Inside Look

Mind Your Own Business

By Deri Pryor, Graduate Assistant, Bluegrass Writers Studio

How Seriously Do You Take The Business of Writing?

As writers we say it all the time, either shouting it aloud or whispering it in the back corners of our minds: “Boy oh boy, I wish I could make enough money from writing that I didn’t need a real job.”

I mean, really, who of us wouldn’t love to sit at home day after day, in our coziest clothes, doing nothing but indulging our imagination.

Here’s the thing, though: writing is a real job.

Success doesn’t happen by accident, and hard work doesn’t do itself. Anything that will support you financially is going to take effort and organization.

I’m not preaching from the pulpit here. When it comes to disorganization and laziness, I’m offender Numero Uno.

Embracing Change

By Deri Pryor, Graduate Assistant, Bluegrass Writers Studio

How progressive are you? How well do you handle change? How willing are you to try something new, no matter how crazy? What does this have to do with writing?

Everything.

We live in a very fluid world. As time marches on, things are changing exponentially faster. The rapidity of technological advances is staggering. Our world is shrinking as we find ourselves able to send and receive information faster and faster, and in ways we wouldn’t have though possible just a decade ago. I mean, phone watches were the stuff of James Bond movies yesterday; today you can get them at the strip mall.

Art Imitates Live

By Jen Parks, Bluegrass Writers Studio

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending my first ever Broadway show, Fish in the Dark, a play starring – and written by – Larry David, creator of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. While I’ve enjoyed watching both of those television shows, there’s nothing like watching a live performance – especially when Larry David and Rosie Perez are on the stage, acting right in front of you.

Jen Parks Writes a Novel Part 5: The Wall

By Jen Parks, Bluegrass Writers Studio

     If you happen to be a reader of my blogs or just one of my thirty-eight followers on Twitter, then you know that I’ve spent many of the past months lamenting about the frequency at which I find myself lost in the writing process; about the child-like characters that keep threatening to hijack my novel; and about how there never seems to be enough hours in the day to be a mother, a runner, a nurse, and a novel writer, too. I realize, though, that I am not alone, and that many writers work through similar obstacles when writing a first draft. But just when I thought I’d hurdled every obstacle, the writing gods set out another: writer’s block.

If Potatoes Be the Food of Love

By Jacob Bingham, Bluegrass Writers Studio

                  I can't speak for all of us, but it often seems to me many writers go through a lot of trouble to be taken seriously. I don't mean we try hard to get people to read our work and respect it; that's obvious. I mean we try to invoke something other than a skeptical raised eyebrow from a relative who asks what we're studying in graduate school. We want them to think we aren't just playing.

Fear, Part 3

By Deri Pryor, Graduate Assistant, Bluegrass Writers Studio

So, after my two previous installments, you are all jazzed up with confidence, right? Determined to finish all the things? Feeling like you’re all set, like it’s all smooth sailing from here?

Yeah, no.

Nothing in this world is a straight line from concept to completion. You will hit snags, bumps, entire walls, which will threaten to put you back to square one with the whole fear/confidence thing. How you deal with obstacles is as much a part of your success with writing as talent or technique. This is where your support network comes into play.

Fear, Part 2

By Deri Pryor, Graduate Assistant, Bluegrass Writers Studio

     We writers are a weird lot. We walk around with entire universes in our heads. We have late night conversations with friends we’ve created out of thin air, people as real to us as any flesh and blood acquaintance. We revel in the macabre, the bizarre, the fantastic, the difficult, the impossible.

     And a small part of us lives in the constant fear that if others knew what was behind our eyes they would reject us outright. How much more terrifying to immortalize those thoughts on paper, and then send it out into world for all to see?

     And yet a larger part of us wants to do exactly that.

Fear, Part 1

By Deri Pryor, Graduate Assistant, Bluegrass Writers Studio

Fear.

I have it.

Honestly, looking back over my life, fear has been a bigger motive in my decision making process than anything else. Guess what? It kind of sucks as a directive tool.

There are, of course, healthy forms of fear. It keeps us from doing stupid, dangerous stuff. Like swimming in shark infested waters in chum suits. Joining dating sites. Opening a can of biscuits without proper protective equipment. Or buying canned biscuits in the first place.

However, when fear takes over our lives, even just a small facet, it paralyzes us. Things we are completely capable of doing seem too daunting, and we stop taking chances or following dreams.

This is for many writers the bane of their existence, but they are often not aware of it. They puzzle over unfinished manuscripts or over ideas that cannot even make it to paper.

First Words

By Kristen Roach, Associate Coordinator, Bluegrass Writers Studio

     It takes newborns about a year of listening to others and playing with sound before they speak a few words with an understanding of their use and meaning. At first they coo happily, then babble a few fun syllables. Later they play with alphabet sounds and tones of voice, really getting to know the range of their volume, and they entertain themselves to pieces. Finally they begin to vocalize the sounds they associate with the things closest to them, often ma or da. Imagine the new synapses that must fly across their brains the first time they enunciate “ba” when they want milk and subsequently are provided with a bottle full of milk. Absolute magic. They have just become conjurers, and they are awesome, powerful creatures that can change the world with their voices.

Working Class

By Kristen Roach, Associate Coordinator, Bluegrass Writers Studio

Open