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Saying “thank you”

We like to believe we must make things happen. We also like to believe we can’t. This means we worry about our powerlessness and get steeped in our own bitterness. The truth is, we are meant to co-create. In other words, we both make things happen and let things happen; we imagine and then we […]


Waiting for Fame

In a creative career, waiting for fame to hit is like waiting for rain in a drought. It keeps us squinting toward the horizon, jealous of our luckier neighbors and dissatisfied with our own condition. Our culture invites us to think of art in terms of product, and one of the by-products of the “product” […]


An excerpt from “Love in the DMZ”

Author’s Note Love in the DMZ was written during a long separation from the man I loved. I questioned his fidelity but loved him passionately. Written to be read either as a play or a novella, the letters proved cathartic. Performed as a play in letters, this piece is very well served by the simplest […]


Drama

Drama in our lives often keeps us from putting drama on the page. Some drama happens and we lose our sense of scale in our emotional landscape. When this happens, we need to reconnect to our emotional through line. We need a sense of our “before, during and after” life. This tool is a personal […]


Persistence

Faith is a commodity we always feel is lacking. Who among us feels he has “enough” faith? And yet, we all do. It takes faith to establish an atmosphere where our creativity can flourish. Take pen in hand and list five occasions in which you have demonstrated persistence. For example: 1. I went back to […]


The Silver Lining

“Gain disguised as loss” is a potent artist’s tool. To acquire it, simply, brutally, ask: “How can this loss serve me? Where does it point my work?” The answers will surprise and liberate you. The trick is to metabolize pain as energy. The key to doing that is to know, to trust, and to act […]


Outrunning your Censor

All of us have an inner Censor, that nasty voice that tries to discount what we are doing. A lot of times people think they can outsmart their censor, but that’s not my experience. My experience is that as you get smarter, your censor gets smarter. But what you can do is outrun your censor. […]


Sane and Happy

So much of being sane and happy begins with the doing of things that are sane and happy. This means that we must train ourselves to think small rather than large. We become frightened because we have “big decisions” to make. But big decisions can be made gently, a small step at a time. But […]


“Mourning” Pages

I sometimes think Morning Pages should be called “Mourning Pages.” “Julia, my pages are so negative,” some people say. With morning pages, we end our denial. If something is bothering us, we put it on the page. Often, many things are bothering us, and our pages seem filled with negatives. It’s important to note that […]


Q: What if my thoughts race faster than I can write them down?

Recently I had a student say, “My thoughts race faster than I can write them down. So I get frustrated and stop writing.” My answer: “Don’t stop.” I think it’s a common occurrence for the thoughts to race faster than the pen. And I think that you should keep writing Morning Pages. What you do […]