The Writer’s Approach to New Year’s Resolutions

English: New Year's Resolutions postcard

English: New Year’s Resolutions postcard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They’re more a cultural joke than anything else: New Year’s Resolutions, those lists of detailed self-improvements we assemble in good faith to help guide our actions in future. Continue reading


Stop. Novel Time.

ImageIt’s been awhile.

Yes, I’ve been away from the keyboard for a bit since my last post. No excuses, no explanations  other than the unavoidable fact that life often intervenes when least expected.

What matters is, I’m back. With a vengeance.

I’m kick off my return to the word by joining up with the National Novel Writing Month challenge, during which I will be converting my short story A Little Hike into a full-length novel. Continue reading

Rejection Junction

Classical ideal feedback model. The feedback i...

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I received a rejection notice this morning for a short story I’ve been shopping around. It’s the sixth rejection for this piece, and I have been fortunate to receive personal feedback with all of them. Unfortunately, the feedback has not been unanimous.

Why do I say unfortunately? It all comes down to the problem of deciding which feedback to consider, and which feedback to ignore. This topic came up a couple of time in the creative nonfiction workshop I was involved with last fall, as many of the younger students were facing this dilemma for the first time. Primarily used to receiving critical analysis from one or two authority figures (teachers, professors) and general encouragement from less critical audiences (friends, family members), they now found themselves on the receiving end of often contradictory opinions and advice from a room full of people not only intimately familiar with the written word, but the creative process as well. It’s one thing to have your friends read your work and either “like” it or “not get” it, but something completely different to be receiving in-depth critiques from a dozen or so fellow writers. Continue reading

Susan Whitfield Interviews S. Michael Wilson

This week, Susan Whitfield took the time to interview S. Michael Wilson (that would be me) about his most recent publication, Performed by Lugosi. In the interview, Whitfield questions Wilson about his book, his voice, and his other writing projects. Check out the interview and see what you think. If you have a question for me you feel wasn’t covered in the interview, post it in the comments section of the interview post and I will answer it. I mean he will. You know what I mean.

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The Virtue of Brevity

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of th...
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I find that a lot of students in creative writing classes tend to struggle with writing shorter pieces, especially when it is on a topic they are excited or passionate about. Single page assignments will often run a page or two over, with the student complaining that one page just doesn’t allow enough space for the story they want to tell, or the message they want to convey. Why, they ask, are you trying to prevent me from writing more?

My response is to compare a president’s speech to potato chips. I’ll explain in a moment. Continue reading