Reading Like a Writer – All Writing Can Benefit From Clarity and Organization

I’m not fond of broccoli but I eat it anyway because it’s good for me. As a writer of nonfiction, I also do the writerly equivalent of eating broccoli. Midway through the January 19, 2017 issue of The New York Review of Books, I came to an article entitled “The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics” by… [Read More]

Work in Progress #3: Writing and Then Really Writing

Confession: I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. Translation to my nonfiction writing life: I have trouble keeping piles of research straight while trying to write a decent story. Writing is often about solving problems of this sort and here’s an idea I’m trying that seems to be helping with this particular… [Read More]

Work in Progress #2: To Write or Not to Write

I mentioned in my last blog that I would talk about when to stop researching and start writing. The truth is, I’ve already started writing…but only sort of. I’ve found it really helps to get the first three chapters of a piece down as quickly as possible. So, as soon as I’ve read four or five key books on my… [Read More]

Work in Progress #1: Drowning!

I’m hard at work on a new young adult biography and drowning in research! Before I attempted my first longer biography (The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton) research for shorter pieces was a simple task consisting of three steps: create a list of the books and articles I needed to read, find the books and… [Read More]