On Knowing If You’re Any Good

  If you’re a writer, you’ll live your life not knowing if you’re any good.  And you’ll die not knowing.  I think John Berryman said that.  After Phil Levine published his first book of poems, people said, yeah, but can you do it again?  Then he did it again.  Then they said, yeah, but have… Continue reading On Knowing If You’re Any Good

Surpassing Meritocracy: the Artist’s Way

There are many different paths to greatness, not just the ones most commonly identified by conformist culture.  As long as your basic needs are met, where you put your energy—how you pursue excellence—is completely your business.  Realizing this can be difficult and gradual. It seems true, even if we admit that discourses (value systems) will… Continue reading Surpassing Meritocracy: the Artist’s Way

On the Creation of Time

When I was in graduate school (for 12 years altogether--what was I thinking?), I had a rigid uncompromising attitude toward my own deadlines.  I had to meet them, even if it meant allowing the rest of my life to collapse. Not surprisingly, putting myself in this do-or-die frame of mind often resulted in exactly that:… Continue reading On the Creation of Time