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Road to Publication: When the Memoir Goes Meta

What do I mean by a memoir going “meta”? When the book itself is part of the story, and when the process of bringing the book to publication is also the story. (Teaser: I’m going to ask you to vote on a part of my upcoming memoir’s cover.) Committed: A Memoir of the Artist’s Road […]

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Internet Companies Don’t Serve Us; They Sell Us

Repeat after me: We are not Facebook’s customers; we are their product. This sentence has been in my head ever since first noticing the kerfuffle surrounding Facebook in the wake of the publication of an article documenting how–prepare to be shocked–the company conducted experiments on how they presented our news feeds to see if they […]

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Do Authors Need Two Facebook Pages?

It should come as no surprise that since signing a publishing contract for Committed: A Memoir of the Artist’s Road, my mind has turned to marketing. It also isn’t a secret to longtime readers of this blog that while I find Twitter somewhat intuitive, the secrets of Facebook elude me. So I’m pleased to have […]

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Creative Control in the Age of Kickstarter

How much creative control do we cede when other people’s money is involved? Before I get to Kickstarter, let me throw in a historical anecdote. Galilee Galileo was not only the Father of Modern Science, he also earned a decent income from book sales. He was driven enough by profit maximization to eschew writing his […]

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Envy, Narcissism, Depression and Creativity

Two weeks ago Facebook celebrated 10 years of making us depressed and envious by creating for each user a personalized video not unlike what you see in an Oscars “in memoriam” telecast. It was a wise move by Facebook’s corporate brass to create a video starring ourselves, because academic studies show Facebook encourages narcissism;¬†feeding the […]

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How I Failed to Avoid the Post-MFA Slump

I have a confession to make. It has been six weeks since my last serious effort at creative writing. One thing I’ve learned from interviewing artists is that even the best of them sometimes find themselves in a slump. And we can be very supportive of each other in these times, as I discovered when […]

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What’s Your Take on Pinterest?

Pinterest is the next big thing, right? Look out, Facebook. Get over yourself, Twitter. You’re so 2011, Tumblr. That’s the noise echoing through social media. It’s so loud it reached the editor of one of my freelance clients, who asked me to write an article about how Pinterest is causing both excitement and concern among […]

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Lit Journal Nugget: fugue

Today we’ll take a look at the literary journal fugue, which like e.e. cummings eschews capitalization. I discovered this journal last year via NewPages, and picked up a copy last month at AWP. It is edited by university graduate students, and given its quality, it appears no worse the wear for lack of a permanent […]

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Is Solo Creativity Really Dead?

Consider yourself lucky you’re not my wife. Every morning she is forced to endure a rant from me about something I’ve read in that day’s Washington Post. Sundays provide multiple opportunities for fist-shaking, but one editorial this past Sunday hit a nerve: the topic was creativity. The headline said it all: “The end of lone-wolf […]

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MFA Nugget: Creativity and Wasting Time

MONTPELIER, VERMONT: The title of the New Year’s Eve lecture here at my Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA residency was “The Importance of Wasting Time,” but for this attendee it could have been titled “Everything The Artist’s Road Blog is About.” VCFA instructors Connie May Fowler and Patrick Madden engaged both a physical audience […]

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