Tapping the New Year with a Review, Advice, and a Rally Cry

The Review

FigTreeBooks_LogoRight at the end of 2014, my first freelance book review went live (you can read my thoughts on MEMOIRS OF A MUSE at Fig Tree Books here). Writing book reviews is a challenge for me, so it felt great to see this one reach publication. The key to such success–in this project and (I’m sure) in most writing–is a great editor. Erika Dreifus (Media Editor at Fig Tree Books) is such a person: friendly and professional and a woman with a keen eye. If you’re interested in writing reviews, check out Fig Tree Books and their Freelance Review Project.

The Advice

Speaking of the challenges we writers face, Paul Auster offers some great advice in this video, “How I Became a Writer.” One of my favorite quotes (about eight minutes in) reminds me that writing is more about exploration than perfection:

Screenshot 2015-01-05 16.36.15When I was younger, I wanted to make beautiful things. And then, as I got older and more experienced in [writing], I understood that’s not what it’s about. The essence of being an artist is to confront the thing you’re trying to do, to tackle it head on. And if, in wrestling with these things, you manage to make something that’s good, well…it will have its own beauty. But, it’s not a kind of beauty that you can predict. It’s nothing you can strive for. What you have to strive for is to engage with your material as deeply as you can.

The whole video is less than twenty minutes and well worth your time as you broach a new year of writing.

The Phrase I Will Repeat Most

I love the idea of a rally cry for a new year. Last year, I was all about Fearless Writing. This year, I’ve latched on to a post I read by Patricia McNair on Facebook:

Write more. Bitch less.

On that note, zip your lip, grab your pen and paper, get on that story.


About Christi

Christi Craig is a native Texan living in Wisconsin, working by day as a sign language interpreter and moonlighting as a writer, teacher, and editor. Her stories and essays have appeared online and in print, and she received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train's Family Matters Contest, 2010. You can send comments or questions via her contact page.
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9 Responses to Tapping the New Year with a Review, Advice, and a Rally Cry

  1. I love your rally cry. It is perfect and I may borrow it. All the best for 2015!!

  2. Beth Hoffman says:

    I join you in this rally cry! Wonderful post, Christi.

  3. I, too, love the rally cry. And the rest of the post! 😉

  4. Pingback: Friday Finds for Writers | ErikaDreifus.com

  5. Hi, Christi–Even at the risk of being too horn-tooting, I’ll say that I think you’d really like my blog called The Book Under Her Bed. I post twice a week–every Monday and Thursday (so far) without fail. It’s specifically for writers and readers, and I come to it as a writer of many books, a long-time private editor, and a teacher of writers. I’d be honored if you’d give it a try. And btw, I found YOU via Erika.

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