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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 […]


Do you worry that you lack discipline?

This is a paradox to me: many of us start off worrying that we will “lack the discipline” to do morning writing. When we are willing to try writing anyway, we find soon enough that morning writing does not take discipline– but it does make discipline. What is it about stumbling blindly to the page, not knowing […]


Drought

I want to say something about droughts: as painful as they are, they deepen us. When we feel we have “nothing to say” as artists, we are grappling with what it is we do want to say. In struggling to find our sources of inspiration, we find ourselves. Another thing: drought doesn’t disqualify you as […]


Change

Creativity involves process, and process involves change. The truism we often hear is that we often resist change because change is difficult or change is painful. This is not quite accurate. It is the resistance to change that is difficult or painful. In the same way, it is the resistance to our creativity that causes us […]


Integrity

My heart holds integrity. I love integrity. I am authentic in my responses to people and events. I respond with dignity and courage from a core belief that I am worthy. My values are worthwhile. My principles are shaped by my inner knowing, not by my external circumstances. I bring to the changing flow of […]


Loneliness

Our mythology tells us that writers are loners. In fact, one of the most potent writer’s blocks I know is the fear of loneliness that people associate with the writing life. So much has been written about the loneliness of the writer’s lot that it feels like heresy to report the truth as I know […]


Leaping into the dark

Agnes de Mille put it this way: “Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.” I like that […]


Our “Body” of Work

Most blocked creatives are cerebral beings. We think of all the things we want to do, but can’t. Early in recovery, we next think of all the things we want to do but don’t. In order to effect a real recovery, one that lasts, we need to move out of the head and into a […]


Mentors

As we look for community, there are few people who are more valuable than mentors. I myself have– and have had– many mentors. Sister Julia Claire, my writing teacher from high school, is still a confidante and teacher of mine. Ninety-two years old, she is as sharp as ever, and can always be relied upon […]


Artistic Anorexia

Many artists have an addiction to anxiety in place of art. I think of this as artistic anorexia. Just as those with an eating disorder can become obsessed with not eating, so, too, an artist can become obsessed with not making art. Anxiety builds, and anxiety is addictive. We become habituated to negativity, yet the […]