I’m in Philadelphia, on my couch, next to my dog. I’m trying to write nonfiction. I have published some fiction, so I think of myself as a fiction writer. I have published some poetry, so sometimes I think of myself as a poet. I have published a few essays, but I have never….
There are days when I so badly want to write, that I think I could put my infant son in his crib, close the nursery door, and let him wile away the day so I could surrender to my urge. I don’t. Of course I don’t. But sometimes I think I could.
While studying poetry as an undergraduate in UNC Wilmington’s Creative Writing program, I became obsessed with line breaks. I marveled at how the decision to move a word from one line to the next created suspense and anticipation in the poem. I was in love.
Clint McCown, one of my graduate professors, once said, “The literary artist writes to tame an unquiet heart.” I was newly diagnosed with Celiac disease when I first heard those words. The decades leading up to my diagnosis were filled with chronic bone pain and insomnia, the latter of which I parlayed into writing. What else could I do at 1:00 AM, staring down the darkness with no hope of sleep?
Finish storm cleanup. Wipe slop from porch, shovel up mush of leaves. Wash windows a third time. Sweep walk. Pick up torn shingles, torn papers, loose plastic. Hose off white table to make it white again. Stop thinking about the fact that you now live in a part of the country where there can […]
Of all my internal struggles, one I really hate has to do with self-publishing. The true me, the one hiding deep down, has never understood why publishing your own work is seen as controversial, vain, worthy of mockery. The socialized me, the one I fight with regularly, buys into the idea that it’s not a legitimate option for “real” writers.