Part of my art problem is that, too often, I approach creativity in a kind of hacking-through-the-weeds-in-a-straight-line-will-get-you-through-the-field attitude instead of cultivating a flow state which is natural and organic, allowing work to emerge in its own time, with its own associations. And it shows in my work . So, I read craft books and literary magazines and mine twitter for nuggets of inspiration and follow rabbit holes of promise that lead me, if not to some sort of satisfying solution, then surely to a chunk of time wasted not writing .
Listening to podcasts about writing is a satisfying way for me to get two things done at the same time: learning, but also stacking logs in the wood shed or getting the dishes done or folding laundry. Lat week, Lit Mag Love’s podcast and an interview with Doretta Lau. She said, (and I’m paraphrasing), that a writer needs to ask oneself: did I do the hard work on this story? Did I take this to the farthest point of where I can go to make it emotionally satisfying, to really look deep into it and ask, did I do that craft work?
Asking this of my current short story, the answer is a definitive NO. Not even close.
So… I keep working.
 inner critic notes: it’s shit. There’s no emotion in it. No movement either. There’s a lack of tension, a lack of questioning, because you’re just barreling through to “finished”. The work bores me!
[ancillary] That’s a hard one to swallow. Maybe I’m not cut out for this. Maybe writing fiction is something I just can’t do. Like physics. Or skydiving.
 annoying analyst notes: Reading about how to do something is not practicing. It’s not writing.
[ancillary] I have to believe I’m learning, that the lessons move into me somehow.
 Lit Mag Love is a podcast hosted by Rachel Thompson, author and literary magazine editor, Lit Mag Love grew out of the course by the same name. Rachel’s conversations with literary magazine editors reveal what different editors like to see in submissions and how much they may work with writers to build a piece to a finished product.
 Doretta Lau (also writes about writing process on her blog) and M. Paramita Lin (here too, on her beautiful blog!). Together they create The Unpublishables “a platform for all kinds of rice eaters everywhere to get together and make shit happen through our words, music, and artwork.” Check these smart—FUNNY—creative writers out!