Author Archives: Steven James

Write Smarter, not Harder

I don’t work nine to five. Never have. The closest I’ve come was when I worked nights thirty years ago when I was in high school, cleaning grocery stores’ floors in the summer. I guess it was sort of from nine at night until five in the morning. Made for long days when I was trying to practice basketball in the afternoons for the upcoming season. I’ve been a freelance writer and speaker since 1996. My friends think it’s great that I don’t have a Continue reading →

Writing Lessons from My Basketball Coach

Although the last twenty-five years have taken a toll on my vertical leap from my college basketball days, I still like playing hoops with friends at the gym whenever I can. Today, as I returned after sitting out for a month with tendonitis (or old-man-itis as one guy there put it—thanks a lot, Todd), I was thinking of those days in high school and college when I spent so many endless hours shooting by myself on empty playgrounds and gymnasiums, and I realized that writers Continue reading →

Truth and Parable

Years ago, I heard a story that stuck with me and has been one that I’ve shared at writers conferences around the country ever since. Here it is, short and sweet, a little parable about….parables. Long ago, wherever Truth went, nobody would listen to him. When he walked down the street, people would laugh at him, turn their backs, and walk away. Everybody loved Parable, though. They’d listen to him, admire him, and compliment his fine clothes. So one day, Truth went up to Parable Continue reading →

Does Art Need an Explanation?

The classroom was too warm and too cold all at the same time. Or maybe I should say the temperature was too warm and the atmosphere was too cold. We met in a choir rehearsal room and the chairs were tiered stadium-style rather than all being on the same level. I chose the one in the corner in the row farthest from the front of the room. I was a sophomore in college and I was taking the required “Music Appreciation” class for my major. Continue reading →