When I started writing my memoir, Good Chinese Wife: A Love Affair With China Gone Wrong, I began networking with authors who wrote books set in Asia. I imagined developing solid friendships with a group of supportive authors. There’s a Chinese saying, huxiang bangzhu. It means “mutually helping one another.” That’s what I pictured.
Fast-forward six years. My memoir was being published and I arranged for review copies to be sent to authors I’ve gotten to know through social networking or in person. I knew I couldn’t expect rave reviews just because we have a connection or because I had given their books five stars on Amazon and Goodreads. But for the most part, I had been extremely pleased with the feedback.
Well, except for this one guy. Keep reading »
You’re an adult now. It’s time to stop jotting things down on receipts and scraps of paper you found in your junk drawer. Whether you’re a writer who always needs a notebook handy, a dreamer who finds inspiration in everyday life or just your average on-the-move guy or gal, your daily musings and messages deserve to live in a real journal (and no, stacks of napkins do not count). We found 10 awesome journals with statements of their own to help you get organized, and may even inspire you to clean out that junk drawer. Click through the gallery to check ‘em out!
Have you ever run out to grab lunch alone, only to realize you didn’t bring your phone or a book or a magazine or anything to read while you eat? It’s super awkward and boring, right? Author Jonathan Safran Foer thought so too, while eating a burrito at Chipotle one day. “I really just wanted to die with frustration,” he told Vanity Fair of his solo lunch experience, which might sound a tad dramatic, but hey, he’s a writer, give him a break. Anyway, Foer decided to do something to ensure no one else ever had to suffer through a burrito bowl without some good reading material, so he emailed the CEO of Chipotle, Steve Ells. Keep reading »
No more trying to find a coffee shop with reliable WiFi and clean bathrooms. No more praying your roommate can refrain from talking for half a day while you peck away on the keyboard. It’s still in the “test-run” phase, but it’s OK to get your hopes up because Amtrak has confirmed that it will be implementing a writing residency program. It’s just what it sounds like: writers will be able to take long (hopefully free), roundtrip train rides with the sole purpose of writing. It’s genius because between the people watching, the change of scenery and the quiet, it’s hard to come up with excuses not to be productive (a writers’ favorite game). If you don’t suffer from motion sickness, it’s essentially the perfect environment to write your essay, novel or screenplay. Keep reading »
According to a study published in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, in an analysis of literature published between 1960 and 2008, the use of first person singular pronouns (I, me) increased by a staggering 42 percent. An article published in The Atlantic Wire looks at this exceptional rise in first person pronouns and writer Eric Levenson theorizes that it may be attributed to the increase in women’s writing. Keep reading »
Good non-fiction is hard to find. After about 3 years of working on turning my blog into a book, I amazingly and bafflingly have an e-book coming out (I Forgot To Be Famous) of essays . In writing it, I realized a few things. 1. A blog is not a book. 2. I will never be as good as these writers. 3. But that’s okay. Their voices are in my head whenever I write. They’re all fearless, funny, and freaking awesome. Keep reading »