Tag Archives: Robert Olen Butler From Where You Dream

Writers: If People Insist on Giving You Books… Get the Good Ones!

While there is a bit of debate about Albus Dumbledore’s claimed regret that “People will insist on giving me books” instead of socks, the truth is, books are not a bad gift. Especially not for writers. In fact, many of us have trained family and friends to give us books. (If you’ve trained complete strangers […]

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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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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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Neither Twisted Writer or Blocked Writer – Dreaming Writer

In a comment on a previous post, Judy Westergard wrote that her readers are the darlings she needs to kill to give herself freedom to write what needs to be written. Most writers, when they talk about killing their darlings, are referring to particular lines or passages that they just love, but that don’t really […]

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Goldilocks Your Way through Resistance to Write Your Novel or Memoir

Too much structure or structure applied too soon in the writing process can weaken a novel or memoir by making it all head and no heart, all lines and logic with no curves and imagination. Resistance sets in because it was your imagination and heart that called you to write in the first place. If […]

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What’s Missing In Your Writing?

A pen, a pad of paper, a computer. What else could a writer need? Feeling stuck, blocked or resistant often comes from not having what you need. Your resistance is there because something important isn’t. You need something to move your writing forward: it might be reassurance, support, time, training, experience, tools. Looking for a […]

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Only the Good Get Blocked

Come on Virginia Woolf, don’t make me wait, Perfect writers start much too late. I’d rather laugh with the hacks than languish with the saints, To the hacks, fans have flocked, You know that only the good get blocked. (Apologies to Billy Joel) I am a fan of Robert Olen Butler. I’ve recommended From Where […]

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Going “Outline Commando” to Avoid Writer’s Block

“Excellent!” was my first thought when I read the title of Brian Klems article Six Secrets of Writing a Novel Without an Outline. I had found another writer willing to go “outline commando.” (Why I think outlines don’t work) “Absolutely!” I thought when I read Secret #3 Follow Rabbit Trails: “It’s inherent to the creative […]

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Pre-edit Step Two to Prevent Writer’s Resistance

In the previous post, we identified the first of two essential pre-editing steps: read your draft and just love it. Jumping from loving your draft to critically analyzing it or starting to edit, reword, rework, cut, slash and burn would be a bit like ending a honeymoon with a stop at a divorce lawyer’s office. […]

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Balance From A Stack of Cards: Guest Post by Susan Gaines Sevilla

One of my coaching clients is in an exciting and expansive place with her novel after years of feeling stuck. She has such wonderful insights, I asked her if she’d be willing to describe what’s working so well for her in a guest post. Since this post first appeared, Susan has made excellent progress and […]

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