What Do Writer’s Want to Know?

Several months have transpired since I’ve posted anything about creative writing or the topic of writing.

It’s probably because I’ve been concentrating on revision after revision on my own manuscripts, or maybe I’m subconsciously trying to avoid oversaturating my brain.  

Here’s the big But,

But sometimes there is some darn good (great) advice out there in the blog world about writing that I feel I must share, for to not share seems miserly, covetous. 

One such website is We Wanted To Be Writers, a blog by two Iowa MFA graduates and teachers  who often feature other writer’s who also received their MFA’s at the famed Iowa Writer’s Workshop in the mid-70’s. They include John Irving, Jane Smiley, T.C. Boyle, Allan Gurganus, Sandra Cisneros, Jayne Anne Phillips, Joe Haldeman, Jennie Fields, and many others. 


These bloggers put together a book, We Wanted to be Writers, which is a series of fascinating, funny, not so nice conversations among nearly 30 writers-students and their teachers-who were at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. It’s a bargain for $1.99 on Kindle. (This is just a personal recommendation, I don’t receive any compensation).

Recently I’ve enjoyed reading their six part series on “What Do Writer’s Really Want to Know?” Here are some gems I selected for your reading pleasure, but read the entire post. There is so much useable, funny, creative, and inspiring information on their blog:

  1. What We Wish We’d Known. “…the economics of publishing and why it is the typical novel has a shelf life somewhat briefer than that of live-culture yogurt.”
  2. The Stars and The Moon. “…When I was a student at the Workshop, a star system ruled. I treasure memories of hearing John Cheever, John Updike, and Kurt Vonnegut read from their works… I would’ve recommended adding a moon system…(it) could never supplant the star system, and shouldn’t. The Workshop is a place for big dreams. It’s where bright literary lights share drinks and conversation with aspirants … the Workshop moon system would enable students to meet and network with alumni…Luminaries here might not be nearly so bright as the stars. But they’ve survived, and have something useful to share.”
  3. Shelter In Place. “… two or perhaps three years one spends in a writers’ workshop are or should be a refuge from the ‘real world.’ The ‘real world’ and thinking too much about it are just a distraction from what’s important, which is of course one’s ‘art.’ Get the art right, and the real world will come knocking on your door.”
  4. The Four Things You Need to Know Now. “I thought a writer needed validation in the real world: calluses, salty talk, hardhat with your name on it. Standing up to my neck in a pool of bubbling crude… I began to re-think that proposition.”
  5. On Shark Agents, Writer Candy and Momentum. “I wish I’d known that it doesn’t matter when you publish your first book, it’s that you manage somehow to do it.There is no biological clock associated with giving birth to your first novel…”
  6. Slouching Toward Tomorrow Land. “…Do I dare disturb the universe?
    That’s it. That’s the question I face every time I sit down to write. That’s what I wish I’d known.”
    And with that last quote go out and dare to disturb the universe with your writing, art, poetry, photography, baking, crafting or whatever it is that stirs your creativity this weekend. 



Categories: Creative Writing, We Wanted to be Writers book, writing tips

2 replies

  1. Great post! I've never heard of these resources before and they sound so interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  2. I'm so glad this is helpful. Many happy writing travels.

    Like

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