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All Levels | In his autobiography, the poet and doctor William Carlos Williams wrote about his job with medicine and his job with words: “They are two parts of a whole. It is not two jobs at all . . . one rests the man when the other fatigues him.” How do we reconcile the demands of day jobs, careers, and daily responsibilities with the urge to make art? We’ll harness strategies to help you find the time and energy to write “on the side”; try out forms designed to get you into and out of your writing groove quickly and easily; and read writers who have managed to make art—sometimes directly inspired by their day jobs—while working, caretaking, and otherwise feeding the beast.
Natalie Singer is the author of the lyric memoir California Calling: A Self-Interrogation (Hawthorne Books). Her writing has been published in journals, magazines, and newspapers including Proximity, Hypertext, Literary Mama, The Washington Post, The Seattle Times, Alligator Juniper, Brain, Child, Largehearted Boy, The Nervous Breakdown, Full Grown People and the anthology Love and Profanity. Natalie has been the recipient of several awards, including the Pacific Northwest Writers Association nonfiction prize and the Alligator Juniper nonfiction prize. California Calling was first runner up for the Red Hen Press nonfiction prize and a finalist for the Autumn House Press nonfiction prize. Natalie has taught writing inside Washington State’s psychiatric facility for youth and Seattle’s juvenile detention center, and she has worked as a journalist at newspapers around the West. Natalie holds an MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics from the University of Washington. Originally from Montreal, she came of age in California and now makes her home in the Pacific Northwest. She’s afraid of ferns. (@Natalie_Writes)