Blog/ Writing

In which Susan Fletcher is generous.

A little over a month ago I went to hear Susan Fletcher speak. I’ve been carrying around the handout from her talk, “25 Tips/25 Years: What I’ve Learned About Writing In the Quarter Century Since I Sold My First Novel” ever since, pulling it out of my bag every so often to reread.

I’m not going to give away all the tips, but I do want to share one that has been particularly resonating with me, which Fletcher herself got from Katherine Paterson. You can find Paterson’s essay on the topic in her collectionA Sense of Wonder.

The tip: Be a good boss.

As a writer, of course, you’re ultimately your own boss. So what kind of boss are you?

Full disclosure: I have frequently not been a good boss, or even a mediocre one, to myself. I’ve often been the kind of boss who goes ballistic about my employee’s lack of productivity rather than helping her — I mean me — figure out ways to improve, and to set more realistic goals.

I appreciate the tip both because it inspires me to change my own behavior, and because I like thinking about it being passed on from Paterson to Fletcher to me and everyone else in Fletcher’s audience that evening. It’s generous.

And speaking of generosity: have you bought books for Ballou High School? I have. You should too.

You Might Also Like