I have a confession… I have not been writing.

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While all my writer friends are hunched over notebooks and computers, bustling and toiling, penning lines and crumpling them up, or even just jotting down ideas, I’ve been over here… not… doing that.

Since finishing my novel in December, the last creative writing I did (excluding blog posts, which are more article-y or journal-y than creative, um, -y) was a 1000-word fiction in March, that I didn’t post because I’m submitting for publication. Oh, and those one-line stories I did in April, if those count. Otherwise… *crickets*

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You are allowed to write badly.

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We’ve probably all heard the adage, “Give yourself permission to write crap,” but I want to talk about it because it’s such an important one. We must face the inevitability that not every word we type will be fabulous, and that’s okay. We are allowed to be imperfect. Welcome it, embrace it. It’s your right as a human.

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Show up, have faith, let go – writing wisdom from Julia Cameron

Two years ago I read an amazing book called “The Right to Write” by Julia Cameron, full of warm-hearted wisdom about the creative process, self-doubt, self-criticism, and motivation. I’ve recommended this book to a number of writers since then, and decided today I would share the notes I took while reading, in hopes that you find them as encouraging as I did.

(These are part quotes, part summaries, typed here exactly as I penned them in my notebook. I’ve made bold the ones that most resonated with me.)

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Next time, muse, I’ll need to see a doctor’s note. (Repost)

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It’s one of those days again. You’ve sat down at your desk, all set to work, but… Groan. Your muse has called in sick. Last time it was a dead car battery, and before that, the dog ate its homework. Whatever the reason, your muse is gone and you’re left high and dry.

Yup, it’s that infamous writer’s block. Here is a list of handy solutions for the next time it happens to you.

You can…

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Guys? I think… I think my block is gone

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I don’t want to jinx myself here, so hold on a second while I throw this industrial sized salt package over my shoulder…

… Phew, alright! I’ll clean up all that salt later.

So anyway, yes, the block that I mournfully discussed here is, I believe, gone. I don’t know if writing so pointedly about my block worked some kind of psychological voodoo on it, or if it was the redirection of my attitude, or the fact that I got myself back into a routine, but either way, I’m in a good place. Writing makes me happy again. 🙂

Part of what had blocked me so much was my own perfectionism. I felt pressured to “make it good.” Not to mention how taxing the book already was on me, with its daunting plot and other demands. I was working so hard that I forgot to enjoy myself.

So, what do I enjoy about writing?

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Just keep trudging

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When I started my current (second) novel, I was all momentum, all burning excitement. Twenty thousand words practically wrote themselves. I was on a downhill sled with the wind hitting my face so fast that it chapped my lips and watered my eyes, but damn was it fun.

That was mid 2013. After about 20k words, I put it on hold so I could focus on finishing my first book. Then I had to edit, and I wanted a break for a couple months to recharge, so I didn’t pick up the second novel again until mid 2014.

I got on my sled and did that thing sledders do where they push with their feet, scooting bit by awkward bit towards the precipice where gravity would then take over. But nothing happened. There was no hill, just flat ground. The words that came so easily before were stuck.

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I call it an appling hook. Like a grappling hook, but for apples.

appleAah! My last post got a lot of new followers to the blog. Thanks guys! You’re awesome! I guess people benefited from my sage advice. I really should charge money for this.

I’m feeling a bit of pressure to deliver something worthwhile for the new folks, to prove their click of the follow button wasn’t just a freak finger spasm. But what should I post about? I decided to compile a list of ideas for future blogging. They are:

  1. Apples! What are my opinions on them?? How do they work??
  2. A tutorial for how to put your pants on without getting one leg stuck in the hole and falling over. Still haven’t mastered this but perhaps I can blog about the learning process.
  3. ………….
  4. Apples again????

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Next time, muse, I’ll need to see a doctor’s note

writers block

It’s one of those days again. You’ve sat down at your desk, all set to work, but… Groan. Your muse has called in sick. Last time it was a dead car battery, and before that, the dog ate its homework. Whatever the reason, your muse is gone and you’re left high and dry.

Yup, it’s that infamous writer’s block. Here is a list of handy solutions for the next time it happens to you.

You can…

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Startin’ blogs and takin’ names

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Alright, first entry to this blog! I’m pumped, are you pumped? Let’s do this.

So what is this blog even about? Well, I write stuff. You know, words and things. Sentences even! The “About” section will give you a more in-depth vision of who I am and what I do, but essentially I’m an author of novels, short stories, essays, and poems. This blog will be my way of getting some of my material out into the world, and sharing my experiences as I venture down the path of submissions, queries, and publication.

Well, I suppose that’s enough for a first post. I certainly don’t want to keep you. Things to do, places to be.

… Oh, that was basically just one paragraph? Man! Writing is hard!

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