Sunday, April 24, 2016

Help, I'm stuck on the page! -- 10 Tips to Get Your Pen Moving Again~

1) Breathe!  Slowly, deeply, it’s all okay and normal and you will be fine, truly. (And repeat.)

2) Put the story structure info away—in a drawer, in a trash can, in a virtual trash can—and don’t look at it again. When it causes anxiety it is no longer useful. Shred any piece of paper that tells you that there are rules for writing a novel. 

3) Know that finishing is difficult for your creative self (and mine and everyone’s!). Resistance can swell a bit when the end of a draft (or even “almost-draft”) nears. 

4) Know that you are the perfect person to write your story. It lives in you and it will live through you.

5) Do a 5 minute free write using this prompt: “I am afraid to write this book because…” When you are finished, remind yourself that your fear connects you to your characters. If you write, "I am afraid to fail," ask yourself, "who in my story is terrified of failing?" Your fear is a doorway into your characters and your story.

6) While you're writing, write a 5-Minute-Vent using the prompt: “I am allowing my inner gremlins, tricksters, furies and fear-mongers the next five minutes to have their say, here goes…”  Now transcribe what comes through until their time limit is up. Then, close the vent respectfully yet firmly. Skim what you’ve read to be sure you hear their message. Let them know you hear them. Remind your inner voices that you will give them another “hearing” tomorrow if they need to speak.  Also remind them that you (grown up, integrated, whole you) are writing this book and you are the perfect person to write this book. Remind them that they can relax and take time off because you will be okay and their messages are “early" survival alerts and misguided (not to mention a use of energy that you really want to tap for writing your novel!!!).  Let them know that when you are finished with this draft, you will want their PRODUCTIVE energy to serve you during edits (and you will invite them to the page if they remain constructive). 

7) Move to a very short writing session for your story--remember Anne Lamott's "shitty first draft" and I add "
messy, fast, and hot."

8) Remain ever-curious about your story and your story world and the characters who inhabit the world. 

9) Let me know how this goes.

10) Treat yourself to dark chocolate or your version of dark chocolate. Give yourself a pat--gently--on your heart (I'm serious). Have faith, you are a writer, and you are not alone.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tuesday's Writing Tip: Put Words on Paper & Give it Up

Put words on paper, forget whether the putting is easy or hard, and don't believe the voice judging shitty or brilliant, give it up and stay curious around what happens—we writers are never really in charge, we are channels for flow. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Writing Without a Net: It's Worth the Risk

"Growth demands a temporary surrender of security." ~ Gail Sheehy

We are always writing our story. At our core we write to understand, to change, to evolve. 
When it comes to creativity and writing, there are no guarantees that we will become rich, famous, or even remotely well-read. We can use our fears to stop us from taking creative risks; or we can use our fears to connect us to our characters and our story. That is our choice. 
Wishing you creative risk~S

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Inspiration to Write & a Smile from Robert Benchley~

"It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by then I was too famous."  ~Robert Benchley

Friday, February 26, 2016

Writing Wisdom from the Miraculous Mary Karr

"Don't approach your history as something to be shaken for its cautionary fruit...Tell your stories, and your story will be revealed...Don't be afraid of appearing angry, small-minded, obtuse, mean, immoral, amoral, calculating, or anything else. Take no care for your dignity..."    ~Mary Karr

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Inspiration from M. Csiksgentmihalyi~

Some years ago I participated in Dr. Martin Seligman's first international Authentic Happiness program and it included conversations in real time with positive psychology pioneers. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi spoke engagingly about creativity and I was inspired to read his book FLOW: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.

Today I'm sharing a quote from his book CREATIVITY: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention.

"Creative individuals are remarkable for their ability to adapt to almost any situation and to make do with whatever is at hand to reach their goals."

Aha! Sounds like resiliency!

P.S. In order to pronounce his name with my clumsy tongue, I use the cue phrase: [The] check sent me high!

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Today's Creative Wisdom from Camus

"All great works and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Great works are often born on a street corner or in a restaurant's revolving door."  ~Albert Camus