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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Feel like you're falling short? It's time to get real.

Feel like you're falling short? It's time to get real.

Do you ever feel like you’re falling short of every writing rule that was ever written? You’re not writing every day or first thing in the morning. You’re not writing from 9 to 5 and when it comes to treating it like a job… well, not exactly.

Here’s the deal: That’s okay and I want to tell you why.

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A peek inside my writing process - rough drafts and revisions

A peek inside my writing process - rough drafts and revisions

When I was home from college, I'd sit at my childhood desk with a blank piece of paper before me, trying to come up with the perfect first sentence for a story. I didn't even know what I wanted to write, but I felt like the perfect first sentence was the key to getting started.

Under that kind of pressure, I didn't get very far. Now I know better.

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Lost your writing rhythm? Here's one simple way to get it back.

Lost your writing rhythm? Here's one simple way to get it back.

Have you been feeling frustrated because you were in the flow or you did have a writing rhythm, but now you feel like you've lost it? 

If so, you're not alone. I see writers struggle with this very thing anytime they've taken a break from their writing, transitioned from one phase of writing to another—like rough draft to revisions—or gone from one type of writing to another, like short stories to a novel. I also see it happen when writers feel like their day to day life has changed. The time they have available and their daily obligations are just different.

The good news is that you can find the flow again.

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Feel good about your writing.

Feel good about your writing.

The writing process has me thinking a lot about procrastination and the reasons we don't write. You know I think procrastination has little to do with a lack of discipline. It has more to do with the way we feel.

Think about it. Over time procrastination feels bad, like failure, laziness or some kind of character flaw. Like stagnation. From that place of yuckiness (because, really, that's what it is), it's hard to do anything.

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