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Scott Lax Blog

What It Takes to Be a Working Writer

Like a lot of full-time writers (most of us do something else part-time, like teach), I get inquiries about how to get published, what to write -- about the writing life in general.

I'll try to give a few decent answers over the next few weeks. Here's one thought for today. (Then I have to get back to writing; that's one thing about the writing life -- you have to write for real a lot more than blog or twitter.)

If you want to be a writer, you have to go places inside yourself where you might not normally go. You might have to face the idea of your own mortality, or that of people you love. And then you write about it. Writing about it means showing, not just stating your observations. You tell a story by showing life in all its dimensions, not stating facts.  Read More 

Flaubert Unplugged

Most of us who are writers by trade (not a hobby) understand the blunt words of MADAME BOVARY author Gustave Flaubert: "Writing is a dog's life, but the only life worth living."

In this society, as in most societies, it's not a path to security and comfort. But it is a path to a kind of fulfillment that takes you deep into the meaning of your own life. If you get lucky, or are very good, success and the rest may happen. In any case, if you're a writer, or if you really want to be one, Flaubert's quote is strangely comforting.  Read More