Archive | Creativity Coaching

Return to Writing

Last year, when Liz Howard won the Griffin Poetry Prize, she told the audience that writing saved her life. “[F]or me, poetry made life possible,” she said. I get this. I understand this a lot. Lately, things have not been easy for my family, and I’ve been at my mother’s. Before coming here, I was in […]

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How To Keep Your Irons In the Fire

I made a list of all the projects/jobs I’ve got on the go while J. and I were camping this summer. I stopped counting at six. I didn’t include the dozen or so hats I’m hoping to knit in time for the pre-Christmas craft sales or walking the dog, making soups and generally having a life. […]

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Monday Morning

J. and I have this thing we do. We move through the (sometimes) long months of the school year by breaking them down into days of the week. May and June are Friday. January and February are Wednesday. No doubt, you’ve already figured out what this means but I’ll spell it out anyway: September is […]

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Last week, in the woods, I became reacquainted with my brain. I remembered who I am. The paddling was tough. Every time we hit a lake, the wind bore down like a creature, pushing two-foot waves at us, and we had long distances to cover. There were whole days of paddling, when my shoulders smarted […]

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Jennifer Manuel: Out of a Jar (on Writing with Honesty)

I’ve been on a reading blitz lately about residential schools. I’ve read a couple novels that address this atrocious time in Canadian history, and I’m deep into volume one of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, a text that every Canadian should read, and which many will read, thanks to […]

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Holding Fast for Nineteen Years

I looked up the etymology of tenacity this morning, and discovered that it comes from the Latin tenax which means ‘holding fast’ (the original meaning of fast being ‘to hold firmly’). I like this. I like the idea of holding one’s dreams and intentions and desires firmly in one’s heart. Because that’s what I’ve been doing, […]

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Catching Fire

I can tell when the writers I’m coaching are starting to catch fire. It’s when they write to me, bubbling over with the work they’re doing, whether that’s revising or writing hundreds of words a day when before they were sluggish, not wanting to start. There’s an energy in their emails that wasn’t there in […]

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Last weekend, J. and I hauled our shabby little tent-trailer, purchased two summers ago from a guy in Thunder Bay with hardly any teeth, to Bakers Narrows Provincial Park near Flin Flon. We camped on the Canadian Shield. J. wanted to find the path in to One Portage Lake, which, rumour has it, is stuffed full […]

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Denting the Armour

On the orange wall of my office, in black marker, I’ve scrawled the words: Don’t be careful! I got this idea from Sarah Selecky and when I first wrote it, I believed it to be about the writing, an instruction I could glance at, reminding me to go deeper, to not let that internal ever-cautious […]

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Climbing Gear

Here’s a confession: I’m tired. Really tired. Exhausted, actually. I’m about fifteen pages away from finishing the latest in-depth edits of my book and have already told my agent to expect it in her email in-box on Monday. I’m nearing the summit, I guess, and feel oh-so-ready for a protein bar and a cup of […]

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