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    Are you an aspiring writer? This is where we answer your questions about writing and the writing life, because two heads are better than one.


    August 16, 2016
    How Do Freelance Writers Get Started?

    Dear ‘Lena, For my career planning course, we’re supposed to reach out to someone in our chosen field. It’s my dream to be a published writer, but I’m already 35 and worried that it’s too late. I still feel clueless about how to get into print, even though I love to write and do it … Continue reading “How Do Freelance Writers Get Started?”

    August 9, 2016
    What Should I Leave In and What Should I Leave Out?

    Dear ‘Lena, I’m confused. My writing teacher gave me the feedback that I should make my writing “more detailed,” but then I added in a lot of details and she said that it was crammed with “unnecessary detail.” Help! – Flustered Dear Flustered, I can tell you about one sort of detail that always earns … Continue reading “What Should I Leave In and What Should I Leave Out?”

    August 2, 2016
    What’s the Best Writing Advice Ever?

    Dear ‘Lena, What’s the best writing advice that you ever received? The worst? -Curious Dear Curious, In my first college writing class, the professor said: “Write the book you want to read.” He had a sonorous voice and said everything with such gravitas that it seemed incredibly profound. Later on, when I read my notes, … Continue reading “What’s the Best Writing Advice Ever?”

    July 26, 2016
    Should I Finish My Book?

    Dear ‘Lena, Answering either one of these questions would help me out a lot: 1) Is it a normal part of a writer’s life to be surrounded by a great deal of flammable material, or should I be worried? I have several tons of worthless drafts on paper, plus a mountain range of books by … Continue reading “Should I Finish My Book?”

    May 24, 2016
    Should I Toss My Embarrassing Journals?

    Dear ‘Lena, I’m fourteen, and I’ve been keeping a diary since second grade. Recently my mom told me to go through everything in my room and throw out whatever didn’t make me feel “joyful” (her word–weird I know). I started reading my old diaries, and was horrified to find that the writing is truly horrible. … Continue reading “Should I Toss My Embarrassing Journals?”

    May 13, 2016
    Do I Need to Write Every Day?

    Hi, I really want to be a writer, and I love to write, but I heard that if you want to do it for a living and get good, you need to write every day. I don’t always have time to write every day, and I worry that I don’t have enough to write about. … Continue reading “Do I Need to Write Every Day?”


    Send Us Your Question!

    Are you an aspiring writer with a ton of questions? This is where we answer questions about writing and the writing life, because two heads are better than one. We both teach creative writing for Stanford's Online Writing Studio, and we will tell you the truth in response to questions like: "Will I need a day job?" (yes) and "How can I find time to write?" (two words: Google Calendar). Unfortunately, we can't tell you whether or not you should break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend. But we can tell you how to get your revenge on him by putting him or her in a book.

    Just complete the form on this page to send us your question.

    All letters are anonymous (we'll know your email address, but no one else will). This column is for questions only, so please do not submit your actual writing.