A Writing Meditation

A cherry with water dropletsAs you begin your writing project – or have a day where you just can’t get focused – try this ten-minute meditation to get yourself on track. It can be done in silence or with restful music playing in the background. Make yourself comfortable, close your eyes, and imagine yourself in a favorite place in nature… Continue reading

Writing in Two Worlds

A boy crying on a trail as Mom continues with the hikeWriting for ourselves and writing for others are two very different things, they are two very different worlds. Especially writing from our pain, we need to allow ourselves  to feel its authenticity and hear its message, then we need to express it in a way that will have meaning for others.

Think of it as an argument with a loved one. We may feel hurt, anger, or frustration on the inside, but if we dump all that on the other person, it is more likely to shut down our communication rather than enhance it. We have a better opportunity to affect the other person in a positive way if we move beyond our emotion to tact, respectfulness, openness, and calm. Continue reading

Writing with the Door Closed

a colorful doorIn his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, Stephen King speaks about writing with “the door open” and with “the door closed.” His first several drafts are always with the door closed – meaning they are seen by no one but him – then, when he is happy with the result he opens the door to see how it reads to others. There is a distinction between writing what you want to say and writing what will compel others to keep reading and appreciate your point.

For example, I wrote Chapter 3 of Finding Eagle in a day, then took dozens of iterations over more than a year to get it “right.” I wrote the first draft with the door closed. It detailed precisely all my complaints about my life, eloquently explained the state I was in, and whined interminably about what my life had done to me. It said what I needed to say. Then, and only then, began the painstaking process of writing the chapter in such a way as to give the reader an understanding of my plight, but without driving them to put down the book in boredom and depression. I needed to write about depression without being depressing. And that is the difference between writing for yourself and writing Continue reading

Uncovering Your Life Story

art picture of a young woman modeling downtownIt can be a long path from deciding to write a book to really knowing what your book is about. A friend of mine once said, “It is impossible to NOT tell our own story.” Whatever tale we spin, anecdote we choose to retell, or quirky fact we feel drawn to share, there is a part of us being revealed. When we write our story based on our life experience, I guarantee there is more to that story than meets the eye.

One of my coaching clients, as a seasoned golf pro, is about to release a book on golf (The Golf Letters by Ann Loughlin). This book began as a card file of anecdotes that came from her years of experience playing and teaching golf around the country and with colorful people. As her book came together, it turned out there was more to these stories than entertainment – they were part of her message Continue reading