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MILLLICENT G. DILLON, represented by Harold Ober Associates, is the world’s expert on authors Jane and Paul Bowles. She has won five O. Henry Awards and been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner. I worked with Dillon on her memoir, The Absolute Elsewhere, in which she describes in luminous prose her private meeting with Albert Einstein to discuss the ethics of the atomic bomb. Read more. . .

SASHA TROYAN is a Professor of English at Montclair University and author of the critically-acclaimed novels Angels in the Morning and The Forgotten Island, both Booksense Selections, beautiful stories based upon her childhood in France. I worked with Troyan to develop her new novels, Marriage A Trois and Semester. Read more. . .

LUCIA ORTH is the author of the debut novel, Baby Jesus Pawn Shop, which received critical acclaim from Publisher’s Weekly, NPR, Booklist, Library Journal and Small Press Reviews. I have edited a number of essays and articles for Orth. Read more. . .

BHAICHAND PATEL, retired after an illustrious career with the United Nations, is now a journalist based out of New Dehli and Bombay, an expert on Bollywood, and author of three non-fiction books published by Penguin. I edited Patel’s best-selling debut novel, Mothers, Lovers, and Other Strangers, published by Pan Macmillan. Read more. . .

SCOTT WILBANKS, represented by Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency, is the author of the debut novel, The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster, published by Sourcebooks in August, 2015. I’m working with Wilbanks on his sophomore novel, Easy Pickens, the story of the world’s only medically-diagnosed case of chronic naiveté. Read more. . .

SCOTT WARRENDER is a professional musician and Annie Award-nominated lyricist specializing in musical theater. I work with Warrender regularly on his short stories and debut novel, Putaway. Read more. . .

M. TERRY GREEN enjoys a successful self-publishing career with multiple sci-fi/fantasy series set in the Multiverse, based upon her expertise in anthropology and technology. I worked with Green to develop a new speculative fiction series. Read more. . .

ANIA VESENNY, represented by Beverly Slopen Literary Agency, is a recipient of the Evelyn Sullivan Gilbertson Award for Emerging Artist in Literature and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. I edited Vesenny’s debut novel, Swearing in Russian at the Northern Lights, and her second novel, Sandara. Read more. . .

STUART WAKEFIELD is the #1 Kindle Best Selling author of Body of Water, the first novel in his Orcadian Trilogy. Body of Water was 1 of 10 books long-listed for the Polari First Book Prize. I edited Wakefield’s second novel, Memory of Water, and look forward to editing the final novel of his Orcadian Trilogy, Spirit of Water. Read more. . .

GERALDINE EVANS is a best-selling British author. Her historical novel, Reluctant Queen, is a Category No 1 Best Seller on Amazon UK. I edited Death Dues, #11 in Evans’ fifteen popular Rafferty and Llewellyn cozy police procedurals, which received a glowing review from the Midwest Book Review. Read more. . .

JUDY LEE DUNN is an award-winning marketing blogger. I am working with Dunn to develop and line edit her memoir of reconciling liberal activism with her emotional difficulty accepting the lesbianism of her beloved daughter, Tonight Show comedienne Kellye Rowland. Read more. . .

JEFF RUSSELL is the author of the debut novel, The Rules of Love and Law, based upon Jeff’s abiding passions for legal history and justice. Read more. . .

LEN JOY is the author of the debut novel, American Past Time. I worked with Len to develop his novel from its core: a short story about the self-destructive ambitions of a Minor League baseball star. Read more. . .

ALEX KENDZIORSKI is an American physician working in South Africa on community health education and wildlife conservation. I edited Kendziorski’s debut novel Wait a Season for Their Names about the endangered African painted wolf, for which he is donating the profits to wildlife conservation. Read more. . .

ALEXANDRA GODFREY blogs for the New England Journal of Medicine. I work with Godfrey on her short fiction and narrative nonfiction, including a profile of the doctor who helped save her son’s life, “Mending Broken Hearts.” Read more. . .

