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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.

What Do You Want More of in Your Writing?

Does it show a lack of imagination that I always want more chocolate?

Even though there’s a risk in publishing a blog about writer’s resistance, I’m grateful for the opportunity to exchange ideas with talented writers like you.

The risk? In a nutshell, we get more of what we focus our attention on. According to extensive social science research in the field of Appreciative Inquiry, what we expect and pay attention to profoundly influences the outcomes we experience.

In one study, social scientists told elementary school teachers that, based on tests students took at the end of the previous school year, one group of students in their new class would excel this coming year and one group of students would struggle to keep up. By the end of the school year, every child lived up to – or down to – her or his teacher’s expectations.

The kicker is that there were no tests at the end of the previous year; the children were selected entirely at random.

When teachers expect students to perform well, they do. When teachers expect students to fail, they do. (The researchers decided it would be unethical to repeat the experiment; after all, who wants their child to be randomly selected to fail or even to be just average?)

Likewise, AI theorists demonstrate that organizations or individuals who focus on being problem-solvers (which sounds like a good idea) get more problems to solve, while organizations or individuals who focus on leveraging their strengths get more strengths to leverage.

A blog on writer’s resistance and writer’s block could easily yield more resistance and block, but I don’t see my writing, teaching or coaching as a way to fix writers with problems. That would mean I’d attract writers who see themselves as lacking and I’d be forever trying to bolster them up.

Instead I write this blog for writers who are creative, intelligent and want to hold themselves accountable to sustainable habits so they can take their writing to the next level.

This blog is focused on Overcoming resistance. We have to acknowledge the reality of resistance because it happens and if we don’t understand why it happens, it gets worse. We have to learn to identify the subtle forms our resistance takes so we can respond appropriately to it.

But our primary focus is on how we get past resistance to Enjoying Our Writing.

Thanksgiving is just a few days away and I invite you to make a list of the things you are grateful for in your writing life. Who inspires you? Who challenges you to be the best writer you can be? What’s the best thing you’ve done for yourself as a writer? What excites and engages you in your writing?

In short, what do you want more of?

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11 Comments on “What Do You Want More of in Your Writing?”

  1. J.J. Austrian November 22, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    The best thing I ever did for my writing was taking your class. I now have a system/ritual that allows me to write consistently!

    Thank you again, Rosanne, and have wonderful Thanksgiving.


    • rosannebane November 28, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

      You’re most welcome J.J. It was great seeing you in that class. Thanks for your endorsement.


  2. Michael Kelberer November 20, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    The old dilemma: do I focus on the dark past and move forward by releasing, or focus on a bright future and move forward by being drawn; break the bonds by working on them directly or by being pulled forward so strongly they break.


    • rosannebane November 20, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

      I think this is one of those creative polarities where it’s not an either-or choice but both-and… First one way, then the other, then back, etc.


      • Michael Kelberer November 20, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

        Logically true, but in many cases when you stop working one side to work on the other, the adhesion on the side you left has a chance to get stronger.


  3. publicationcoach November 20, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    For readers who are able to identify what they “want more of” in their writing, I strongly suggest they also look for it in their reading. Other writers can offer a roadmap about how to achieve it!



  1. Two Pre-Edit Steps to Prevent Writer’s Resistance | The Bane of Your Resistance - July 30, 2013

    […] Social science research tells us that we get more of what we pay attention to. So if you pay attention to what you love, you’ll get more to love. […]


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