Good Writers Write

    When I was in elementary school, I rode a classic yellow bus to daycare. Riding the same bus, along the same route, to the same daycare every day got boring. So, when looking out the window, I would imagine something like a guardian angel. In my mind, it looked like a black ghost with a curved dome and tattered edges. It would fly alongside the bus, right across from my window, through drainage pipes and ditches. It had to dodge the sun, to keep from being seen. I would imagine the little angel sinking into the ground to plumbing below to keep up with me when the bus was turning or if there were no ditches or drains to hide in. The angel would ensure that the bus would get to the daycare safely. Once the bus had arrived, the angel would be gone, maybe somewhere in the shadows watching. 
    I always thought that would be a good introduction to a story. I’ve carried that memory with me for a long time, and it always stuck out to me as something to remember. I often thought I should make something more of it — maybe about a girl who is able to see invisible worlds. But I never wrote it until now...

    That was an excerpt from the cover story I wrote last semester for the school newspaper. It's all about long-form writing, and how to get through it. I interviewed four professors at my college, each having published work of their own (non-ficition, fiction, poetry, articles etc.) and each with PhDs. It was a bit nerve wracking interviewing them all, but we managed to get through it.  They gave some great advice on writing and the writing process, and they all mentioned Stephen King at least once. And here's a fun fact: I actually gave myself writer's block while trying to write this cover story. DOH! Anyway, if you would like to read it here's the link. Pictured is the book jacket I made for the cover picture. 


  1. I love how one of the professors said that a good writer needs to read a lot. And not just to be influenced by writing styles, but just so you can figure out what you like! When I first started writing dialogue I was SO stumped because, to me, it sounded so mechanical and lame. So I made myself read for at least four hours a day just to observe how other writers tackled it. It was super informative :) And great article, it was really encouraging to read!

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

  2. Sounds so interesting! And I love the illustrations, too!


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