Writing Academy, Memoirs, Novels, Short Stories, Book Proposals

New York City Writing Coach

Gay Walley

The endless revisions

I have a desire to start a new work. A new work is, as I’ve said before, like falling in love. In a new work, this time it will work out. Anything is possible. We will go to new heights. But I can’t start a new work. I have more revisions on something I have… Continue Reading »

just a little direction and everything changes

I just met with a student this afternoon who when he first came to me was writing in a formal, back story, static way. I had trouble following and was confused at the characters since none of them spoke or moved. I began my little speech about creating scenes where the characters speak up for… Continue Reading »

how your writing will tell you your future

I am just editing a novel I have just written which I began maybe a year ago or more. And, strangely, I see my subconscious knew things that I was unwilling to face at that time. As if in the writing, I was trying out the thoughts. Ascribing them to other characters and then living… Continue Reading »

on using our metaphoric pens

Writing is endlessly interesting and stimulating, never boring and those are the good parts. But it can be lonely, frustrating, and a fulsome vehicle for self doubt. But it also can be used a gift I see that we can give one to the other. This weekend I went to a friend’s birthday party, a… Continue Reading »

We each have a story that no one else has

This has become so clear to me because when I think of all my students, all the different stories, never have there been two remotely alike. Never do I really encounter a similar style. Never have I seen the same narrative. That is remarkable since each of my days for more than ten years have… Continue Reading »

To my surprise, writing groups work

I have always had a bit of a suspicion about writing groups, preferring the one on one way of working. I thought that groups encouraged mediocrity and a lot of wasted air time. I once wrote that “writers should not be housecats.” How wrong I am! I now run a group every second Wednesday and… Continue Reading »

All stories are true

Even if they’re made up. By the way that is the title of a wonderful book of short stories by John Edgar Wideman. I am struck, as a coach, by how deep the stories are of my students. In other words, no matter what they are writing, the way to improve it is to put… Continue Reading »

i wonder about blogging

i get that maybe you, the viewer to my site, can get some sense of me through reading the blogs. At least I hope you do. But, otherwise, what are the points of blogs? Everyone is writing them now, a way I guess to have one’s thoughts count in the enormous font of information that… Continue Reading »

the life of your work is long

We all live in an instantaneous society now and have little patience for the art of patience. But books are about patience. It takes patience to write them. It takes patience to understand what you are writing about. It takes patience to endlessly go over them. Then it takes patience to figure out how sell… Continue Reading »

One unexpected reason we write

I woke up this morning to an unexpected email from someone who was reading one of my books. Happily, it was very complimentary and the author of the email really understood what I was trying to do. I had “connected” with her. And, to put it simply, it felt wonderful. Point being, we write for… Continue Reading »

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