Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘essays’

Diversify to boost your writing career

Do you call yourself a novelist, poet, memoirist, or short story writer? You may find value in expanding how you define yourself as a writer.

If you’re working on a novel, consider dabbling in poetry. If you write short stories, consider writing essays. Here’s how pursuing other projects can help you enhance your career and elevate your writing.

Expand your publishing opportunities. Writing and revising a novel can be a long process that can take years to finish. If you’re writing other work along the way, such as poetry, essays, or short stories, you’ll have that much more writing momentum, a new credit for your writing resume, and another connection that may lead to a publishing opportunity for your novel.

Build your skills. Writing in a new format can offer a fresh perspective that brings something to every writing project you do. When I began studying and writing poetry, I became more conscious than ever about the power of individual words and sounds. This permeated every other project I worked on.

Amplify your writing energy. Writing has an ebb and flow. You may have dry spells where you find you’re stuck. Rather than bouncing your head against a wall, work on something completely different to redirect your energy while your other project percolates in your subconscious. Simply continuing to write will help you feel you’re making progress.

How momentous events lead to compelling personal writing

What are the big events in your life? Big, life-changing, world changing events can be turning points and crucial material for writing a memoir, autobiography, or essay.

Some of the most compelling stories I’ve heard from students in my memoir classes have been about events, including 9-11, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and the Apollo 11 mission in which Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong made history by being the first men to walk on the moon.

Writing about the big moments in history grounds your stories in time and place and adds historical context. When I began writing my memoir, I created a timeline with dates and ages of key characters, including significant events in my family and in history. Read more