In addition, I work with scores of aspiring writers in their apprenticeship to this wonderful literary art and craft.

  • By Victoria Mixon

    I’m not here this month—December is my month to go offline every year and watch my son grow up. I really don’t have any time to lose. So I’ll be blogging in absentia a series of posts on how to find everything you need through the craft of writing, this amazing work that you and I and all of us here have chosen as the craft of our souls.

    Let’s start with the good stuff: joy & fulfillment.

    Ignore the hype!

    It is deafening.

    But it is not writing.

    It is hype.

    Right now we happen to be living through a time of enormous change in publishing, which has brought with it an absolute avalanche of emphasis upon the industry of marketing. Congratulations on the Era of Marketing! Enjoy it while you can, marketers. It hasn’t always been this way for writers, and it won’t always be this way for writers, because it isn’t, in fact, intrinsic to writing itself.

    This too shall pass.

    And when it does, we will find lying in its wake—just as fully and magnificently as before the avalanche hit—our writing. It does not change just because someone out there changes the process through which we expose it to the public view.

    It’s still writing.

    Recognize the craft.

    Writing is not the same thing as selling our work. It’s not even the same thing as being read.

    Writing is using the written word to reach into the fog of invisibility that shrouds our every waking moment and retrieve the primal experience of being alive. All of the arts are tools for this. Painters do it through painting, sculptors do it through sculpture, dancers do it through movement, playwrights, actors, and directors do it through theater, musicians do it through music. But storytellers do it through story, and writers do it through the nearly-infinite variety and flexibility of literacy.

    This craft is our chosen tool for retrieval. We writers spend our lives learning to wield this particular tool as perfectly as we are able.

    It’s ours.

    Reach for the joy!

    The truth is we arrive here on this planet mostly just because our parents have sex, and while we’re here we do a whole lot of crying, raging, suffering, wondering, and sometimes noodling around simply being bored.

    But we’re in it for the joy.

    So focus upon this craft you have chosen—these words and sentences and paragraphs, these pens and pencils and notebooks, typewriters and keyboards and computer screens, these facets of dialog and flashes of action and glimpses of intricate settings. Forget your themes and ideas and feelings, and simply burrow through your written words into the vivid experiences of living. Record those experiences in all their beautiful and dreadful, enormous and tiny, complementary and contradictory detail. Detail.

    Wake up from the dream and go outside. Come in again and sink back into the dream. Over and over and over. Reflect your world in words as if you were a mirror, and eventually you will begin to glimpse in the distance behind the figures in the mirror that poignant, often-bittersweet joy we suspect but can’t always feel. You’ll stumble unexpectedly upon a transitory moment of insight into what it all means, especially when you don’t understand what it is you’re trying to say. That moment is what makes life worthwhile and what we writers are after all along.

    It’s the unsayable.

    That vivid experience is where fulfillment lies.



    “The freshest and most relevant
    advice you’ll find.”

    —Helen Gallagher, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    The Art & Craft of Writing Fiction

    The Art & Craft of Writing Stories




6 Responses to “How to Find Joy & Fulfillment through Writing”

  1. I was thinking about this the other day. You’re right when you say that marketing is what’s happening now, but what really matters is the writing. There’s a lot of junk out there that is called writing, but when all is said and done, what will really be left and remembered will still be what is truly written well.

  2. Wise words. Enjoy your month off. 🙂

  3. Judy Migliori said on

    Thank you for writing such an inspiring message. I felt personally touched by your words. I need to print this and tack it above my computer for continued inspiration. You are awesome.

  4. That’s why I love your posts, Victoria. You cut right to the meat of the matter and focus on what’s important. Bravo!

  5. Christine said on

    Thank you. This was exactly what I needed to hear today….and it returns me to my truth about why I write, once again. The rest can be so distracting.

  6. Gorgeous post, Victoria. And so fitting considering you’ve decided to “go outside” for a month and be with your son. I don’t know why, but your “Recognize the craft” made me a little emotional. Perhaps because I’ve come to appreciate all things “hand-made” these days.