Struggling as a writer? Congratulations!

I’ve been struggling lately in my writing. Struggling to make my readers understand. Struggling to understand why they don’t understand when the words on the page are so clear to me. Struggling to find ways to convey moments I’ve never seen anyone else try to paint on the page.

It has been so bad of late, in fact, that a few days ago I wrote an “I don’t think I want to torture myself this way any more” note to my online critique group.

I got back lots of lovely words of support and offers to help that, I’m sad to admit, didn’t help. What did help (please suspend judgment on what I’m about to say until I tell you why) was when another member of the group posted that she had struggled and struggled and struggled with a scene, then given up and moved to a different project. Followed by the email from a member of a different group, wailing that her new agent just sent her some unbelievable observations about two manuscripts. What do you mean there’s not enough sexual tension? What do you mean there’s not a strong enough hook? Can’t you read?


The Artist Date: Recharging the creative batteries

About a decade ago, when I was still struggling with the emotional blocks that interfered with actually writing the novels I’d spent my life dreaming about, a friend recommended Julia Cameron’s superb book “The Artist’s Way.” The book got me unblocked and introduced me to several creative practices that continue to enrich my life today. One practice that had slipped away from me, however, is something Julia calls the “Artist Date.” It’s a little time for you to spend with you, recharging the creative juices. It can be almost anything that inspires you, from a visit to an art gallery

Writers: The world’s most gifted artists

Of all the world’s artists, I think God (or The Universe, if you prefer) must love writers best.  Think about it: He gave color to painters, form to sculptors, motion and sound to actors, smell to perfumers, and taste to chefs. But to writers he gave words, and with just the right ones we can give our readers every color, motion, sound, aroma, taste and touch the world has ever known – and the ability to experience all of them from the comfort of a cozy armchair. This, in fact, is why people read novels. Not just to go on

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