Tag Archives: writing mentor

Do You Have A Story To Tell?

By story I simply mean expressive urge to share your experience through words. Be it a poem, a story story, a memoir, an essay, a screen play, a blog post–do you have something to say, a song to sing through words? Why aren’t you writing it? I’ve found in my own experience and with my clients, a consistent writing discipline is the hardest thing to overcome. Our fear and self doubt coupled with the busyness of contemporary life conspire to keep us from the page.

There is a solution. But first you really really need to want to do it. Is that a double affirmative? You almost have to have a nagging obsessive NEED to write. If you are to be successful. And by successful, I mean complete a writing project, be that a collection of poems, short stories, essays, a novel, screen play, whatever–but completed–fully! And edited–professionally! What happens after that is addressed in a future post. For now we want to hit the page. We HAVE to hit the page!

Something is burning within us and it must be set free. Otherwise go weed the garden, or do the dishes, or amble on down to the county fair and ride the Ferris wheel (all things I avoid doing so I can write). There’s lots of other stuff to do in this life. For writers, to write is to breathe forth the words of the soul–to mirror out from the depths of your own unique experience. It’s an exploration and adventure, and at times a tough slog through the muck of resistance.

It’s partly about habits. Changing the listless bedraggled and avoiding neural networks in your brain, for ones that light up when you have a pen in your hand, or are dangling your fingers above the keyboard like an exquisite pianist. They light up anew with that fantastic new idea for what your main character ate for breakfast, and how she held her fork in that funny way with her left hand as if she were going to pound her fist on the table, while in the other she held a pale yellow pencil she kept sliding through the creases in her strawberry braids. Bing. There they go lighting up again! But don’t wait for them to do so. You must MAKE them BLAZE! Practice damnit! Stop thinking about it, shut up and write already!!

Learn more about how to craft and market your story in my upcoming online writing course Brilliant Writer: A Master Class for Successful Writers. Coming soon!

Writers are people who write!

This seems obvious, doesn’t it? But the truth is most of us creative writers, wannabe and newbie writers struggle with the issue of simply putting words to paper consistently. We can talk a good game, we can hem and haw, and dream, babble, blame, hesitate, masticate, pontificate and spool an endless stream of reasons why we didn’t get around to writing today. “Work, work, work, I’m just soooo busy at work.” “A family issue came up.” “I’m too tired.” (try that one consistently in your relationship and see how long it lasts)!

Sorry, your relationship with writing is only slightly different than your relationship with people! My personal favorite “I’m not feeling it, there’s just nothing there right now.” And on it goes driving us further and further away from our dream of seeing our ideas have a positive influence on other people and the world. Please don’t forget writing is a practice, like walking, or riding a bike. Once you finally surrender and start doing it all the time, it doesn’t feel like a thing you have to practice, it just feels like you are engaging with life. You get good by doing, not by fantasizing.

I feel silly repeating what so many have said before me, but maybe I feel I have to since I finally turned a corner in my own writing. I think I must have crossed the 10,000 hour mark. (According to Malcom Gladwell, in order to get proficient at something you have to practice it for 10,000 hours). That’s a lot of hours. I was trying to calculate up all the time I spent writing, editing, and re-writing my recent memoir. Even pushing it, I came up with only about 3,000 hours. That would be 8 hours a day for 365 days. I max out writing at four hours a day four or five days a week. Do the math. Yes it took me four something years. Fortunately I could add in the twelve to fifteen years I have joyfully spent writing poetry. Hard to calculate exactly, but I figure I’m damn close to 10,000 hours.

But whose counting, I mean really, we’re in it for the love of process and imaginative discovery or not at all. There’s lot of other things to do with our time as human beings, but I can’t think of anything more rewarding than sharing one’s take on this exquisitely magical, twisted, gorgeously bumbling, wounded, perpetually healing, world—and how I happen to experience it. I simply have fun seeing what I think, and exploring tweaks of language to make it a bit more yummy and compelling for the reader.

I’m here to help expand consciousness a hair in the right, positive direction. I write to laugh and to cry and to love-out, and truth-out loud on the page. And besides that I write to write, there need not be a reason, but there definitely need be a consistent practice! So get on it friends, write in the face  of fear and resistance and see fear and resistance wither in the presence of your commitment to write!

Take your writing commitment to the next level with my upcoming online course Brilliant Writer: The Master Class for Successful Writers

Who needs a writing coach?

Who needs a writing coach? How about everybody. Though some people might call them an editor, some of the best editors are really coaches–and many will resist the idea that they need one at all. But who among the most successful writers has not had a mentor, supportive professor, brilliant editor, that was really disguised as a coach? Call them what you may (I prefer coach)–I think of them as a necessary element of any successful writers career.

I know I would never have gotten my books completed and published without the support of a writing coach. The best coaches act as advocate, inspiration, guide, motivator, cheerleader, accountability partner, confidante, and ass-kicker. They are there to see you through the grim sticky waves of doubt, the debilitating blocks, the blinding seizures brought on by staring too long at the tundra of the blank page. They help carry you through to success, whatever that might mean for you!