The galley proof for my new novel, Arborview, arrived just as I returned from my Collegeville Institute writing fellowship this week. My editor sent the galley with explicit instructions to proof carefully. This is the final step before publication. It’s the last chance to catch typos, misspellings, and all the little dings that make you cringe when you see them in print.
But before I dive in, I want to share some of the key takeaways from my workshop, which was led by writing coach Michael McGregor. It was such a rich, vibrant experience, exploring writing and faith and the many ways they can intersect. Our group of 12 included poets, essayists, nonfiction writers, fiction writers, and clergy members. So many perspectives, so much talent—I have pages of notes to mull over. And I miss everyone already.
I definitely miss my workshop writing spot:
Here are some insights and inspirations from the week that really hit home. I hope they help you, too:
- Writing needs to be human, above all.
- Whatever is withheld, is lost.
- Hardness of heart is, in fact, weakness. Open yourself up to what’s really inside.
- Spiritual lives are ever renewed and ever fresh.
- When working with language, strive for what is true, necessary, and possible.
- As writers, we are trying to capture, in words, a fleeting reality that is constantly rushing past us.
- A good story doesn’t resolve, but it finds a place to rest.
- Be wise on the page. We tend to denigrate our own wisdom. We don’t put it out on the page. We hide it. You have to dare to be wise, to make a statement that is wise on the page. Those are the gems that stick with people. – Michael N. McGregor
- Feeling stuck, discouraged? To infuse your writing with a sense of joy, try this little exercise: write about something you truly love. Whether it’s your child, or chocolate chip cookies, capture on paper all the beauty and connection and meaning it brings.
Write well, friends.