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The Creative Necessity of Surrendering What We Know: New Book Update


Letting Go After my last New Book Update post about receiving “Best of Luck” replies from agents I’d queried, I juggled blogging, querying and starting a new novel. It seemed an appropriate time to write posts about managing multiple writing projects. So I did. In February, I took a retreat from this blog to snorkel […]

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Success with Multiple Writing Projects Requires a “Reasonable” Number


Of course, a reasonable number of projects varies from writer to writer and from situation to situation. For example, Stephaine O’Brien recommends focusing on one primary project until it’s complete and working on other projects whenever inspiration strikes. I can’t possibly tell you what’s reasonable for you. But I can tell you that making conscious […]

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Out of the Postponement Loop: Step 2 Writing from the Bubbles of an Idea


When I posted the previous post in the Out of the Postponement Loop series, I didn’t know if my next step in rescuing my “Early Drafts” project would be to look at the Shitty First Drafts cluster for structure and transitions among the bubble topics or to freewrite. Turns out, I didn’t take either of those […]

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The Creative Power of NOT Writing


In a previous post, I promised to explain why you should “keep your butt on the meditation cushion or your back on the yoga mat” in the early stages of writing. There is power is resisting the urge to write. I learned the value of delayed drafting at a writer’s conference decades ago. One of […]

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“Meditating” Your Way into Writing


In the previous post, I said that drafting and revising rely on divergent thinking and editing relies on convergent thinking. It’s a weeny bit more complex. In Off the Page (2008 edited by Carole Burns), Richard Bausch says this about beginning a book: “I start writing with an image or a voice, but I don’t […]

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What Kind of Meditation Does Your Writing Need? Depends on What Stage It’s In


In my previous post, I suggested that writers need to alternate between focused-attention meditation and open-monitoring meditation. In some stages of the creative process, we need divergent thinking, which open-monitoring meditation increases. In other stages, we need  convergent thinking, which focused-attention meditation increases. (More about stages of the creative process in Chapter 4 of AWB) […]

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What Kind of Meditation Do Writers Need?


Based on the secondary research I’ve done and personal experience, I know meditation is good, in a whole slew of ways, for our brains including enhancing creativity. Clearly, it matters that writers meditate. It didn’t occur to me that how we meditate might also matter. Research by cognitive psychologist Lorenza Colzato’s demonstrates that different kinds […]

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Do Writers Need to Keep Our Butts in the Chair?


In 1937, Sinclair Lewis shared his version of an often repeated and often reworded bit of writerly wisdom: And as the recipe for writing, all writing, I remember no high-flown counsel but always and only Mary Heaton Vorse’s jibe, delivered to a bunch of young and mostly incompetent hopefuls back in 1911: ‘The art of […]

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Only Writing Is Writing, Right? Wrong!


When E. L. Doctorow observed that planning to write, outlining, researching or talking about you’re going to write is NOT writing, I think he meant we can’t just hope to write or dream about writing, we have to take action. Unfortunately, many of my students and clients have interpreted that mindset (wherever they know the […]

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Don’t Let Logic Eclipse Your Creative Writing


You know, of course, that stars don’t “come out” at night. They are always there emitting the same amount of light all day, all night. We just can’t see the stars until the sun “sets,” or more correctly, until the part of the planet you’re standing on rotates away from the sun enough to escape […]

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