Freelancer ‘Fame’: It Takes Longer Than You Think

Or at least it took longer than I expected it to. I figured that having spent nearly ten years at a national magazine and several before that paying my dues as a reporter, every editor would immediately jump at the chance to work with me. I mean, I knew how solid my...

Pop Stars as Our Modern-Day Poets

Poetry isn’t much of a career choice anymore. I had the pleasure of getting a preview of IFC’s upcoming film Adult World, in which Emma Roberts plays a smart-but-clueless aspiring poet struggling with her early 20s, and one of its biggest jokes is the...
How to Write a Solid Blog Post

How to Write a Solid Blog Post

Blogging well can be tricky because there are so few rules. The whole point of blogging, in a way, is that anything goes. But that doesn’t mean that anyone will want to read that anything. As a working journalist in the last five years, however, I’ve been...
What I’ve Learned from ‘Seinfeld’ Writers So Far

What I’ve Learned from ‘Seinfeld’ Writers So Far

I’m in Los Angeles this week doing my first round of interviews for my Seinfeld book, meeting mainly with guys who wrote for the show. (I say “guys” because in this case, it really is all dudes.) I’m not going to tell you all the really juicy...
Personal Essays: You Can Write About Anything You Want

Personal Essays: You Can Write About Anything You Want

I’m putting together a mini lesson on personal essays for a free Gotham Writers’ Workshop I’m giving tonight, a sort-of sampler of what you’ll get if you take my Nonfiction 101 class this term. I’ll be talking about personal essays. Here,...

Fictionalizing Real Life

One of my clients is trying to write about his life, but not about his life — in other words, he’s got some interesting stories to tell, but doesn’t want people to know every little detail about his own real-life self. But he’s struggling with how to...