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Interview

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FXXK WRITING: DO IT—TWELVE LESSONS FROM TWENTY YEARS IN THE ARTS [LESSON 4: BE GRATEFUL]

September 2019  marks the twentieth anniversary of Jay’s decision to become a writer. His gift to you all this celebratory year is DO IT – Twelve hard lessons on learning by failing, succeeding by accident, never giving up, and saying FXXK WRITING all at the same time. You’re welcome!  # In the wake of the […]

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Interview with Aishah Ojibara

A few months ago, we received a little story called “How to Win a Pulitzer.” It percolated its way to the top of the slush pile and landed in our monthly winnowing discussion. As the term implies, winnowed stories are the choicest kernels of wheat left behind after the less-desirable chaff has been blown away. […]

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FXXK WRITING DO IT—TWELVE LESSONS FROM TWENTY YEARS IN THE ARTS | LESSON 2: FOLLOW THE FEAR

September 2019 marks the twentieth anniversary of Jay’s decision to become a writer. His gift to you all this celebratory year is DO IT – Twelve hard lessons on learning by failing, succeeding by accident, never giving up and saying FXXK WRITING all at the same time. You’re welcome!  * * * Compromise is the […]

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FXXK WRITING: CAUTIONARY TALE 12 – THE END

For the past twelve months, the author of this column attempted to write from the perspective of the inner mind of a writer as they consider the vagaries and sundries of their craft and career. If one reads each and every one of the last eleven entries, an unintended pattern emerged. The recurring note was […]

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FXXK WRITING CAUTIONARY TALE 11: SUICIDE AND THE WORKING WRITER

There is a monster inside you. Created by fear, desperation, and spite, it has saved your life more than once. It is validated by the economic system that owns your material well-being. It has been made a virtue by liberators and oppressors. Monsters can be heroes or villains. They save lives and take them. But […]

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FXXK WRITING: CAUTIONARY TALE 9 – THE DOOM OF MEDIOCRITY

Clearing out the office, you unpack old report cards from public school. A memory twitches about those days. And now, it is empirically validated. You were nothing special.   At your best, average, and sometimes not that good. Math, often. Spelling, always. You found basic tasks like tying shoes and complicated ones like literacy challenging. […]

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Jason S. Ridler, professional author and historian

FXXK WRITING: CAUTIONARY TALE 8 — MAZE, MAPS, MIRRORS

Hindsight is a brutal taskmaster for a historian. You can’t use it as an analytic tool, even though it is impossible to ignore. Everyone in the past made decisions without knowing their complete consequences. There was no way to tell if their actions would lead to success, failure, or any variety of unexpected outcomes until […]

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FXXK WRITING: CAUTIONARY TALE 7 — RING THE BELL

Last year, you published two books. When they arrived, freshly minted from the press, covers pretty and sharp, your friends and family cheered. But you? Your emotions vaporized. All that was remained was an autumnal sadness and a sense of failure. If you’d been alone, it would have been worse. This year, you sold another […]

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FXXK WRITING: CAUTIONARY TALE 6 — DRAINED

You no longer sleep well. Your commute is a third-to-half-a-work-day. You put in long hours. You have responsibilities that matter more than anything else in your life. And illness and depression have returned to make everything harder. There are two projects you are planning for the year. You’ve paid each one little attention. What do […]

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Walrus eating exotic foods

FXXK WRITING: CAUTIONARY TALE 5 — RESOLUTE, NOT RESOLUTIONS

You are a sucker for inspirational messages, task lists, and resolutions. And all of these are good things in moderation. But the end of the year is fat with affirmations and goals. Sure, you want to sell more books, write more books, make more money, grow your audience, etc. But instead of buying into the […]

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