In August, I traveled to Provincetown, Massachusetts, at the very tip of Cape Cod, to attend a fiction and memoir workshop at the Fine Arts Work Center with my literary idol, Dani Shapiro. It was an intense week of work, discovery, and joy, a week in which I learned many new things and relearned a few others, not the least of which is the importance of keeping a writing journal.
Shapiro, like the most insightful physician you’ve ever encountered, honed in on our individual manuscripts, but only after each of us chimed in with our notes and comments, questions and praise. She always went last, offering keen observations from her vast experience as a writer and teacher, and reading choice excerpts—carefully chosen to apply to the work at hand—from her small notebook, what she calls her book of “curated wisdom.” For example:
…and read Part I here.