Grading Orwell

From Michael Crichton: I had gone to college planning to become a writer, but early on a scientific tendency appeared. In the English department at Harvard, my writing style was severely criticized and I was receiving grades of C or C+ on my papers. At eighteen, I was vain about my writing and felt it [Read More...]

Platform and Publishing

Publishers are concerned about platform, and how to measure that is changing. Evidently Mark Driscoll has a new line of books with Tyndale called Resurgence, and I provide below the questions being asked of potential authors about their platform. Publishers are businesses, of course, and they want to make money on each book. They want [Read More...]

Writing’s Mysteries

I recently read a fascinating book about the rituals and routines of some of the Western world’s most creative people, including Hemingway, Tolstoy, Faulkner, Ben Franklin, Ann Beattie, Joyce Carol Oates, H.L. Mencken, Melville, Hawthorne… the list goes on. The book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, covers more than writers but my focus was the writers. [Read More...]

Flannery and Boldness

Flannery O’Connor, the inimitable Southern master of the grotesque image, retired early to bed — mostly because of her lupus. After her evening prayer, she read St Thomas Aquinas. Why? I read a lot of theology because it makes my writing bolder. [Read more...]

Productivity Habits

This is an extract from an extract of a book about the habits of productive writers. What are your best creative habits? Here’s the first paragraph of the extract by Oliver Burkeman and then the six habits he found in reading Mason Currey’s Daily Rituals: One morning this summer, I got up at first light – [Read More...]

Best Religion Blog Post of the Year: On Holy Trollers

Thank you John Blake – Blake, editor at CNN’s Belief Blog, sets out the types of commenters on religion blogs. Here’s the opening and then I list his types — at the link you can read his excellent descriptions and advice. (CNN) –”Yo mama…” Whenever I heard those two words while growing up in inner-city Baltimore, [Read More...]

Blog Facts and Stats: An Infographic

Click image to see a larger versionThe #1 Small Business Marketing Idea via Ignite Spot [Read more...]

The Academic “I”

From Patter: The first major thinker who used “I” that I recall was E.P. Sanders in his Paul and Palestinian Judaism, and Sanders changed the game for many biblical scholars. Academics who write without an “I” have denied the personal context of all work; I-less writing is insufferably pseudo-objective. It might seem that once you have [Read More...]

Habits of Great Writers

Sara Jonsson sketches the habits of some well-known writers, and the habits can be bizarre: Here are a few in her list… Dickens walked miles and miles pondering his plots and characters. What are their methods? What kind of writing habits made it possible for these geniuses to churn out the good stuff? Here are [Read More...]

Michele Cushatt, On Letters of Rejection

So you want to be a writer … are you ready for the rejection? Can you learn from it? Michele says Yes. It’d been six years since I first started writing. Finally, after thousands of hours spent learning, creating, and rewriting, I believed my time had come. My bookwould be published. Only that’s not what happened. Within [Read More...]