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Writers’ Brains Require Random Input


“Where did that come from?” Usually I’m so enthralled by fresh ideas, images, insights and plot points, I immediately focus on weaving them into the story. I’m so busy figuring out where to go with those ideas and images, I don’t notice where they came from. For example, I couldn’t tell you why the leaves […]

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What Writers Need Even More than Creative Leaps


We all seek the next big “A-ha” moment. We yearn for grand and glorious creative leaps. Those flashes of inspiration reassure us that we’re on the right path. And they feel so good. A flash of creative insight might look like a huge, spontaneous leap of intuition, but that big, gratifying “A-ha!” is always preceded […]

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Do Writers Have to Polish the Occasional Turd?


“I’ve been polishing turds,” I confessed to my co-coach Laura. “I spent weeks revising and tweaking and polishing the last five chapters. Then I realized I don’t even need two of them.” “Could you have gotten here without polishing those chapters?” Laura asked. I didn’t answer right away. I grudgingly admitted that I probably could […]

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When Research Blocks Your Writing, Questions are the Answer


Writers who resist research often have only a vague idea of what they’re looking for, so they don’t know how to start, where to go, or when to stop. Overwhelmed by the idea of research or hoping to not have to bother with it, their writing grinds to a halt. Writers who get in stuck […]

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Love it or Hate it, Research Can Block Your Writing


Writers who don’t like research often don’t know how to start. Writers who love research often don’t know when to stop. Paradoxically, the solution is the same for both types. Stuck in the Research Some writers say they get stuck in the research because they love it. Whether they know it or not, many writers […]

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Kill the Darlings in Your Writing Practice


In my last post, I suggested that in addition to darlings that appear in our writing – sections we are inordinately proud of that simply don’t serve the whole of the piece – we have darlings in how we show up to write. Process darlings are the things you believe you must have, do or […]

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Kill Your Darlings — But First You Have to Find the Little Buggers


Nearly every writer has darlings — both in what we write and how we write. “Kill your darlings” is great advice. The difficulty is figuring out what your darlings are. Traditionally, a darling is anything you’ve written that you are overly attached to and is not essential to the piece you’re writing. But knowing what […]

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Do You Have the Writing Space You Need?


I don’t mind my desk being messy, if it’s my mess. Drafts with notes, books I’m reading, student drafts, client folders or process toys (thumb piano, markers, coloring books, mini jigsaw puzzles) co-mingle on my work space just fine. I bristle a little when household accounting and bills end up here (even if I put […]

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Practical Writers Need Impractical Play


I love paradox. The most important insights I’ve found came wrapped in paradox. For example, play is by definition doing something that has no practical purpose. Yet play provides essential, practical rewards. Shigeru Miyamoto, inventor of Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong and The Legend of Zelda, told The New Yorker, “Anything that is impractical can […]

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Another Way to Prepare for a Writer’s New Year


I’m deep in revising the last chapters of my novel. So deep, I sometimes wonder if it qualifies for being in the weeds. I surfaced a few minutes ago. After stretching, (it’s amazing how stiff my body gets while I’m immersed in the story) I started wondering again what to post here on BaneOfYourResistance this […]

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