Are your habits making or breaking your writing?

Are your habits making or breaking your writing?

A writer and friend of mine will openly tell you that, sometimes, she doesn't write because she gets sucked into Netflix or solitaire. 

I love her honesty, because let's face it, we all have our vices

Mine also begins with N followed by etflix, yet if you were to ask me what I'd rather do—write or watch TV—I'd say writing every time. So why do I so often choose TV?

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How I know you can trust the writing process and yourself to follow through.

How I know you can trust the writing process and yourself to follow through.

As a coach, I often find myself making suggestions that go against the grain of conventional writing advice.

You don't have to write every day.
Write the book you want to write, not the one you think will sell.
Write to find out what happens, not because you know what happens.


Yet as unconventional as these ideas might be, I trust them wholeheartedly.

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One of my favorite tools to write more and feel better about writing.

One of my favorite tools to write more and feel better about writing.

When I was in graduate school, I sometimes sat in front of my lap top (usually in bed because I never could write at a desk) and felt the frustration build. I didn't know what happened next and I needed to know so I could turn in my assignment!

In those days, the way I felt about my writing dictated how it went. If I felt clear and focused, I got things done without a hitch. When I wasn't so sure or doubted my abilities, the only thing that kept me going was a good deadline. 

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How I keep disappointment in perspective.

How I keep disappointment in perspective.

As a writing coach, I've seen the heartbreak of writing up close. 

I know. We don't talk about that part of the process very often, but here's what it can look like:

  • You share your manuscript with a friend and they return it, saying they couldn't get past the first three chapters and failing to offer any helpful advice

  • Your award-winning manuscript gets rejected by agents

  • You feel like you've been writing forever, and you STILL haven't finished your book or landed an assignment

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Finding your way by understanding the life cycle of a piece.

Finding your way by understanding the life cycle of a piece.

Do you ever find yourself thinking something like the following? My first draft isn't very good, and it's nothing like the story I imagined. Getting feedback to my writing, even thoughtful input, is hard to take. And what the heck am I doing, given the way I have no idea how to finish what I've started?

You're not alone.

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Writers, worried about time? The answer might be different than you think.

Writers, worried about time? The answer might be different than you think.

Have you noticed how writers like to talk about time? As in, I just don't have enough time to write. Or I can't wait until I have more time—then I'm going to write. Or I really need to make use of the time I have.

Time is a precious commodity. But I've been coaching writers long enough to know that, most often, our fascination with it is a distraction and a smokescreen.

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Always give your writing time away? Read this.

Always give your writing time away? Read this.

Do you schedule time for writing and then give it away? Perhaps someone asks you to coffee, your volunteer gig asks for more, or maybe you say yes to watching the grandkids one more day a week. 

If so, here's what I know: Those commitments are important to you and you want to say yes. But you get frustrated because writing takes a back seat. It's not an obligation, and no one is waiting for you to do it. 

I also know that you can do both. 

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How not writing brought me back to what matters most at the page.

How not writing brought me back to what matters most at the page.

I have a confession. I didn’t write for most of January, or even in late December. And it was the best decision I could have made for my writing and for me.
 
First, the context. Just before the holidays, my man and I put our dog down. She was nearly 14. She’d had a lung tumor for over a year and back problems that ended up being the final culprit. But she had this spunky personality till the end, so we never knew if we had a month left with her or if she was gunning for another year. 
 
Either way, I knew I'd be sad.

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Feeling frustrated with your writing progress? I invite you to shift your focus.

Feeling frustrated with your writing progress? I invite you to shift your focus.

Do you ever feel disappointed or frustrated with your writing? Maybe you feel like you should be further in your writing project.

In my work as a writing coach I talk to a lot of writers who express a similar frustration. Some of them go so far as to apologize to me for not having it figured out by now, as if I would be disappointed in them.
 

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The #1 insight that will keep you coming back to the page.

The #1 insight that will keep you coming back to the page.

Do you ever struggle to make time for writing? (Even as I type that, I know the answer. We're all human after all.) 

Procrastination and avoidance are human traits, and yet so often I see writers turn the struggle to write into something far worse: evidence they're not meant to write.

If they say they like to write but they're not making time for it, maybe they're not really writers. Sound familiar?

Here's the thing. I don't buy it.

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