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When Writing Is Hard, Know You Can Do Hard


Writing can be easier than you think, and it can be harder than you like. In my last post, I quoted from Carl Sandberg’s poem “A Father to His Son”: “Life is hard; be steel, be a rock…life is soft loam, be gentle, go easy”. I observed that when life is soft, we need the […]

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What If Writing Is Easier than You Think?


When Claudia and I realize we might be making something more difficult than it has to be, one of us will ask, “What if it’s quick, easy and now?” It’s a wonderful question. My first coach, Val Olson, gave it to me years ago. I’d spent an entire coaching session affirming my commitment to tenaciously […]

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bath creativity sylvia plath

5 Ways a Sacred Bath can Float You Past Writers Block: Guest Post by Paulette Kouffman Sherman


One of my favorite routes through Incubation is a long soak in a hot bath. It just feels so good. Dr. Paulette Sherman explains how to make a simple bath more effective in her upcoming book, The Book of Sacred Baths: 52 Bathing Rituals to Revitalize Your Spirit (Llewellyn, August 2016) and she shares the […]

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brain needs rest

Writer’s Naptime or Craptime?


“Everything stinks until it’s done.” – Dr. Seuss You may have heard me say (or read my post) that to write well, you have to be willing to write badly. But do you know when to write badly? Writer’s Craptime Writing badly is what Anne Lamont calls the Sh*tty First Draft, Marla Beck calls the […]

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The Ultimate Tool for Getting Pantsers Through Their Resistance to Plotting: Guest Post by Joel D Canfield


In Part 1 of this two-part guest post from Joel D Canfield, Joel highlighted the limitations of trying to write book-length prose SOLELY by the seat of your pants. In this post, he explains how he structures a story without losing the benefits of “pantsing.” Joel is the author of fourteen books and the Someday […]

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How My Writing Process Saved the Day, and How it Can Save Yours: Guest Post by Joel D Canfield


Once again, author and author consultant Joel D Canfield made an intriguing comment, this time on the question of Who Gets More Creative Flow: Planners or Pantsers, so I invited him to expand his comment into this guest post. Joel is the author of fourteen books and the Someday Box blog for those who want to […]

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sharpen quill pen

Are You an Over-Convenienced Writer?


The last time we made lamb kabobs, I slow cooked what was left on the chops, then spent a half hour or so trimming the meat from all the fiddly little bones as a treat for the dogs. While my hands and my surface mind were occupied, my deeper mind was free to ponder a […]

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Who Gets More Creative Flow? Pantsers or Plotters?


In a world of limited either-or, the creative flow is delightfully and powerfully both-and.

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greatness (2)

Writing Failure Lesson #4: Put It in Perspective


“The artist’s life is frustrating not because the passage is slow, but because s/he imagines it to be fast.” David Bayles and Ted Orland, Art and Fear A corollary to Bayles and Orland’s observation is that creativity is frustrating not because we fail, but because we think we should always succeed. Failures are not stop […]

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failure leads to success Michael Jordon

Writing Failure Lesson #3: Rewrite the Story


Thomas Edison’s genius was partially his ability to rewrite the story. When everyone else said he’d failed 700 times, he had the audacity to claim he hadn’t failed 700 times, he hadn’t even failed once; he had, in fact, successfully found 700 ways that wouldn’t work on his way to ultimate success. Writers need this […]

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