What does it mean to “be a writer”?

I spent this weekend at the Bay Area Book Festival. After a talk by Joan Frank, Dorothy Lazard, and Jane Smiley, I stood in line to have them sign the books I’d bought. Joan Frank asked me, “are you a writer?” I hadn’t brought up writing. I’d said something about looking forward to reading Frank’s … Continue reading What does it mean to “be a writer”?


This morning I carved out some time to write: forty-five minutes or so, before work. I sat staring at the screen, the friendly UI I’ve got set up for drafting, and I wrote: What do I want to write about? I have no idea. If in doubt, fiddle around with something that is marginally productive, … Continue reading Updates

Reading notes: a biography of Freya Stark

I’ve just finished reading a biography of Freya Stark, an adventurer & travel writer in the 1900s. I’m struck by the beauty of Stark’s writing, where it’s excerpted - and by how a biography can itself seem outdated, more than even the content it’s writing about. Perspectives on British imperialism, World War II, marriage, homosexuality, … Continue reading Reading notes: a biography of Freya Stark