The Curse of Knowledge

2018-11-19T16:52:17+00:00Tags: , , , |

Once I know something, I find it hard to remember what it was like not to know it. As a result, I have a hard time communicating what I’ve learned. I use jargon – specialized words that experts in the field know. I don’t include examples and evidence that seem obvious to me. I expect [...]

A Walk in the Desert

2016-07-13T15:34:38+00:00Tags: , , |

Several years ago, I ran across an essay called My Advice on Writing Advice by David James Duncan. At that time, I had been years deep in an extended study of all the how-to writing memoirs I could find. I was looking for the key that would crack the code, the secret sign, something . [...]

Striving for Imperfection

2018-11-19T16:52:23+00:00Tags: , , , |

When I was a young writer, I saw the written word as carefully crafted and immaculate. Writing was the transfer of knowledge from the expert to me. To be a writer, I believed I had to stand behind the lectern of perfection and enlighten my audience with flawless ideas—but such writing always eluded me. I [...]

Learning to Accept Feedback

2018-10-31T15:46:50+00:00Tags: , , , |

When I finish a draft, I want to hear how a reader reacts to my thinking and the way I’ve expressed it. I know from experience that this feedback will help make my next draft clearer and more effective. But knowing feedback’s value doesn’t keep me from pushing back against what I’m hearing, from thinking, [...]

Give a Good Gift

2018-11-19T16:49:51+00:00Tags: , , , |

Recently I came across an article by Stephen Pressfield that reminded me my readers are  “donating [their] time and attention, which are supremely valuable commodities."  I owe it to them to give something valuable, whether that be a well-told story, important information, or a new way of thinking about an old idea. But giving a [...]