Are You Scared of Bright Shiny Books?

If you’ve been to an art gallery, especially an art gallery showing anything remotely modern or abstract expressionist, you’ve probably heard someone say “Pssh. That looks like something I could have done.” Maybe you’ve said it yourself: “I could have done that.” OK, but you didn’t. Maybe that’s a hum-dinger to ponder. I can’t speak… Continue reading Are You Scared of Bright Shiny Books?

How to Really Transport Your Reader

When we read a story, we get transported to someplace. For this to happen, people talk about the need for the reader to have a willing suspension of disbelief. This phrase came from Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the Romantic writer. “In this idea originated the plan of the ‘Lyrical Ballads’; in which it was agreed, that… Continue reading How to Really Transport Your Reader

Folktales Can Reboot Your Love of Storytelling Craft

The three act structure. The hero’s journey. Ah, fine, whatever. Study them as part of your love of story craft because you love it. Not because they offer the right way to tell a tale. To write a correct story is to write a dull and lifeless story. Correct stories are too safe. For me,… Continue reading Folktales Can Reboot Your Love of Storytelling Craft

Try Writing Pure Nonsense for the Rest of the Day

I’m a freewriting evangelist. I love writing marathons. I have found that the notion of writing without stopping spooks some people. They’re worried that if they do that, they might tap into something. Awaken something profound (and profoundly suppressed) within them. Likeā€¦ I guess something like the puzzle box in Hellraiser. Freewriting has a lot… Continue reading Try Writing Pure Nonsense for the Rest of the Day

Just Forget About Your Goals

At least for today, give this a shot: Let go of all your stinkin’ bigshot goals. Completely let go. Drop ’em. Ah. There now. That feels better. Spacious. Now you have room to breathe. What should you do with this beautiful blank slate? Let’s see what happens when you invite something else. Ask yourself: What… Continue reading Just Forget About Your Goals

Freewriting is Like Planting Seeds

Imagination is the Divine Body in Every Man William Blake When you freewrite, you wander the imagination stomping or treading lightly, each step a word. As you step, your feet collect tiny seeds and track them from place to place. Your every action while in the realm of imagination plants seeds. And it is not… Continue reading Freewriting is Like Planting Seeds

Your Inner Critic Wants A Challenge

When you write, do so with mad abandon. Give yourself full license to go wild and be as tangled and all over the place as necessary. Because it feels invigorating. A part of you craves the untamed fire of creation. You want it. The inner critic doesn’t know how to handle this untamed fire. It… Continue reading Your Inner Critic Wants A Challenge

Why the World Needs More Schlock, Not Less

“Ah, there’s too much garbage out there.” “So much bad writing! Art these days just doesn’t make any sense.” “That looks like something I could do.” When I hear people say these sorts of things, I can feel that they believe what they’re saying. And I know that they are creatively constipated. How do I… Continue reading Why the World Needs More Schlock, Not Less