I wrote a book called THE FOREST FOR THE TREES. It's an advice book for writers, though it's more about what makes writers tick. For four years, I blogged every day about the agony of writing and publishing, and the self loathing that afflicts most writers. A community of like-minded malcontents gathered and thus ensued a grand conversation. I post less frequently now, but hopefully with as much vitriol. Please join in!

    Gluttons for punishment can scroll through the archives. If I’ve learned one thing about writers, it’s this: we really are all alone. Thanks for reading. Love, Betsy

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Don’t You Remember You Told Me You Loved Me Baby


I started a new diary today. The chances of abandonment are high. I’m not sure why, but they either don’t yield, or they get all fuck all in my face. For every filled diary I have, there are two or three with just a few sentences that never took stuck on some lower shelf or thrown away, abandoned. Sometimes the diaries themselves are too thick, too thin. Sometimes it’s the spaces between the lines. More often, I hate how the first few lines or pages sound. To coy or cute or resolute. You can really strike the wrong note and set the whole thing off to the wrong start. That’s part of the insanity, it’s only for your eyes and yet you seem to care. Funny that.

Do you keep a diary?

Song As Old a Rhyme


It’s not going to come as a surprise to anyone who regularly checks in for a little bile, but I’m a big lover of Beauty and the Beast. Big. Saw it today with about 300 screaming children at a Florida mall and loved every Disnified moment. Both a little scared, neither one prepared…I also really love parades, the dinkier the better, and small children wear ing glasses, and mutts.

What do you have a soft spot for?

Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This



Lately, my inner monologue has gone completely out of control. I feel like Joan River’s aborted daughter. It’s like any positive thing I hear, I flip it, or gut it, or demean and diminish it. I’m no stranger to the negative thrum, to the mind’s dark pockets. Only now it’s so much eyeliner and torn hose. How are you? It’s been ages! Can you believe how cold it is? Ask your doctor about Lyrica.

What’s the worst thought you had today.


Everyone Knew Her as Nancy


There was an article in the paper today about the 50th anniversary of The Outsiders. I had no idea that S.E. Hinton was sixteen when she wrote it after failing a creative writing class. I would like to point out for the record that I flunked out of my first year of film school at NYU. And then at Columbia, doing a poetry MFA, I had to take a six month “leave of absence.” Flunking never feels good, but it’s often a catalyst for, oh fuck it, flunking sucks.

What’s your best failure?

When I Found Out Yesterday


Do you read book reviews? The NYTBR, People, The Nation, The TLS, The New York Review, USA Today, The Atlantic, the New Yorker? Do you read your hometown paper, The New Haven Register, the Hartford Courant, the SF Chronicle, the WASHINGTON POST, etc. The blogs? THe Awl, The Millions, Slate, Paris Review, etc. WHERE Do you find out about books and WHO do you believe?


You’re Still Young That’s Your Fault


42ec3978f106fa7f20b0d164fe05d485Regret. It’s such a beautiful feeling. For small things, large things. Conversations you wish went another way. That jacket at Barneys. A young man who could have learned to love. Working all the fucking time. That haircut. Not helping other people enough. Not writing enough down.  Giving up on friendships, projects, the body electric. Did she say crumb cake? Not raising your hand once in college. The close call with Irwin Winkler. Oh, poor little lamb. I love licking my wounds.People who say regret is a wasted emotion are missing out.

Any regrets out there?


I Want You to Show Me the Way



I don’t dream. I have the same recurring nightmare 3-4 times a year. Someone is either chasing me or trying to break into the house. In the dream, I can’t call out for help, but I keep trying. It’s at that point when my husband wakes me up and tells me that I’ve been screaming. I feel this explains a lot about my world view.

Do you have a recurring dream?