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6 responses to “What Do New Writers REALLY Need to Know? Part 2”

  1. Ginger

    O, Ross! This is so brilliantly said! A moon career, indeed! I think you and I have lived parallel lives long enough to know that the fame and glory is elusive, possibly even for the famous and glorious (I remember one such star at U.Va. who, when I was gushing about how much fun readings must be when you have the publishing world at your feet, replied that, no, actually, it wasn’t that much fun to read to a group in which, she knew, no one actually wished her well. I don’t think this was just standard writerly cynicism but a recognition of the strenuously competitive world of writing.) Maybe I’m embracing the small grapes of my career–the very good publications in excellent magazines, the moderate career as creative writing faculty at struggling four-year colleges and now as administrative faculty at a major research university, the publication of my first novel by a small press in NC, but here is the deal: I’m still writing. Every day. I teach, mostly private coaching now–what a lot of fun that is, working with the people who have a great story to tell and no access (or desire to go) to a writing program–the active Army member writing a novel about IED-detecting dogs in Afghanistan (dogs, war, romance–what more could you ask for?) or the NY suburban mom who has discovered through trial and error that losing your ego is the best way to live or the Somali-Canadian singer whose story of trial and triumph is inspirational. I could go on. A moon career, indeed. And a glorious one. Thanks, Ross, for this great metaphor.

  2. Ross Howell

    Thanks, Ginger! Those sound like fantastic editing projects, and keep writing!

  3. don wallace

    Nicely done, old hound. Really great about the recent work getting accepted, that’s not easy. Being at least a half-moon, I certainly agree with the moon and stars concept, but I guess the devil in me says, remembering our Iowa time, that nobody would show up for Mr and Mz Moon when they came to give their talks. Because to show up would be to admit doubt.

    I think instead the Workshop (and all others) should give each entering writer a copy of We Wanted to Be Writers. Then Eric could afford a new shirt.

  4. Ross Howell

    You’re right, Don, a copy of the book would be a smart way to go. Convincing Eric to change shirts? That might be tough.

  5. Jennie Fields

    Ross, so happy you’re publishing again. I’m sure you have much more to say in your writing now, having experienced more of the “real world” than you ever could have back when we were kids. Why ask for the stars, when you already have the moon? The moon gives off more light anyway, and shines through even when the sky is cloudy.

  6. Ross Howell

    Jennie, thoroughly enjoying your exploits with The Age of Desire, and hope our paths will cross soon.

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