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Real Writers Fight Resistance, Right? Wrong!


Despite the militaristic metaphors found in The War of Art and similar books, blogs and articles, resistance is not our enemy and does not need to fought, blasted or defeated. Don’t get me wrong, I love Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art. It was a powerful early influence. I was relieved to learn Pressfield perspective […]

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Five Reasons to Thank Your Resistance to Writing


How could you possibly be grateful for feeling resistance to your writing? 1.  Resistance Reveals Your Passion A student in my Writer’s Resistance class confessed “I thought I must really not want to be a writer since I’m not writing.” I reassured her that her resistance was a sign that she did want to write. […]

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Why 50,000 Is Not the Magic #NaNoWriMo Number


To paraphrase of Bullwinkle, “Watch me pull 50,000 words out of my hat.” For those of us who don’t write a novel a month on a regular basis, that snarling lion is our lateral habenula growling at the over-optimistic Bullwinkle part of our brain, “I’m going to do what? Sounds like 50,000 ways to fail. […]

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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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How Trustworthy Are You?


To write what you truly want to write, you must take creative risks. You have to keep moving forward when you’re uncertain. You have to expose your creative self. You have to claim your own voice and simultaneously stay open to learning new tools and techniques. You have to embrace your crazy, clichéd ideas (all […]

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Refine Your Writing Rewards


Reader comments on my previous post, Writing Should Be It’s Own Reward, Right? Wrong!, highlighted where I need to clarify a few things for everyone’s benefit. (This is one of the reasons I love your feedback; another is that your comments tell me my writing mattered to you, which tremendously rewarding for me.) Joel Canfield […]

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Rescuing My “Early Drafts” Project from a Postponement Loop: Step 1 Pull a Rabbit Out of My Hat


In a previous post, I promised to reveal my writing process as I move my idea about “Early Drafts vs. Shitty First Drafts” out of a Postponement Loop into a finished piece. Here’s my messy first step in pulling this rabbit out of my hat. In the past few weeks, I spent several nights exploring […]

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How to Rescue Your Lost Writing From Postponement Loops


For several years, I’ve had what I think is an excellent theory about why we shouldn’t call our early drafts shitty and what we should call them instead. Every time one of my students mentioned Anne Lamont’s “shitty first drafts,” I’d explain my theory and remember I want to write a blog post about it. […]

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Your Best Writing Lies Beyond Certainty


Creativity is born in uncertainty. It’s a grand Easter egg hunt – the more you search, the more possibilities you explore, the better your chances of finding the best solution. Your challenge is that even if you may be consciously willing to keep looking, your brain isn’t.   Too Efficient For Our Own Good Sometimes Because […]

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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 […]

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