Monthly Archives: February 2016

How to write the story

Is there a difference between telling a story and writing a story? I think there is. When we tell a story, we’re usually in a friendly and familiar environment. Imagine, for example, you’re telling a friend at work about something funny that happened on the weekend. You might set up the story with a single… Read More »

Show don’t tell

The concept of “storytelling” is all the rage in this rambunctious and volatile century, particularly in marketing and communications. TV commercials are not product pitches – they’re “narratives”. CEOs don’t give speeches – they “tell stories”. Everyone is busy telling stories – to themselves, to their employees and to the world – whether they’re worth… Read More »

The empathetic writer

I’d like to present a case for empathy as the most important word in a writer’s vocabulary. Empathy comes from the Greek en, which means “in”, and pathos, which means “suffering” or “experience.” When we have empathy, we enter another person’s experience. Charles Siebert, writing in a recent New York Times Magazine article about the… Read More »

Dreamers and sculptors

I once went to a reading by the American writer Joan Didion in a bookstore on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She’d just published a collection of political essays, not terribly popular, and the turnout was small, perhaps two dozen people. This was a few years before she published The Year of Magical Thinking,… Read More »