deep play
EVERY TWO WEEKS, I send out a writing tip and three soul-inviting prompts as inspiration for you to freewrite, either alone with your timer or in a gathering of writer friends. The resulting deep play opens up whole new landscapes of creative possibility for our writing and our lives. If you are new to this kind of writing practice, have a look at the freewriting principles. And to take your writing to the next level, check out the mentoring sessions I offer, which are helpful whether you are working on a book or just beginning to find your voice.   [read more]

WRITING TIP: Take care that what you feed your mind nourishes your soul.

WRITING TIP: Take care that what you feed your mind nourishes your soul.
Many of us avoid junk food but are indiscriminate about the kind of junk we allow into our consciousness, letting anything recommended by friends or the media or our Facebook feed have free reign. This is a mistake. As writers, our mind and heart is the source of our work, and if we fill it with cliches, violent images and negative stories that drain us of life, we don’t have the inner resources to produce fresh, life-affirming work. Author Rob Breszney offers this advice for nourishment: “Seek to feed yourself exclusively with the images, sounds, stories, and food that truly satisfy your primal hunger rather than the stuff that other people like or think you should like.”

WRITING PROMPT: I want to kiss…

WRITING PROMPT: I want to kiss...

WRITING PROMPT: From the ice…

WRITING PROMPT: From the ice...

WRITING PROMPT: A secret…

WRITING PROMPT: A secret...

WRITING TIP: Use and acknowledge your influences

WRITING TIP: Use and acknowledge your influences.
Everyone wants to be original and we think of plagerism as a kind of sin, but we can take this too far. Mark Twain reminds us to avoid getting too proud and sure about our originality, because nothing we create is really just ours: “When a great orator makes a great speech you are listening to ten centuries and ten thousand men – but we call it his speech, and really some exceedingly small portion of it is his. But not enough to signify. It is merely a Waterloo. It is Wellington’s battle, in some degree, and we call it his; but there are others that contributed. It takes a thousand men to invent a telegraph, or a steam engine, or a phonograph, or a telephone or any other important thing – and the last man gets the credit and we forget the others. He added his little mite – that is all he did. These object lessons should teach us that ninety-nine parts of all things that proceed from the intellect are plagiarisms, pure and simple; and the lesson ought to make us modest. But nothing can do that.”

WRITING PROMPT: Rusted shut…

WRITING PROMPT: Rusted shut...

WRITING PROMPT: Shimmy just a little…

WRITING PROMPT: Shimmy just a little...

WRITING PROMPT: Too tender…

WRITING PROMPT: Too tender...

WRITING TIP: Meet your own standards — not someone else’s.

WRITING TIP: Mett your own standard's - not someone else's.
Many of us are intimidated by writing, thinking we need to write “literature,” or meet the exacting standards of some imaginary panel of experts. While learning about craft can be a valuable pursuit, adopting standards that are not your own takes you away from your center of gravity and the source of your real work. You don’t have to be highbrow or meet the standards of an invisible judging panel: writing doesn’t have to be a contest of virtuosity. You can do it to learn and to communicate. You can do it for fun. I like Ray Bradbury’s advice to aspiring writers: “I don’t want you to be a snob about anything. Anything you love, you do it. It’s got to be with a great sense of fun. Writing is not a serious business. It’s a joy and a celebration. You should be having fun with it. … It’s not work. If it’s work, stop and do something else.”

WRITING PROMPT: Armour of virtue…

WRITING PROMPT: Armour of virtue...