Entry #19: Invisible Rules

I started a file in my notebook called Invisible Rules. It's for rules I've picked up along the way, that snuck right into my subconscious, unexamined. They promise hell to pay if I break them. I run into conscious rules all the time. But I know I've run into an Invisible Rule when I am [...]

Entry #18 Where the Art Comes From

The first story I ever wrote and showed to someone outside of my family was motivated by wanting to solve a very real problem I was seeing. The girls in my elementary school were particularly mean to each other and divided into factions. I preferred hanging out with people one on one, (and still usually [...]

Character Exploration (SaraJ)

I don't feel anything for him and I should. At least not anything good. I don't care about her anymore, and I should. I'm losing a good friend and mentor. Our relationship is already over. I won't even miss him. At least not for a while. I'll miss them. His mother. His father. His sisters. [...]

Entry #17: Impressions

Everybody gets a certain impression. Eventually, you get a feel for the impressions that people typically get of you. And you start to trust the impressions you first get of people. Loving, or wise, or stern, or distant, or kind, or curious, or what have you. Everybody gets a certain impression. And then it's like [...]

Entry #16: Who We Look Up To

So I'm reading this article about what builds self-confidence. What is it? Where does it come from? What strengthens it? So I can help my >clears throat< writer friend >avoids eye-contact< keep her confidence up when writing. Especially through the rough spots, The rough spots of getting the words onto the page. But also the [...]

Hostile Environments. Entry #15.

I can't do coffee shops. They never work for me. Not enough focused energy. It's all scattered coffee winos  chattering away about their day, or about the latest corporate blah blah blah, or the latest so and so in their circle to have an affair. People are rarely sharing anything real. Sit-down restaurants are better, [...]

Entry #14 – New Reasons to Write

I find myself less and less interested in the company of books. And less and less enthusiastic about losing myself in movies or TV series, even with the amazing stories we've had, and lost lately. I've become more and more interested in how we are connecting to each other outside of books, and theaters, and [...]

Entry #12: “That’s a Very Ambitious Goal, Young Lady.”

I had this Wylie Coyote moment. I was writing. I had a goal in mind. And a fellow writer, who I'll call Thomas, who was much, much, further along in his career, asked me what my goal was. I said, I'm writing a novel. He looked at me like he wanted to pat me on [...]

Entry #11: Make or Destroy

Pain needs an exit. A release valve. Just like desire. And any other primal human experience. It needs to be acknowledged, and then it needs a healthy life-giving way out. Or else. And we've been experiencing a lot of or else. Eating disorders, suicides, mass shootings, online bullying, opioid addiction, organized xenophobia, and on and [...]

Entry #10: When Someone Zaps Your Creative Energy

I don't know how it works exactly. I can't quite figure it out. I do know it takes skill. I'm talking to Person X. Everything is great. Friendly words are said. And then afterwards, I realize oh, I've just been stabbed with something. Only, I don't know what. All I know is I'm standing over [...]

Entry #9: Breaks.

I have given into taking a break. I would rather take a break once I've accomplished everything I think needs to be accomplished. But it is like all the systems just shut down, and I just need a break. It feels like a flaw. Like this is coming at the wrong time in the process. [...]

Entry #8: The Mentor Within.

I am at a point in the process of writing where everyone else's opinions sound like noise. One mentor contradicts another mentor. One role model contradicts another role model. And the loudest, and most confident voices around me, are the ones saying, forget about your own goals. Come work for me instead. All the clear [...]

Entry #7: Developing The Story.

I was in denial about being a writer. I had ideas. And characters. And worlds I wanted to get lost in. But I was sure that writing was a career for people who didn't just have ideas. They had stories. Fully formed, beginning to end, stories. This may be because teachers make writing sound really [...]

Entry #6: Writing When No One’s Listening

I think a lot about how stories are meant to be interactive. They are meant to be told person to person, face to face, or voice to voice. And live. The only stories that weren't were historical records of fact. And historical records of myth -- which I would call reflections of emotional and cultural [...]

Entry #5: Narrowing Down Projects. The One Question that Helps.

I am huddled away writing, in the wee early hours of the morning because, as happens sometimes, I cannot sleep. I need a sounding board. And, everyone is asleep. Even if they were awake, there are very few people who can happily listen to the many thoughts and ideas writers have, as often as they'd [...]

Entry #4: Friends, Allies and Enemies

My support system has had to change. This has been an uncomfortable part of the creative process. I've found it challenging, at times, to face the truth about where everyone, in my world, stands. I've found that to be more challenging than encountering new friends, allies, and enemies, along the way. I've been surprised by [...]

Entry #3: The Hero’s Journey, The Heroine’s Journey, and The Virgin’s Promise.

When I read the Heroine's Journey, it was the first time I felt like I was reading a story structure that reflected what I was actually going through. It was the first time I saw a model that said, yes, there was this moment when many of us had a realization that these qualities are [...]

Entry #2: The Real Deal About My Writer’s Block

I write for three reasons. To connect. To provide opportunities. To spark (or join) useful conversations. These are the only reasons that nudge me to write from within. And when I find myself stuck for long periods of time, it is always because I am trying to write for someone else's reasons.  And it is because [...]

Entry #1: Connecting… From a Distance.

I need to write about the process of writing. It helps me keep writing. This can be tricky when you also need to protect your process, and protect your project until it's fully formed. If you tell people you're writing a novel, they start asking a lot of very well-meaning questions. (Unless, of course, you [...]