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Creativity coach, writing and creative process instructor, speaker, author of Around the Writer's Block: Using Brain Science to Write the Way You Want (Penguin/Tarcher 2012) and Dancing in the Dragon's Den (Red Wheel Weiser), Teaching Artist at the Loft Literary Center.

You Know What to Do (to Care for Your Writer Self and Eliminate Writer’s Block)

Write anywhere, just write!

Self-care is recognizing what you need most and giving yourself that.

In an appreciative inquiry, I asked the students in my Entering the Flow class to write about the good things they did for themselves as a writer in the past week.

Because one of the key principles in appreciative inquiry (AI) is that we get more of what we focus our attention on, I encouraged my students to focus on the positive, not on how they might have slacked off sometimes, missed an opportunity or struggled. (This AI principle explains why individuals or organizations who see themselves as problem-solvers get more problems to solve, while individuals or organizations who seem themselves as leveraging their strengths get more strengths to leverage.)

Kari Balak wrote a response so powerfully simple, I asked her to guest host my blog with it. Here’s how Kari took care of herself as a writer:

I wrote. I wrote this week over sick kids, sick me, over job hours creeping up, over a husband’s mad, mad idea to sell the house.

I wrote. I wrote in the car with the leaves turning and falling, with the wind blowing so hard the car rocked and, just for a moment, I wondered if the wheels would come off the pavement, but then I kept writing.

I wrote until the kids came out of the school doors and the moms lined their mini-vans up. Then I folded my pages over my pen and put that packet into my bag for tomorrow.

Because this week I claimed that parking lot as my own.

What good things did YOU do for yourself as a writer in the past week? Please give yourself 10 minutes (or more!) to pay attention to that. If you’d like to share what you discover, I’d be delighted to hear from you in a comment or email.

Then notice how, when you focus on the good things you’re doing for your writing, you seem to find more good things to do…

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2 Comments on “You Know What to Do (to Care for Your Writer Self and Eliminate Writer’s Block)”

  1. Michael Kelberer November 25, 2011 at 6:18 am #

    Wow! Powerful indeed!


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