A few paths up the same mountain

I started this blog a little more than a year ago. Would you like to know why? It’s because I had failed, for the umpteenth time, to get any of the various jobs I had applied for in my field (this time I had applied for a creative writing instructor position at a university in […]

On Structure and Purpose

Last semester, I taught a creative non-fiction writing workshop. All semester, I repeated this phrase like a mantra to my students: structure and purpose, structure and purpose.

I meant their essays. But I’m coming to see this as a mantra for life, especially a writing life. If I want something to fit in my life, […]

Ode to particularity

Have you read Zadie Smith’s essay, “Fail Better”? I find it deeply heartening. The essay borrows its title from Samuel Beckett’s lines (famous among writers): “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Some highlights:

“For writers have only one duty, as I see it: the duty to express accurately their way of being in the world” […]

On imperfection

I think it will be the nature of these posts to be a bit rushed, certainly imperfect. I don’t know yet what their value might turn out to be. But I suspect their primary value will have to do, precisely, with imperfection.

Winter forest photo by Jonathan Martin-DeMoor

I’m testing a theory, by creating […]