Writer’s Life

I’ve been doing some occasional blogging at Huffington Post lately, on “Expert Fathers Who Didn’t Know Best” (about psychologist John Watson, among others); on “Stuck Writers, Second Novels, and Empty Boats” (in which I get a chance to enthuse about Mark Salzman, Lionel Shriver, Michael Chabon, and other writers I admire); on “Hisland and Herland” (my chance to write about Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a utopian feminist writer way ahead of her time); and on “Why We Write Nazi Books” (my first experience getting hundreds of HuffPo comments — some more lucid than others) .

As a teacher of creative writing, I spend a lot of time thinking about role models, learning to write by reading, and what I most want my students to know about the books and authors love. (And I always hope to hear about the books and authors they love in return.) My latest piece in this vein is “10 Things I Learned As a Writer from Philip Roth,” also at the Huffington Post.

Since 2008, I’ve blogged at “49 Writers,” a collaborative Alaska writers and readers blog I co-founded. There, I’ve let myself ramble about a number of writer’s life subjects, including:

Thoughts about the books on Updike’s desk at the time of his death

My experience taking a poetry translation seminar

The purpose and joys of rereading

When to burn or bury, aka thoughts on revision

The “U-bend of happiness” for middle-aged writers, written just before my 40th birthday in December 2010.

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