Writing Conditions

One thing to play with as you get more comfortable with a writing routine is the conditions in which you are the most productive. It’s important to pay attention to conditions when attempting to produce creative work so that you can figure out what works for you (so you can keep doing that) and what […]


Writers tend to self-isolate, it seems. So many of our most beloved authors retreated inward and wrote about the isolation therein. I wonder often if writers are people who like to be alone but need content, so they write about loneliness. Or if writers are naturally lonely and therefore, producing such content. Sure, Joan Didion […]

Retreat – to Write

Getting away from the predictable monotony of a routine or scheduled life can have great rewards in your creative endeavors. Whether you need some time in a lavish hotel room in a new city, a sober week of recovery at a place like Lake Wellness Center, or a six month hike along the Appalachian Trail […]

Essay Workshopping

Because the five paragraph essay here is meant to argue a point, I want to writers to remove all emotion and you reviewers to go in hard. This is your opportunity to call out every grammatical error, every misspelling, every logical leap or fallacy, every point with which you disagree. A good essay is so […]


Pick a television show, something you have watched at least once in its entirety, something you can quote, something you know really well. If there is no television show that fits the bill, choose a movie. If not a movie, pick a book.   We’re going to work on the five paragraph essay so choose a position to argue in […]

Childhood Home Workshop

Workshopping poetry can be particularly sensitive due to the inherently emotional nature of poetry. Because it doesn’t necessarily fit into the rules or norms of many types of literature, it can also expose its author to unnaturally critical responses. The critique rules outlined two blogs ago should definitely be followed. But I warn you poets to […]

Childhood Home

For this week’s writing prompt, you are to use your own memory of your childhood home – whether or not you still live there – as the setting for your poem. This can be a memory of your own, an invented story starring you, an invented story starring an invented star, or simply musings. We […]

Great Lakes Workshop

Ok now that we have our lakes divvied up and our first drafts, I want to share some good workshopping tips before you split off tomorrow for an hour of workshop time.   First of all, and perhaps most importantly, you must be careful with the feelings of your writing workshop partner. Consider the time you […]

Great Lakes

Living in Indiana, we are blessed with 234 miles of Lake Michigan access. Lake Michigan is the only great lake located entirely within the United States and is the third largest of the great lakes.   Your assignment this week is to choose one of the great lakes – Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, or Superior – […]