Eric Layer


The Genius Dilemma

Sad to say, but it seems I was not born a genius. At least, not according to my accomplishments thus far. Whether it’s my genes, upbringing, motivation, discipline, or some kind of mystical selection process, I have not been bestowed with a brilliant mind or the kind of prodigious talent that made Mozart begin composing at the age of five, Michael Jackson a super-star by 10, and Bob Dylan write some of his best songs before he hit 25.

The Sweet Stench of Failure

I’m fascinated by both success and failure. Success is nice; I’ve enjoyed the rare times I’ve achieved any level of it. But given the choice, failure is always more interesting to write about.

Who wants to read about someone who gets everything they want? Sure, maybe you go for happy endings, but a story generally only captures our attention if everything goes wrong along the way.

When Does It End?

“Writing is Rewriting” – Ernest Hemingway

Second Hemingway reference in a week, and I’m not even a huge fan. Actually, a lot of writers have revealed this secret, if it ever needed revealing.

I’ll add my own: A writer who’s satisfied after a first draft probably isn’t a writer.

The Typewriter Dilemma

I’m writing on a laptop in bed.  About as far from Hemingway as possible, but I have an excuse: a vegan restaurant food-poisoned me. If I move too much, I get sick.  Even typing that last sentence made me a tad nauseous.


Last Sunday I had my Mid-Project Review, and that same night, someone stole my car. I had just left a party to drive home, but the car was not where I’d parked it. I scanned the block. No car. Trying not to panic, I noticed two guys nearby hanging out in their yard, and asked if they’d seen a blue Subaru parked there. They had, but also recalled two guys getting in it and driving off.

Seattle, I'm Sorry

I’m starting this blog post on a plane returning from a brief trip to Seattle, where I re-connected with old friends and saw a play called These Streets, about Seattle's underground music scene in the early '90s. I lived there for most of that period and for the majority of my 20s. Just being in the city again brought back many memories, and seeing the show on top of it only dipped me further into this endless pit of nostalgia.

Spring Reading List

On Friday I turned in my Mid-Project Review packet. There were a lot of late nights last week. The manuscript is by no means complete, in fact it’s a bit of a mess, but it’s coming together. I’m generating a lot of new material, which will have to be workshopped, re-re-written, all the usual stuff. But for now, I can breathe a sigh of relief that I turned in the project in its current, unfinished state.

You, You, You, or Me, Me, Me

MC Escher

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about you. Not literally you (though, depending on who you are, who knows), but the pronoun you, as employed in that rare gem of a POV, the second person. So far, only one story in my collection is told in the second person. This week, so that story didn’t feel so lonely, I tried switching a newer piece from first to second.

Writing About Blogging About Writing...

I’m nervous. Not about my writing––the collection’s coming along. What I’m nervous about is this blog. But I'll get to that in a moment.