Monthly Archives: March 2014

Am I Good Enough?

Visitant

Am I Good Enough

I was speaking at a local high school about writing. Afterward, a girl came up to me with a notebook of handwritten poems. She showed them to me shyly and asked,

“Are they good enough?”

I didn’t need to read them to know that they were good enough. She was fifteen. She had a dream. While her friends were playing violent video games and getting pregnant, she was writing poetry. That’s good enough for me.

“They are wonderful,” I said.

I am not sure we were talking about the same thing.

It’s a big question for a writer: am I good enough?

Am I good enough to get published? To get reviewed? To win an award? To make money? To come out in hardcover? To move people to tears? To win the respect of my older brother who said I would never make it?

I advise English majors. Every so…

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5 Reasons You Should Never Settle

JamesMSama.com

As I sit here to write this article, I’m in our hotel room overlooking the beach. The waves sound so close you feel like you can put your hand out the window and touch them. My girlfriend is making coffee. Her tanned skin is accentuated even further by the stark white walls. The rays of sun are coming through the blinds signaling a new day has begun. Michael Bublé is permeating the room from my laptop speakers.

Next to me on the table is this month’s copy of Esquire, the cover of which is beckoning us with “84 Things A Man Should Do Before He Dies.” And I sit here thinking to myself – no matter how many failures I face or how hard life becomes, I refuse to settle.

You can settle for less than you deserve in many areas of life. A job you can’t stand going to…

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Writing to Heal, Part 1

Wandering Bark Books

I have never before written as a method of healing. Well, unless you count the “poetry” I wrote as a young teenager, which at this point I wouldn’t, even if André Maurois says it is a way to “give expression in the written word to emotions or the ideas which people and things have aroused in” me. I suppose I’ve always thought it best to maintain a safe distance from what I feel rather than share it in a way that makes it permanent. I’ve avoided journaling for the same reason. Withholding feelings from paper, rejecting their permanence, is safer. At least that’s what I thought.

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I Want A Great Divorce

The divorce is a good thing. It’s taken a long time to get to the place to accept it
thank God

Seth Adam Smith

Wants Divorce I know a man who had a great divorce—one that blessed his life and the lives of others immeasurably. At the time, I didn’t quite understand it. But now I think I want a divorce like his.

Although my critics would love to hear that my wife and I are getting a divorce, this post isn’t about marriage. Sorry to disappoint. The divorce that I’m talking about is much deeper (and perhaps much more painful) than that.

In an attempt to explain this concept, C. S. Lewis wrote an allegorical story about the ghost of a man who had left hell to visit heaven. Lewis describes the ghost as “dark and oily” with a little red lizard perched on his shoulder. The lizard twitched “its tail like a whip” and whispered commands into the man’s ear. Occasionally, the man would snarl at the lizard and tell it to shut up…

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