archive: #writing
My Turn at Summer Camp

Growing up in the Midwest, I never experienced summer camp. At least, not the type I’ve read about in fiction. At this year’s annual gathering of the Midwest Writers Workshop in Muncie, I got it. All those reasons people love the camp experience? Getting away, connecting with others, helping people, staying up late, partying, and walking away with a year’s worth of memories made in less than a week? That is this writers’ workshop in a nutshell. This was also the workshop at …

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The magic of Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Magic Lessons” podcast

Last night, after putting Dean to bed, I pried myself off the MegaCouch to tackle some chores when I remembered I’d been meaning to listen to Elizabeth Gilbert’s new “Magic Lessons” podcast series. I queued it up on my phone, stuck my headphones in, and got to work. But something happened five minutes in: I turned into this crazy person who started talking to … herself? Liz Gilbert? The women calling in? I don’t know, but every five seconds I was nodding …

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#writing
Writers’ Conferences & Facing Down Fears

The first time I attended a writers’ conference was in 2013. It was the Midwest Writers Conference (MWW), which was celebrating its 40th anniversary and taking place in my hometown. I was there to cover the event as a reporter, never expecting to sit in on sessions feeling as though I’d found my tribe. It’s no coincidence that a few months later, I started writing my first novel. In July 2014, I came back to Midwest Writers—this time as a member of its planning committee. …

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#writing
My Q&A with James Hamblin of The Atlantic

I can’t remember the first time I heard about Dr. James Hamblin, but upon discovering his humorous “If Our Bodies Could Talk” videos, I experienced one of those “lost-down-the-rabbit hole” Internet moments where an hour came and went (poof!) during which I watched nearly every one. When I learned Jim was a fellow Hoosier who had graduated from IU med school, I reached out to Indianapolis Monthly to see if they might be interested in a profile about this smart, …

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The Ten Year Rule and Respecting My Apprenticeship

Okay, first thing’s first: This isn’t exactly a rule, per say. However, there is a widely accepted truth that a writer’s path to publication is long. Exactly how long? Well, the number I seem to keep rubbing up against is somewhere around ten years. (No wonder so many writers give up on this journey!) A few months back, this notion stood out to me like a sore thumb as I was reading a wonderful book of writing prompts for research for …

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