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Category > creative life

Back to Basics, Part 2 – Your Pinch of Arsenic

This is Part 2 in a series of posts chronicling the journey of one writer from self-defeat and creative paralysis back to a love of writing and productivity, heavily inspired by Ray Bradbury’s excellent Zen in the Art of Writing. You can read Part 1 here.  “I have learned, on my journeys, that if I […]

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Back to Basics, Part 1 – What Would Ray Do?

There comes a time in the life of a writer when the keyboard is made of lava and every keystroke burns. There may be a thousand reasons for this—it might be the rejection that broke the camel’s back, or an all-consuming project that sapped the author’s mojo longer than could be sustained. It might be […]

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What, Me Worry? Absolutely.

Last time I blogged about dealing with guilt in our creative endeavours, inspired by the words of best selling self help guru Wayne Dyer. His philosophy is that guilt is a useless emotion. He makes the same claim about worry. “It makes no sense to worry about things you have no control over because there’s […]

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Guilt is a Useless Emotion

Write every day! Keep your butt in the chair! Reach your word count! Write, write, write! We’re writers and writers write, but occasionally something comes up that prevents us from writing. Even if there’s a good reason for it, we still can feel guilty for not following the writer’s creed. Wayne Dyer first introduced me […]

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What Stage Are YOU In?

I know this blog post (told in gifs–oh, you’ve got to go check it out!) is about first novels, but I think a lot of the feelings are the same, no matter how many books you’ve written. Today I am SO: But yesterday I was hiding under the couch. How are your projects going?

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Be Your Own Sous Chef (or: Screw You, Burnout)

Ever have that experience where you just finished a project and you sit down to start another piece and … there’s nothing in there? There are no characters playing around in the back of your mind. No images floating around in your heart. No worlds waiting for you play in. Or maybe there is some small thing, […]

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Three Things Make My Writing Life

There are really not a lot of absolute rules for writing, just a bunch of guidelines and advice from other writers — “this is what works for me.” It’s up to each of us to distill all of this collegial advice and our own experiences into something that “works for me.” So I’ve been blogging […]

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You’re a Beautiful Grain of Sand, by J. C. Hutchins

Oh, you silly, naive little thing. You want to be a writer. Didn’t you get the memo? The pay is lousy. If you’re with the Big Six-Now-Five, your publisher will barely promote your stuff (and you’ll never earn out your advance). If you self-publish, your wordbaby will be lost in a sea of other self-pubbed […]

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Hot Baths in the Desert (Dealing with Anxiety)

I’ve been taking a lot of hot baths lately. Long ones. Often with a bowl full of grapes to eat (seriously) and always with a book. It’s my coping mechanism when anxiety hits. My son constantly chides me about the book part; he doesn’t approve of the curl of moistened pages, finds it disrespectful to […]

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Follow These Five Principles to Writing Mastery (in 10,000 hours or less!)

I like the concept of the 10,000 Hour Rule, made famous by Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers. Boiled down to its essence, it states that 10,000 hours of practice leads to expertise or mastery of a skill. The Rule is overly simplistic and not universally applicable, but it highlights the importance of hard work as a […]

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