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Who Writes Your Stories?

Many times, I have sat down to write with a plan in my head of how an article or novel chapter should be, and when I’ve finished writing it is something very different to what I’d imagined. Writers talk about this frequently. Fiction writers often say that a character wouldn’t do what they wanted, or that the characters took over …

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The Friday Review: The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

Although The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron has similarities to the books about the writing process that I’ve reviewed so far, it also has significant differences. For Cameron, as well as Anne Lamott and Natalie Goldberg writing is process of becoming conscious. None of them tell you how to create the perfect plot that will propel you to fame and …

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Mindfulness for Writers (or for Anyone)

What does kindness have to do with mindfulness or even with writing? And just what exactly is mindfulness? I’ll answer that second question first. There are many definitions of mindfulness, but the one I like best comes from Kristin Neff: “we hold our experience in balanced awareness, rather than ignoring our pain or exaggerating it.” (You can read my review …

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Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott: A Review

At first, Bird by Bird seems a strange title for a book about writing. And, well, yes it is. Possibly if it was about to be published for the first time today its publisher would have demanded a new title, something more search-engine friendly. Thankfully, in 1994, when Anne Lamott’s book first arrived on the shelves of booksellers, the internet …

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The No-Na-No diary: This Moment is All We Have

I’m not sure if this is part of my No-Na-No diary, or just some random thoughts –  but here goes. I am so, so pleased to have taken the pressure of myself and decided not to force words that don’t need to come. The last two days I have carried on working on the novel I began for NaNoWriMo, at …

Lessons in Writing From a Mouse

This mouse is my new guru. I came across it on Facebook and it has had me captivated for days, helped me rethink my approach to novel writing and reminded me of what’s important in life. I’ve already shared this video on Facebook and included it in a post on my other blog, but this time it’s getting a post …

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NaNoWriMo Diary. Putting Pen to Paper.

I’ve started. It’s only the 2nd of November and I have written 170 words so far of this year’s NaNoWriMo novel. Last year I didn’t bother at all, and the year before that the month was halfway through before I put pen to paper. Or, more accurately, before I tapped the keyboard and formed some words on a – what …

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Review of Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

When my children were younger one of their favourite questions to ask was, “What’s your favourite…?” Colour, animal, type of chocolate, singer, television series that I never watched but they did – it didn’t matter what it was, they wanted to know my favourite. And I’d sit there, saying, “Um… I don’t know. I don’t really have a favourite.” “But …

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Is it Writer’s Block or a Writing Break?

Sometimes when a writer hasn’t written much for a while he or she can feel stuck, unable to write, convinced no words will every flow from the pen or keyboard again. This feeling of being stuck is so common that we have the extremely familiar term “writer’s block.” Dozens, maybe even hundreds, of books have been written about how to …

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7 Ways To Help You Write When You Feel Depressed

My first daughter was six months old when I began studying for an MA in Creative Writing. I wrote in snatches when she slept – which wasn’t often – and I was often exhausted. Towards the end of the second term, I was pregnant again. I was allowed an intermission and also planned to find a  babysitter for our older daughter for when the intermission …