Tag Archive - writing life

Think Small to Avoid Writer’s Block

Today’s post is by Jane Anne Staw

I recently gave a talk at a writers’ conference on thinking small to avoid writer’s block. After the talk, one of the participants approached me, laughing. “I know you’re right about small and writing. I went away for a month to finish my book. I promised myself a drink at the end of each writing day. By the second week, I wasn’t getting any writing done, so I decided that a drink at noon was OK. By the third week, when I still wasn’t writing, I told myself that a mimosa at breakfast was just fine!”

Many writers I’ve worked with have made similar discoveries about leaving too much time to write. By setting aside one month to write all day every day, the writer at the conference was thinking much too large. Very few writers can keep up their writing momentum for a full eight hours, day after day.

Not only can most writers not sustain this grueling momentum, committing themselves to this much writing time each day has a negative effect: it churns up a writer’s anxiety, making it much more difficult to sit down and write. That’s why, by the third week, the writer from the conference had not gotten any writing done. Continue Reading…

What’s Really Happening When You Think You Are Lazy

Today’s guest post is by Johannah Bogart.

I work with writers who get stuck while finishing their books. They explain it away by saying they are lazy. If they would just stop being lazy, according to them, they’d finish the book.

I don’t believe laziness exists. It is a label that shields us from our fears. With one client** I had, calling herself lazy was protecting her from having to face traumatic scenes from her marriage she knew she would be writing about.

With another, this mask of laziness was protecting her from facing another potential failure. She had already written a book that did not garner the reception she expected. Now, halfway through her second book, she thought her lack of motivation to finish meant she was lazy.

In a session, I asked her to sit quietly with herself and ask the question: “What does my laziness want for me that is positive?”
The client responded that her laziness wanted her to avoid being disappointed again. It wanted to protect her identity as being a good writer, which already felt partially taken from her. Continue Reading…

The Key to Unlocking Your Writing Potential

Today’s guest post is by Jason Binder.

We as humans love to be private. We don’t want the world around us to know what is going on in our lives. We keep our deepest, darkest secrets to ourselves. The problem is, this can eat at us. And eat at us to our very core, in fact.

While we all should have some level of privacy in our lives and for the well-being of our families, we often want to conceal our shortcomings, inadequacies, and mishaps from others. If we have no dark secrets to hide, then we should be less prone to live in the dark.

What if in our lives, in our interactions with other people, and even in our writing, we stepped out from the darkness and stepped into the land of vulnerability? In looking at synonyms for the word vulnerable, “defenselessness” is one word that pops up. This surely is not the context that I am speaking of here, and, truth is, we are more defenseless when we seek to hide in the dark and feel we need to run away from things that we are looking to cover up.

Another synonym for vulnerable is “openness.” What if we were more open—open with others and open with ourselves? Continue Reading…

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