29 | We Tried Hemingway’s Creative Practice (Write One True Sentence Daily)

41m | Apr 5, 2023

In this episode of The Craft, Carter and Colby discuss a specific creative practice. During his recent solo road trip to California, Carter adopted (with Colby’s prompting) Hemingway’s maxim “one true sentence” as a way to document his journey. He attempted to articulate an essence from each day in a single sentence, forgoing note-taking for a practice of small, dense creative acts. They discuss the process of generating new ideas, choosing which ideas to pursue, and developing small creative practices into larger, more refined work.  


Day 1: I wonder if Jesse James ever watched that big Missouri sky and wondered what it would look like rolled up like a scroll. 

Day 2: Above the gentle sweep of the train tracks, a red church was bivouacked against a cliff of smooth red stone - like some ancient relief carved by the hand of a Spanish sculptor. 

Day 3: Sand turns into snow as I reel toward the rough sockets of skull rock.

Day 4: A gust of Pacific wind, tinged with salt, hits my face as I watch the breakers from Hawk Tower, the same perch where Jeffers watched the sun set with his glass of red wine and cigarette. 

Day 5: The redwoods’ brawny trunks and dark green boughs, soaked in cold rain, remind me of my frailty. 

Day 6: Steinbeck’s shadow stretches long past California, but one can never quite fix where it ends. 

Day 7: The shade of a cloud passes over a green hill near San Luis, darkening the purple impressions of sage and lavender. 

Day 8: Tempered blue steel in the predawn light, the snow-covered faces of Coloradan mountains stare into my tired eyes with terrible silence. 

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Cover art was designed by Elizabeth Newell. Learn more about her work at or on Instagram @elizabethisadesigner.

The Craft: Exploring the Creative Process