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This is a stock photo. I wish I looked this good when I'm sick.

PTO – Back Next Week

In case you’re wondering what happened to this week’s post, Let Attention Residue Work for Your Writing, it’s still in progress. As soon as my swollen and over-active sinuses stop strangling my brain and the sniffling, sneezing, aching, coughing, stuffy head, fever, so I can’t think virus is done with me, I’ll be able to […]

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face uncertainty

Writers Must Surrender Certainty

Creativity is born of inefficiency and uncertainty. Unfortunately, your brain does not welcome uncertainty. Because the human brain, which makes up only 3% of the body’s mass, uses 20 to 30% of the body’s oxygen and glucose, it evolved to be as energy-efficient as possible. Uncertainty is simply not efficient. Why question what you already […]

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With actual light bulbs, choose efficiency; for metaphorical light bulbs, choose creativity

Writers Must Abandon Efficiency

Some of my students and clients fret about investing time and energy in an idea that might not develop. They worry that it’ll take too long to finish a piece. They want to be efficient. Other students and clients resist making time for Process because they don’t want to waste time playing around. They want […]

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squirrel creative idea

Can Distractions Actually Help Your Writing?

We are more easily distracted than we were ten years ago. Every day, far more things compete for our attention than at any other time in history. Most of those things are distractions and irrelevant tangents. So how can you navigate through all the opportunities to distract yourself? How can you reserve time for writing? […]

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start finish

What Else Looks Like Writer’s Block But Isn’t

The gap between finishing one writing project and starting the next can look like writer’s block. It’s not. The contrast can be startling. You were focused and engaged, busy drafting, revising and polishing. You rightfully felt proud of your effort and gratified with the result. Then suddenly, you’re not. Not doing anything apparently. What’s wrong […]

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Looks Like Writer’s Block, But It’s Not

One of the things commonly mistaken for writer’s block is simple unpreparedness. You’re not writing because you’re not ready to write. How many steps do you think there are between getting a great idea and writing? It’s more than you think. Go ahead and list the steps for yourself. Then come back and we’ll compare […]

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39435264 - young female worried doctor looking at computer in clinic

Writer’s Block and Medical Student Syndrome

Second-year medical school students are known to experience symptoms of many of the diseases they study, at least for the week they’re studying that particular ailment. It’s the placebo effect in reverse – focusing so much attention on symptoms causes med students to think they have them. “It’s not necessarily the reality that shapes us, […]

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So You’re a Frustrated Writer… Are You Frustrated Enough?

If you’re struggling to find a clever transition or the structure for your book, if you’d kill for a killer plot twist or the perfect word, you’re in luck! If you’re frustrated, stymied and stuck, congratulations! Frustration is a sign you are on the verge of a breakthrough. Frustration is not just an unpleasant side […]

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dizzy canstockphoto0364806

Best Laid Writing Plans…

I planned to write a different post and publish it yesterday; I hadn’t planned to get vertigo. So instead, here are my musings on balance and the lack thereof. Observation: It’s difficult in the extreme to write when the room keeps spinning and the monitor jerks from side to side. It’s difficult to even stay […]

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pencil shift writer's block canstockphoto17668550 (2)

Step 4: Redirect Your Writing Past Distraction

There’s nothing wrong with distracting yourself sometimes. Distraction is one way your brain copes with stress and anxiety. What We’ve Learned So Far The challenge with being too distracted to write is that you’re usually too distracted to notice. Hence, Step 1 is to Recognize when you’re distracting yourself. Since we distract ourselves to diffuse […]

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