I recently discovered the engaging, wide-ranging podcast Future Thinkers, and listening to one of their episodes from a couple years ago led me to the book The Surrender Experiment by Michael A. Singer. This book tells the fascinating story of the decision Singer made as a young man to "surrender" to whatever life brought to him,… Continue reading Is Surrender Always Spiritual?
Lots of people carry in their heads the image of the tortured artist: the writer/painter/musician whose brilliant artistic achievements spring from a soil rich with personal failures, miseries, addictions, and/or mental illnesses. Writing guru Julia Cameron persuasively argues that creativity does not require depression. Or agony. That well-adjusted artists are, actually, quite successful and productive--maybe even more so than the… Continue reading Do Negative Emotions Sharpen Perception?
Is it just me, or do most off days seem to be Mondays? It's strange, because my Sundays seem so inspirational. I spend time with my family and read for pleasure. Usually that reading leads to one or two "aha!" moments, in which I jot down the solution to a problem that's been plaguing me for the past… Continue reading Mondays
I'm going to go out on a limb here and tell you an embarrassing habit of mine. When I'm trying to get some perspective on a piece I'm revising--trying to step back and see where improvements can still be made, where it's not quite up to par--I pull a book off one of my shelves. I… Continue reading A Silly Writing Habit That Works
In my last post, I discussed how the unconscious nature of much of what a writer does can induce fear and insecurity: doubt that one will ever be able to do it again. Now obviously writers are able to do it again and again. That's why authors' names are quite often printed larger than the titles of their books. We… Continue reading The Slave Driver and the Muse
Everyone who is a writer or knows a writer is aware of how terrifying it can be to sit down in front of a blank page. Why? A carpenter doesn't look at a bare cinderblock foundation, drop his tool belt, and run away screaming. A chef doesn't look at an empty frying pan and despair. Why does the… Continue reading The Reason for the Writer’s Terror