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Road to Publication: Killing Your Babies Part Two

A memoirist always runs the risk of offending the living when capturing them in prose. But he also runs the risk of offending them by omission. In Part One of this series I discussed how I have reduced my¬†manuscript of¬†Committed: A Memoir of the Artist’s Road over the course of the last year, in anticipation […]

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Road to Publication: Killing Your Babies Part One

“Your reader will never miss what she doesn’t know was once there.” I frequently told this to reporters in my news-editing career when I would trim their stories for length. Often what I was cutting was their favorite part–their baby, if you will–but it didn’t sufficiently inform the reader on the main point of the […]

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Road to Publication: Fun with Video

With a thousand things to do before Committed: A Memoir of the Artist’s Road publishes this fall, I’ve found it difficult to return my focus to this blog. There’s the heavy-duty editing I’m doing to the manuscript, a final pass-through by me before the publisher takes a shot at it. And there’s crafting my promotional […]

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The Artist’s Road Memoir will be Published this Fall

So it’s official. I’ve signed with an enterprising independent publisher and my memoir–four years after I first started working on it–will be published this October. So many readers of The Artist’s Road have traveled with me as I’ve chronicled this pursuit. I’ve shared my highs and my lows, and there were a fair number of […]

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5 Blog Posts that Keep Readers Coming Back

One common misconception I find many of my Loft blogging students have is that they believe their blog is like a book written in real time, with each chapter building upon the last. I have to point out to them that unlike a memoir, where you read from beginning to end, with each post you […]

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Why I am Obsessed with Artists

“Patrick, why are you so obsessed with artists and their creativity?” I’ve been asked that question a fair amount during my years as an artist’s advocate and a creativity and writing instructor. There is no simple answer to that question, but if the top five answers were on the board, one of them likely would […]

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4 Steps To Slashing that Manuscript in Revision

My mission: Reduce a 384-page first-draft memoir manuscript to 300 pages. Why? Because I know a tighter book will be a more pleasurable read, and because I know it will be easier to sell a shorter book to a publisher than a longer one. I’ve spent the last two months revising the memoir I wrote […]

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A Two-Year MFA in Writing Reading List in One Post

“So I would imagine you have to do a lot of reading in an MFA program,” I am sometimes asked. The answer is yes, and appropriately so: some believe the best way to learn to write is to read a lot, and to read critically. So what have I been reading the last two years […]

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When Did You First Embrace Your Creativity?

There were many commonalities I found among the creatives I interviewed during my 2010 cross-country U.S. trip. One was that my interview subjects all discovered their own creative side at a very early age. Fortunately for them–and for us–they held on to that creativity, and didn’t let the “I can’t” and “I don’t” forces of […]

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A Model for Feedback on Your Creative Work

“Writing is a solitary pursuit,” said award-winning author Robin Hemley, explaining why he has “no patience” for belonging to a writer’s group. You might argue that Robin has reached a level in his career where he doesn’t need feedback from other writers. He is an accomplished writer of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. He directs the […]

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