Most of my web posts about writing are about writing productivity, meaning, how we take notes, how we organize them, work with them, get their content into finished works, and make them future-proof. Chances are that’s how you found me. It has, oddly, become a sub-specialty of mine, and it’s made this site very popular. Even Merlin Mann, the productivity guru of 43-Folders fame, has cited some of my FSIM work. You can find the original FSIM post here, and subsequent posts about it here.
At the same time, I have been working on a book length project (or two) while doing development work and literature study at The NSSR.
How’s it coming? Well, I was accepted in 2010 to the New York State Writer’s Institute at Skidmore, in Rick Moody’s section. So, not too bad. I’m now a multi-year, repeat offender up there in Saratoga.
- I’ve studied over at The New School’s writing program
- I have completed six terms in the Writer’s Studio, 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner Philip Schultz’ writing school
- I am a member of the New York Center For Fiction.
I call it: MFA Home Schooling.
In 2013, Rick accepted me as a private student, which is something like this, Writers and Mentors (The Atlantic 2005) or this, Writers and Mentors and What Happens In Between (Random House HazLitt 2013), but most like this, Night Train where Rick said,
I work with people individually. The application procedure is rigorous. I have to have time and I have to really like your work and you have to have at least a year, and you have to be willing to rewrite endlessly. Because I will work on one story for four or five months, doing ten or twelve drafts, until I think I have it somewhere where you are making progress/learning. Mainly, I do this for thesis students. Right now I have two students, one of whom is about to graduate. I think this amounts to a really good teaching ratio. One to two.
In addition, Rick has given me these rules:
We will do drafts of a given passage until I consider it done, and if that means 20 drafts, it means 20 drafts, and we will not move on to new work until a given passage is completed. If that means we work on a piece for six months, and at the end of six months that is all you’ve done, then that is all you’ve done. You can stop at any time, but I too can stop at any time if I believe 1) you have learned all you can learn from me, or 2) you are not listening to what I am telling you.
Yes, it has been the best experience of my life.
My first published work was releases in November 2015.
Besides that, I have a BA from St. Lawrence University, and a graduate degree from Loyola in an unrelated field, and I’ve done a bunch of post-graduate work, but that was so long ago.
Here’s a link to some older articles about my background and corporate stuff.