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Inside Look

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


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

Getting Metaphysical

By Kristen Roach, Associate Coordinator, Bluegrass Writers Studio

     There's a famous quote from William Faulkner that always resonates with me: "Don't be 'a writer.' Be writing." It's a motivator, a call to action. More than that, it's a prompt to answer the age-old question, "What do you do?" with a verb instead of a noun. To conceive of ourselves in motion. It's so simple. How could all of us English buffs have missed it? Why do we answer the question of "do"  with, "I am..."? More importantly, when will we stop doing it? Now is as good a time as any. "What do you do?" "I write." 

Composing Yourself When You'd Really Rather Not

By Kelley Davidson, Graduate Assistant, Bluegrass Writers Studio

            One of the most concurrently beautiful and annoying things about having depression and being a writer is that I can put words to all my feelings, man. I’ve got all these feels, and writing (along with regular doses of antidepressants, hanging out with dogs, and lots of chillin’) gives me a way to manage them.  However, when I was in the deepest throes of my depression I didn’t write anything for almost a year. It was awful. Consequently, I’ve developed a regimen for battling my self-sabotaging depression funk and I’d like to share it with you just in case any of my readers have a chemical imbalance, too, and need a pick-me-up.

Snake Hands and Consequence

By Rebecca Daff, Bluegrass Writers Studio

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