Tag Archives: Creative writing

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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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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A One-Week Social Media Withdrawal

Consider this post a “closed for business” sign for one week. I have before learned the value to my creative process of occasionally going off-grid. A week ago I received my memoir manuscript back from the accomplished memoirist and editor I hired to give it a final read. Her suggested revisions were dead-on, answering the […]

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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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Mapping the Narrative Lines of Your Story

I’ll confess that this post is driven as much by defensiveness as it is a desire to educate. My recent review of the book Creative You and my interview with co-author David B. Goldstein has reminded me of something I’ve long known from interviews with artists; every creative has his or her own process. That […]

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On Living an Art-Committed Life with Writer’s Knowledge Base

The theme of The Artist’s Road is “creativity, writing, and an art-committed life.” I provided some thoughts on the rewards and challenges of living an art-committed life, as well as the origins of this blog, in an interview with Elizabeth Spann Craig and Mike Fleming of Writer’s Knowledge Base in the July 2013 issue. Elizabeth is […]

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MFA Nugget: The Secret to Including Drama in Your Creative Writing

MONTPELIER, VERMONT: If you think this post on enhancing dramatic moments in your creative writing is going to feature craft tips, think again. Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing instructor Lawrence Sutin has some amateur psychology and insightful philosophy to guide you; that is, he did in his lecture here at my final residency, […]

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MFA Nugget: Do Your Opening and Closing Lines Sing?

MONTPELIER, VT: Is your creative writing work-in-progress handy? I’ll wait a moment while you fetch it. Got it in hand now? Okay. Read the opening three lines aloud. Then read the closing three lines. Did you hear music? That’s the question Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing student Nancy Levine asked in her […]

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