The Biggest Thing Getting In The Way Of Your Writing

It’s a worst-case scenario for me: a client is M.I.A. She hasn’t submitted her first draft and isn’t responding to emails. No bueno. I reach out to the friend who referred me to her to find out what is going on. She hops on a call with my client and is able to identify a block. Or rather, an error of … Read More

Fear Part 4: My Book Is Gonna Suck And Be Boring

Maybe you’re floundering in the vast, Mojave desert of being halfway through a first draft. Maybe you’re hiding under your desk, trying to work up the courage to start. Maybe you’re proofreading the back cover of your completely finished book that’s going to print in five minutes. It doesn’t matter where you are in the process, the paralyzing fear that … Read More

What Do You Want To Say?

What Do You Want To Say? One of the problems we can encounter with writing is that sometimes the passion we have for our topic doesn’t translate onto the page. You know what you want to say, but when you sit down to write, all of a sudden you draw a blank. You can’t decide what to include and what … Read More

Writing Is Hard And Painful

When I was a young punk getting my MFA in Memoir (they have those in New York), we would go to a seedy bar near 68th and Lexington after our workshops to bemoan our existence. “The writing is just so hard,” I would say. Nods from my compatriots. A round of tequilas. “And…it’s just…so painful,” I would follow up. Nods … Read More

Fear Part 3: What Will People Think

Fear Part 3: What Will People Think

One of the fastest ways to get creatively blocked and stalled in your writing is to imagine your audience–a swarm of anonymous readers, ex-partners, and your mom–all judging and jeering from the sidelines. The fear of what people will think is a sneaky, slippery fear because it can muddy the waters of a genuinely beneficial intention: how do I write … Read More

The Trouble With Following Your Passion

Here’s the thing no one ever tells you about your passion. It’s not always obvious. It’s not always right there IN YOUR FACE. It’s not always something you have loved since you were a little kid. And… You may not even be any good at it. Not yet, anyway. First, you have got to start practicing. I was 33 before … Read More

Befriend Your Resistance

::: GUEST POST by Tanya Marquardt • Published Mar 1, 2017 ::: Once I wrote an entire play just to avoid the play I was supposed to be writing. Let me explain. I had pitched a play idea to a company, gotten a commission, outlined a first draft, and because I was in my early twenties with no responsibilities and … Read More

Firewalking Is Like Writing A Book

Valentine’s Day a couple of years ago, I took myself firewalking. Something about it being on Valentine’s Day made it seem like the most appropriate and perfect way to spend the evening. And I was interested in establishing a new love for myself rather than always fulfilling my love needs through a man. I was also recovering from a devastating breakup, … Read More

Fear Part 2: I Have Nothing Valuable To Say

For our second installment of The Fear Series, we’re tackling another doozy. The fear of having nothing of value to say. This fear has underpinnings in self-worth, so if you haven’t read Fear Part 1, it’s worth a review. Having something valuable to say is not about being the smartest person in the room, being liked, or impressing anyone. Those are … Read More

Fear Part 1: I’m not good enough

Fear is the archnemesis of creative work. So often, it’s the thing standing between you and writing your book. And, just our luck, fear manifests in all kinds of forms. So, we’re going to help you face the many-headed hydra with a series of posts designed to put fear in its place beginning with this paralyzing punch to the gut: … Read More