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writing encouragement


A client just finished writing a really exciting book. The book flowed out, she was completely obsessed and focused. And now it was finished. She admitted she felt un-moored, let down and even a little weepy.

Normal, completely normal.

Sometimes, if a writer is lucky, birthing a book is like birthing a baby. A book requires at least nine months of focus and concentration. A successful book project will be a constant distraction because that growing book is always with you – expanding larger by the month. And once it’s over, once the books is complete, you do feel a … Read more

Ill health is tremendously distracting: whether it’s a cold or cancer. And sickness is consuming and distracting in an insidious way, you don’t even realize you are distracted until you realize you are not adding to your novel rather you’ve spent the last hour on webmd.

I was ramped up for the whole week before a purportedly painful procedure. I did not sleep well, I couldn’t focus. The day of the procedure was lost. Then I was ramped up waiting for the results. I wasted a week anticipating the worst and researching all the possible outcomes. And through this all, … Read more

Sometimes starting a new book project needs a fresh approach.  Mind mapping is one of the many alternative ways to “enter” your book project.

I tried various on-line programs for mind mapping to help focus and lay out a potential novel or workbook. What I discovered was that when I created computer based mind maps for books or projects, the actual work of the mind map effectively distracted me from actually doing any writing for the book. I was happy to spend an afternoon figuring out how to make a circle or a square at the end of the “Parent” … Read more

I just read an interesting post from Sage Coen who commented that she was writing crap (my paraphrase) instead of writing what she really needed to say.  Natalie Goldberg combats this tendency of circular writing by breaking the pattern of her free writing and quickly  dashing “What I really mean to say is . . . “ and then writing more honestly from there.
I support the concept of writing deeply and expressively I really do. I think we should all write deeply and expressively.

By “we” I mean “you”.

I hail from Viking /Norman/English/ Puritan stock whose very existence … Read more

What inspires you?

I collect books: history, poetry and writing books, paper back, hard cover, old, and those I cannot bear to part with. I can run my hand over the book spines and remember exactly what is printed inside. I also remember when and where I was when I first picked up the book. Or in the case of Natalie Goldberg’s Wild Mind, I remember when I spilled red wine on the book and how devastated I was at the time, but I never replaced it. I keep the ragged, wine stained book on my shelf and thumb through … Read more

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