Tag Archives: Algonquin Redux

Writing 101: The Mountain as Metaphor

Not many of us wake in the morning and think: “I’m going to climb Mt. Everest.” Ascending a twenty-nine-thousand-foot peak requires a skillset hardened by years of dedication and training. The same holds true for writing a book. It’s not done on a whim. You don’t cast a glance at the Toni Morrison novels on your bookshelf and think, “A Nobel Prize in Literature? Sure, I can do that.” Now, this metaphor might be a bit of a stretch, but I was thinking about it while Continue reading →

Light and Deep

I believe that a writer should live lightly and deeply: lightly, by not being weighed down too heavily with the trappings of life; and deeply, by diving into each moment and experiencing all the terror and beauty it has to offer. Comfort-zone, shmomfort-zone. We’re called to live on the ragged edge. More than two decades ago when I was a college sophomore in Minnesota, I found myself feeling walled in by the expectations that went with college life: to live a safe, comfortable life and Continue reading →

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 →