Archive | May, 2013

Embrace Uncertainty and Reject Writing Resistance


If you ever put off writing because you didn’t know how to start, you know how intimidating the unknown is. We think we’re supposed to know what we’re going to write before we write it. It’s not the uncertainty that stops us; it’s our fear of uncertainty. There’s this myth that knowledge is power. That […]

7 Comments Continue Reading →

More Time! I Need More Time!


Panic is the death of creativity. When you think “I’ve got to figure this out NOW or something awful is going to happen,” your chances of coming up with a unique solution are minimal. You’ll come up with something — it just won’t be something creative. (more about the brain science of why waiting to […]

2 Comments Continue Reading →

Hello Untapped Genres – Goodbye Writing Resistance!


Are you a poet who thinks fiction is a waste of words or who can’t fathom writing that many pages? Are you a fiction writer who fears memoir will insult or embarrass your family and friends? An essayist who thinks novelists are incapable of getting to the point? The genres you avoid because you are […]

1 Comment Continue Reading →

Denying Possibilities Creates Writer’s Block


In No More Secondhand Art, Peter London describes how the phrase “forbidden colors” freed him from an artistic block. “It was now apparent to me that my stuckedness wasn’t my failure to use well what I had; it was a failure of my imagination to allow me access to a full range of possibilities…” London […]

2 Comments Continue Reading →

The Maestro’s Artistic Darwinism or What’s Passion Got to Do with It?


When the Maestro told the young musician “You lack passion” (see previous post), he was acting as, Paige McKinney pointed out in her comment on that post, an arrogant, self-appointed “agent of artistic Darwinism.” This is the other reason I hate the Maestro story: the violin master is exclusionary. He filters people out. Personally, I […]

8 Comments Continue Reading →

Overcome Your Writing Resistance


This Saturday May 18 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm is your chance to Overcome Your Writing Resistance at ArtReach in Stillwater, MN. (more details) Not only will you get the information you need to write more — more often, more freely, more effectively — you’ll have a ton of fun! Free brains, writing for […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

The Maestro’s Advice and Why You Should Ignore it


When a violin virtuoso on tour came to his city, a young musician named Tom talked his way into an opportunity to play for the Maestro. When Tom finished, the Maestro said “You lack passion.” Years later when the Maestro came back, Tom, now a successful executive, arranged for a few friends to enjoy the […]

6 Comments Continue Reading →

Are You Sure It’s Feedback You Want?


You’ve probably seen it: the confusion, frustration, disappointment or disbelief when a writing group gives a writer requested, yet unwelcome feedback. Readers wonder why the writer submitted the piece if s/he didn’t want honest feedback. They often judge the writer for being unprofessional. The writer, on the other hand, wonders why at least some people […]

6 Comments Continue Reading →

Top Ten Tips for Writers


Usually, I post my best stuff here first, but Hazel & Wren got first dibs on my latest Top Ten Tips list. Fortunately, it’s just a link away and when you take that link, you can explore Hazel & Wren’s fabulous Literary Community website. Be sure to scroll down to see this week’s Three Things […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →

Got Brains? Wanna Bet?


It seemed like a safe bet at the time… On one of those “bonus winter” days in April when everyone on Facebook was talking about the never-ending snow, I offered a free copy of Around the Writer’s Block to everyone in class if it snows in Stillwater, Minnesota on May 18 when I’m teaching Overcome […]

Leave a Comment Continue Reading →