Want to know a little secret? My novel focuses on sex, violence and money so it's near impossible for me to publish it without offending someone. So I thought, f*ck it. I'm going to write whatever the hell I want, and once it's out into the world, I let go of the outcome. Criticism, praise, or worse, crickets -- I'll take it all on the chin. As long as I know I've written what I wanted to, that in my mind equals literary success.
At one time, I figured it would be easier to write a book of short stories. I don't know why I thought this. Writing multiple stories when you can't write one story is obviously much harder. But I like coming up with titles, and for a while I had some real crackers. My thinking behind creating a title first is that it's a bit like "fill in the blanks."
With thousands of people fleeing conflicts around the world, Lawrence Hill's words could be straight out of a headline from one of today's newspapers. Prescient as the novel may seem, there's no way Hill could have known the magnitude of the refugee crisis when he started writing over five years ago. Issues of identity and belonging are, quite simply, the things he's passionate about. And, as he says, it's his duty to write about the things he cares about.
From my earliest moments as a new mother, I'd longed for my daughter to experience the same enjoyment from reading and falling into a good book that I'd felt in my youth. I pictured us walking in tandem in our mutual appreciation for stories, unpacking plots and characters for each other as we bonded in conversation.
What if narcissism isn't what we assume it is? Yes, narcissists project an über-confident, egotistical image but most researchers believe this is merely a smokescreen to disguise extremely low or even non-existent self-esteem. I thought why not demonstrate it because actions speak louder than words.
Rooming houses and cheap basement apartments in my neighbourhood are full of people like that. One day, some of them just don't get up. This happens. Every day. But I made a choice a long time ago. I'm not going down without a fight. This past year I've tried to re-invent myself as a writer of a TV drama series.
Thanks to a new partnership with the Writers' Trust and The Banff Centre, all three Fellows will also receive a two-week, self-directed residency in the Centre's exclusive Leighton Artists' Colony, a place dedicated to giving artists and writers the time and space to create in a solitary retreat environment.
I drank while taking care of an infant. I was full of fire, ready to tell my story. The book got published; it became a bestseller; I received lots of praise, but also lots of criticism and even the occasional death threat. One of the most challenging and interesting gigs that Drunk Mom brought on was ghostwriting somebody else's memoir. We recognized each other beyond our differences. We were both addicts.
Recent research confirms that those bringing pen and paper back into daily life are on the right track. A study performed at the UCLA showed that jotting notes by hand improves a student's ability to conceptually understand material covered in a lecture, as well as to recall facts, compared to students who took notes on a laptop.
I've always had an entrepreneurial drive. I still hold vivid memories of picking pears from the large tree that grew beside the trampoline in the backyard of my childhood home. I remember packing them into plastic grocery bags (we weren't all that environmentally conscious back then) and loading them into my little red wagon.
As a business writer, people often ask me what books they should read to become better leaders. For years, my answer has been the same: read good fiction. If you want to learn how people think and behave, read a novel, a short story, or a play. Think of how effective we could be as leaders if we used our understanding of people to better empathize with our employees, clients, and boards.
My husband is my greatest fan in life. He is constantly encouraging me to chase my dreams, pushing me to face my weaknesses. He inspires me; he balances me. He supports me in everything I do. When you have someone standing beside you, ready to nudge you forward and catch you when you fall, it feels like anything is possible. I'm 27 now, and I still have a lot to learn about married life. But I already know the choice to wed my husband was the greatest decision I've made so far. Being a wife has changed my life in ways I hadn't ever considered.
"You're a travel writer? Lucky!" I think most travel writers I know have heard this at some point in their careers. And while there is certainly some truth to the fact that trying out a five star hotel, evaluating a hot stone massage seems like a better place to be than in an office cubicle, luck has little to do with it.
I celebrated a year of sobriety in February. That first year is selfish in many ways--and necessarily so. After all, without sobriety, I am no good to anyone--to my child, my family, even strangers. In fact, I'm the flat out opposite of good, without sobriety. But now, almost 14 months in, there is space in my life to help others.
Travel writing is certainly a profession that has benefited greatly from cloud-based tools in recent years. Every day, my business runs smoothly thanks to a number of cheap or free cloud storage applications and tools that didn't even exist a few years ago. Here is a rundown of the best cloud-based tools for writers I can't live without.
It was an ordinary summer day. People were milling on the main thoroughfare, bikes zig-zagging through traffic, cafés and pubs spilling onto the sidewalk, patrons sipping their way through a lazy Friday afternoon. We were ordinary that day too. Just another family, managing the hectic jumble of kids' lessons, bills, our careers, endless streams of birthday parties, too little sleep and the occasional date night out. But it was all shattered with a single word: autism.
I try to remember to admire the things I love about myself, to flirt if I want to, to smile for no reason at all. I remember that, like Dr. Angelou said, "I have a certain way of being in this world, and I shall not, I shall not be moved." I remember that in the end, always in the end, it's myself I answer to at the end of the day.