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CONNECTION

We write to express ourselves, but we also write to connect. Connection is a primary human need. From cave dwellers onward, we scratched our message into stone, hoping that it would be read and understood. As we became more adroit at expression, the messages that we sent became more complex. “I am here and you […]


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 […]


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, […]


Keep the Drama on the Page

Drama belongs on the page. We have a mythology which tells us writers’ lives are dramatic, but this mythology does not serve us. Writers’ lives are best non-dramatic. It serves us to keep drama at bay. Today I woke up tired and crabby. I didn’t fall asleep until 2:30 AM, and this morning I was […]


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; […]


Lowering the Stakes

All too often, when we think of writing a project, we think of writing the whole project, and we find ourselves daunted. “I’d like to write a novel,” we think, “but it’s so much work, and what if it doesn’t sell?” Thinking this way, we talk ourselves out of our creativity. We have set the […]


Let Yourself Write

If we didn’t have to worry about being published and being judged, how many of us would write a novel just for the joy of making one? Why should we think of writing a novel as something we couldn’t try– the way an amateur carpenter might build a simple bookcase or even a picnic table? […]


What to do with Morning Pages?

I say that Morning Pages are a form of meditation. And just as we cannot repeat a meditation, we do not need to review our Morning Pages. I often joke, “First cremate the pages, then worry about the body.” I have had people burn, shred, and bury their Morning Pages. Speaking for myself, I saved […]


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 […]


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. […]