Category: The Writing Life

An interview with Brenda Miller at The Pen and the Bell blog

By Midge Raymond,

I loved doing this interview with Brenda Miller, the author of The Pen and the Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World, with Holly Hughes.

The Pen and the Bell is a wonderful companion to Everyday Writing in that it, too, is for the busy writer — and what I love about this book is the way it invites us to slow down and relax our busy minds — to make space for the meditation and contemplation that is so necessary for good writing.

Come join us on The Pen and the Bell blog for my chat with Brenda, as well as to see what Brenda did with one of Everyday Writing‘s prompts (hint: it’s amazing, as Brenda’s writing always is).


In conversation with Sheila Bender of Writing It Real

By Midge Raymond,

I always love chatting with Sheila Bender of Writing It Real — she asks the most thought-provoking questions about all aspects of the writing life. So I was delighted to chat with her about Everyday Writing, which meandered into the realm of publishing, submitting work, and writing in different genres — all followed by writing prompts of varying lengths to fit any busy writer’s schedule.

Check out the article here — and if you’re not already a member, I highly recommend becoming one! Membership offers a wealth of articles, inspiration, classes — and community.

Thanks to Sheila for the opportunity to talk about a few of my favorite things!

Summer writing prompts at The Lively Muse

By Midge Raymond,

As the weather gets warmer, the writing gets tougher (at least, this is the case with me). I think most of us need a little extra inspiration when the sun is beckoning — and today I offer some tips and prompts over on Judy Reeves‘s fabulous blog, The Lively Muse.

Join me over on Judy’s blog today for a sampling of writing prompts designed just for summer — you can try one of the 5-minute prompts to get warmed up, move on to a 15-minute prompt, and then maybe you’ll be inspired to schedule a weekend of writing to give you time to try the in-depth prompt I’ve created. The prompts can be written from your own POV or that of your character(s) — so you’ll be able to either generate new material or keep your current work-in-progress going.

Happy writing — and happy summer!

Weekly Writing – Mojo Monday

By Midge Raymond,

On this summer Monday, I’m delighted to be featured on Kristin Bair O’Keeffe’s amazing Writerhead blog as part of her Mojo Monday series. (Visit Kristin’s blog every Monday, where she offers “a little something-something to lift your creative spirits, buoy you up, help you get your mojo on, and nudge (or better yet, catapult) you into writerhead.”

Today on Mojo Monday, I write about how to be an everyday writer (i.e., how to find time to be a writer every day even if you’re not able to sit down to write every day) and offer three tips with matching prompts — so there’s no excuse not start this week off in a writerly mode.

Thanks to Kristin for hosting me today — and happy writing!

5 Ways to Make Time for Creativity

By Midge Raymond,

I’m happy and grateful to be featured on the StyleSubstanceSoul blog today with “5 Ways to Make Time for Creativity.”

If you’re not familiar with StyleSubstanceSoul, visit today and sign up to receive their e-news, which delivers inspiration, book and film reviews, interviews, and amazing giveaways to your in-box every week. This wonderful site was founded by three best friends (and mothers of daughters) who believe that “female energy has the power to change the world.” They are all about living a life of positive action and compassion — what’s not to love about that?

A million thanks to StyleSubstanceSoul for featuring 5 Ways to Make Time for Creativity (and be sure to click through to a couple of the links, where you’ll find books by a couple of my favorite poets). Hope this all leads you to a weekend of inspiration, good reading, and good writing!

On being an everyday writer

By Midge Raymond,

Today I’m delighted to be one of the featured Writers on Writing over at the fabulous Passages North blog. This literary magazine, sponsored by Northern Michigan University, has published fiction (including one of my own stories a few years back), creative nonfiction, and poetry since 1979, and its blog is a treasure for readers and writers alike. Check it out for news on the magazine, submission advice, deadlines, and especially the wealth of information from Writers on Writing.

Thanks to Passages North for the opportunity to share my thoughts on being an everyday writer in a busy world!

Most of my writing days are revising days

By Midge Raymond,

In this  photo of my writing space, my cat apparently decided I would have to do without some of my notes—at least until he decided to move to another window.

(This isn’t normally the way I write, but I’ve learned over the years not to attempt to move a stubborn cat. I’ve got the scratches to prove it.)

On this particular day, I was working on a revision, and this is, in fact, what most of my writing days are like: They’re revising days.

For me, revision is the best part of the writing process, which many writers find a little insane (I mean, who likes revision?). But I always find it so much better than facing the blank page. This is why I so enjoy this little corner desk: It’s where I go after I’ve gotten a couple of pages typed up, or even a couple of lines; it’s where I take a red pen to my work, and it’s where the real writing begins.

I never know how many drafts it a story is going to take—but this is part of the fun. In Forgetting English, the range is vast: “The Ecstatic Cry” was written in nine drafts; “Rest of World” in eighteen; and “Lost Art” in more than forty. The title story actually began as a novel before I whittled it down to a novella and then, finally, a short story. Sometimes it takes this long to find the story, but the journey itself is always the best part.

I’ve discovered that I like to tackle a writing project from a revision angle because it feels less like a beginning than like a middle (and therefore closer to the end!). And I’m never bothered by the fact that my average story doesn’t get to the end before about twenty drafts. For me, a “draft” isn’t necessarily an entire rewrite but simply anything that’s different: If I change one phrase in a story, that piece moves from Draft #14 to Draft #15. There’s something satisfying about going through so many revisions; it means I’ve thought about every part of the story many times over, which any piece of writing requires before we can truly call it finished.

And for any of you writers out there who don’t yet embrace your early drafts, this Psychology Today article will comfort you: It offers a sampling of the much-scribbled-upon first drafts of works by Marcel Proust, John Updike,  Shirley Hazzard, and others — and the reminder that all good work takes quite a while to get there.

Bookstore geek: WinterRiver Books

By Midge Raymond,

In the heart of Old Town in Bandon, Oregon, you’ll find the lovely WinterRiver Books, a gem of a book and gift shop.

This bookstore its excellent in its devotion to local and regional books — while so many bookstores tend to have the same bestsellers on the front displays, WinterRiver Books offers a bit of everything, and it’s a great place to browse, especially if you’re in the mood for something different but aren’t sure what.

And WinterRiver Books goes beyond being a bookstore in its wonderful selection of gifts, many of which are eco-friendly, which is always great to see. The store also carries fresh bread from a local bakery…

…and this, in addition to the chocolate selection (which includes Theo Chocolate — mmm) basically means one-stop shopping for a bookstore geek.