Archive | Creativity Coaching

Writing is lonely. But it’s worth it.

I’ve been returning to the roots of writing practice lately. To the book I bought and cracked open as I was crossing the Georgia Strait between Tsawwassen and Vancouver Island on my way to Salt Spring Island, circa 1993. Back then, as I read the first pages of Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, a pair […]

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Come for Tea?

I’m stuck on Chapter Four. Partly because I’ve spent the past five days working to eradicate some of the beige that covers every wall (well, except for bathroom’s combo of ’80s aqua and stark white and the kitchen’s half-and-half neon yellow and, again, stark white) in our new-to-us home. All the while, my mind’s been […]

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Genuine Choice: Why I Quit Twitter and Facebook

The ground is under my feet. Snow turning soft, ridged snowmobile trails collapsing into black earth in the fields where we run our dog. In the early morning, the blue jays show up to eat the sunflower seeds that the red squirrel has knocked out of the feeder. Chickadees and nuthatches flit around, and a […]

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Beet Juice

Create a character, I said last night, during a class I’m teaching called Write Your Heart Out! (from Joyce Carol Oates’s advice to writers). A picture of feet was up on the screen. Red converse sneakers, legs in jeans, gender-neutral. Paint what you can’t see. Follow the pen into backstory, emotions, relationships or simply a […]

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Just Knit

Seven skeins of Malabrigo Rios, luxurious merino yarn, in shifting shades of indigo, copper, violet and deep greens. That’s what I bought myself for Christmas last year, with a gift certificate my sister gave me. As any knitter knows, seven skeins is a lot of yarn. It’s a sweater amount, which is what I wanted. […]

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On Showing Up

The other day, I was talking with a friend about showing up. Just past blue Monday, in a frigid winter that’s kept us inside for days, some mornings the best that you can do is stumble over to your desk, sit there, and wait. Not for the green thrust of spring. Not even for epiphanies. […]

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Motherly Advice

I’m back where I started. Staring down the bumpy road of an unfinished draft. My next novel – the big, fat manuscript that my agent says doesn’t work (which, by the way, I didn’t update you on, dear reader, after informing you I’d sent it, my ego too bruised, I suppose. Instead, I got on […]

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What I Had To Lose

When I was in my mid-20s, tired of toiling seemingly aimlessly at 6 a.m. timed writings every morning before leaving for my 9 to 5 job, I took a creative writing course. I’d published a bit of poetry and a few personal essays and done some freelance journalism, but I wanted to do what felt […]

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Learning To Finish

I’ve had a lot of wonderful conversations with writers over the past couple of weeks. Good conversations, and sometimes sad ones. Some of the writers I’ve spoken with – maybe even you – have been struggling with projects for several years (even decades) and/or trying – and often failing – to find time to work […]

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Can We Chat?

The other day I was talking to a client about fantasy. How easy it is to write the first sentence of a story, that beginning scene, then sit back, dream the whole thing, and watch it fizzle when you don’t do the work to get it finished. Years can go by like that, even decades. […]

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