Summer Writing Mini-Workshop: Drawing from the Well


Write what you know first. Then you will learn how to write what you don’t know.

Make a timeline of your life. Find the dots, connecting them if necessary. An entire narrative can be built around one defining moment.

We all have our quirks. A self-portrait in poetry is more interesting than a self-portrait in pixels.

Life is full of awkward moments. Don’t let them go to waste.

Certain spaces only have meaning for the memories attached to them. Think of several places that have had meaning in your life, preferably in various stages of it, as personal change makes for dynamic (versus static) characters:

Some would say life is like a box of chocolates; I say it’s like a patchwork quilt. Think of fabrics or patterns that represent you. When I see fruit basket wallpaper, I think of my grandmother’s kitchen with the white porcelain gas stove where she cooked meals.

It seems that one can never have enough stories set in New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles (or a fictitious, generic small town), so it’s nice to read about a real place that isn’t overexposed. Make the most of where you live.

Sometimes stories come from somewhere deep inside ourselves (i.e. our genetics). DNA has played a role in finding lost loves, in freeing the innocent and punishing the guilty, in locating life-saving medical donors, and in causing identity crises as well as solving them.

Who do you think people say you are?

The highlights of our lives are the pearls, the mundane every days, the string.  Sometimes we have to seek complexity in simplicity.

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