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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

How to write five chapters in three days

How to write five chapters in three days

You know those moments when an idea comes fully formed? It's like it drops out of the sky, and once you begin writing, the momentum carries you forward.

They can feel few and far between, can't they? But the truth is, you can increase the chances of it happening.

Read More

Putting your inner critic in perspective.

Putting your inner critic in perspective.

Last week, I sent my writing partner the next installment of my work, and like always, I told her that I had no idea what I'd written. That I'd slipped into that frame of mind where I went back and forth between loving it and thinking there was nothing there.

I do this every time, and I've begun to recognize a pattern in my writing process: The excitement I feel about a story idea is what gets me to the page. My curiosity about what happens next keeps me going. Yet somewhere along the way I begin to oscillate between two emotional states: 

Read More