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Begin at the Beginning

I’ll begin at the beginning, with a blank notebook whose pages beg, “Fill me.” It’s four o’clock in the afternoon on a bright spring day. I have taken Lily for an extra long walk, and now I am settled in my leather writing chair and I am— yes— writing. It feels good to put pen […]


Returning to the Wonder of Childhood

The part of us that creates is childlike. It is filled with awe, alert to new experiences, and mesmerized by the sensory wonders of our environment: the otherworldly blanket of fresh white snow, the enticing smell of chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven, the crispness of a new pencil, the mesmerizing allure of a […]


The Wall

Writing begins with enthusiasm. We launch into a long project with optimism. We have an idea, we trust our idea, we set about putting it to the page. All goes swimmingly for a time— until we hit The Wall. The Wall occurs, in most writing, about two-thirds of the way into our work. Put simply, […]


Is it possible to work on more than one project at a time?

If you are writing Morning Pages, and then working later on a project, you are already writing more than one idea. While I have found Morning Pages plus a project to be a satisfying amount of writing, I have also occasionally worked on still more. For my purposes, I find that it is the type […]


The Memoir Tool

from It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again THE MEMOIR One especially heartbreaking sentence I have heard over and over from my newly retired students is, “Oh, my life wasn’t that interesting.” The truth is that every life is fascinating. And when we are willing to look at, and thus honor the life we have […]


Art as Alchemy

Making art of any kind is an alchemical process. Making art, we turn the dross of our life into gold. Making art, we re-create ourselves. When we work on our Memoir, revisiting our own personal narrative time line, we transform the events of our life into golden adventures. As we write, the ordinary becomes extraordinary; […]


Morning Pages: FAQ

My #1 tip for creative unblocking is a tool I have taught— and used— for three decades: Morning Pages. Morning pages are three pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness morning writing, for your eyes only, done as quickly upon waking as possible. These pages do not have to be “good writing.” There is no wrong way to […]


It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: What to Expect

It’s Never too Late to Begin is a twelve-week course for anyone who wishes to expand their creativity. It is not meant only for “declared” artists. It is aimed at those transitioning into the second act of life— leaving one life behind, and heading into one yet to be created. For some, this may mean […]


Morning Pages

The bedrock tool of a creative recovery is something I call Morning Pages: three pages of longhand, morning writing about absolutely anything. They are to be written first thing in the morning, and shown to no one. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages. I like to think of them as windshield wipers, […]


The Spiritual Power of Routine

Recent retirees tend to speak of having mixed feelings about routine. On one hand, they enjoy being free from the externally-imposed schedule of their work lives— they may choose to sleep later, to travel during the week, to eat meals when they fancy them instead of hewing to a strict timetable of meetings and business […]