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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Sometimes, You Need to Go Off Track to Find Your Way in Writing

Sometimes, You Need to Go Off Track to Find Your Way in Writing

One of the things I frequently hear from writers is a sense of dismay at how long the writing process can be. They want to find the quickest, most efficient way through so they can finish (and publish) their short story, essay, or book.

I get it. I'm in the process of writing something that's growing (perhaps into a novel, though I'm not ready to call it that). I catch myself thinking about just how loooong this process could be.

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The Importance of Calling Yourself a Writer

The Importance of Calling Yourself a Writer

There's this funny thing people do (myself included) when it comes to titles. We ascribe them to only the most successful people. You're a skier if you go out every chance you get, have been doing it your whole life, or win competitions. You're a writer if you're extensively published (national level is, of course, best and regional or local is suspect at best). 

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Hit a curve in the writing road? Try this.

Hit a curve in the writing road? Try this.

One day, a novel writer in my Writer’s Voice Mastermind group came to me with a challenge. She’d been going along just fine, the story seeming to pour out of her. All of a sudden, things got fuzzy. 

“It’s like I’ve been going along on a straightaway, and all of a sudden there’s this curve in the road,” she said. Things slowed down, she couldn’t tell what was around the bend, and she had no idea how to move forward.

A few days later, the other novel writer in the program came to me and said the exact same thing. “I seem to have hit this curve

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The discipline myth and the truth about procrastination.

The discipline myth and the truth about procrastination.

Time and again, I hear this from writers: "If I just had more discipline I would..."

Write my book. Finish the book I started. Write those essays I dream of writing.

But when has discipline alone worked to accomplish anything? It's not going to keep you on your diet unless you really want to feel healthier and you believe you can stick to it. It's not going to help you train for a marathon unless you really want to know what it's like to run across the finish line and you think you've got what it takes. Discipline will not help you write a book unless you're feeling inspired and committed to getting it done.

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