmer” by John Cheever and “The Ledge” by Lawrence Sargent Hall come to mind in particular.

•Having 31 hours of my MFA under my belt and only 14 to go (6 of which are thesis hours!).

•Having narrowed down my thesis material to two possible choices and having a good start on both.

Getting paid for a piece of my writing for the first time!

•Having the chance to read before a crowd at Come Home Chicago and Creative Nonfiction Week.

•Getting a piece of my fiction published in a well-known magazine for the first time!

•Drinks at the South Loop Club after class.

•Getting to do this blog for WD! This has been such a great opportunity for me to share my thoughts about writing programs for the Writer’s Digest audience. Thank you for your reader comments throughout the semester. I look forward to continuing the conversation with you next semester!


Making the Switch from Romance to Women’s Fiction

In this article, author Jennifer Probst explains the differences between romance and women's fiction, the importance of both, and how you can make the genre switch.


Stephanie Wrobel: On Writing an Unusual Hero

Author Stephanie Wrobel explains how she came to write about mental illness and how it affects familial relationships, as well as getting inside the head of an unusual character.


Who Are the Inaugural Poets for United States Presidents?

Here is a list of the inaugural poets for United States Presidential Inauguration Days from Robert Frost to Amanda Gorman. This post also touches on who an inaugural poet is and which presidents have had them at their inaugurations.


Precedent vs. President (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use precedent vs. president with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 554

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a future poem.


New Agent Alert: Tasneem Motala of The Rights Factory

New literary agent alerts (with this spotlight featuring Tasneem Motala of The Rights Factory) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.


Timothy Miller: The Alluring Puzzle of Fact and Fiction

Screenwriter and novelist Timothy Miller explains how he came to write historical fiction and how research can help him drive his plot.


Dr. Munish Batra and Keith R.A. DeCandido: Entertainment and Outrage

Authors Dr. Munish Batra and Keith R.A. DeCandido explain how they came to co-write their novel and why it's important to them that the readers experience outrage while reading.