Writer Wednesday: A New Project

My favourite bench in Galway

Usefulness! It is not a fascinating word, and the quality is not one of which the aspiring spirit can dream o’ nights, yet on the stage it is the first thing to aim at.

~ Ellen Terry

I’ve been thinking about usefulness and one of the ways I thought to employ my own usefulness would be by sharing my experiences on the thing people ask me about most:

How do you write so much?

Honestly, the short answer is I just do what interests me and a lot of things interest me, but I find that people don’t generally consider that helpful. So I’ve decided to use the Writer Wednesday tag to gather together some tangible bits of advice toward that goal (yes, with the eventual idea of putting them together in a single volume).

The timeline has been aided by my schedule: March 25th I’ll be offering another version of my ‘How to Keep Writing With a Full Time Job’ workshop at the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers. The workshop is free and will be at Bard College at Simon’s Rock.

People seem to always want advice on how to write; I can offer my point of view from a variety of genres, fiction and non-fiction, in which I’ve been published for close to twenty years. More importantly, I have never really had the luxury of writing full time apart from the glorious Fulbright year (happy sigh!). I wrote Pelzmantel while I was writing my dissertation on Old English, Old Norse and Old Irish. So keep in mind I speak from the perspective of being a very busy woman with a demanding job, important relationships and a desperate need for idleness and fun.

Is your New Year’s resolution to write more? Or at all? Then join me here every Wednesday. We’ll start next week with Getting Organised (and more importantly, staying organised, which can be the greater challenge).


News: Quite pleased to learn that my piece ‘How to Succeed in Academia’ has been accepted for So It Goes: A Tribute to Kurt Vonnegut from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing. How pleased my colleagues will be when they read it, however… >_< It was written in the midst of grading AKA the prime curmudgeonly zone, so I hope it’s as funny as it is bound to be bilious. I don’t recall actually. Things you scribble in the madness of inspiration — they come from another place.


  1. SL Johnson says:

    This may be the most important point: “So keep in mind I speak from the perspective of being a very busy woman with a demanding job, important relationships and a desperate need for idleness and fun.”

    I find the busier I am, the more creative I can be- weird, but true.

    1. katelaity says:

      Word on that, QoE.

  2. Kemberlee says:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m looking forward to this series. Need all the tips I can get!

    1. katelaity says:

      Awesome to hear 🙂

  3. I need to adopt that last bit–the desperate need for idleness and fun. Thanks, La Laity!

    1. katelaity says:

      ‘It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do. There is no fun in doing nothing when you have nothing to do. Wasting time is merely an occupation then, and a most exhausting one. Idleness, like kisses, to be sweet must be stolen.’

      Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927), British author. “On Being Idle,” Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow (1889).

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