How I Learned to Stop Worrying—and Start Writing (Day 16)

When I am faced with a task that appears far too big for my undertaking, I start to panic. What adds fuel to the fire is when I actually really do care about the task for I suddenly become paralyzed with fear. In such cases I no longer know where to start, how to start,…

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Steps to Writing a Book — The “Cloisonné Technique of Writing”

I have analogized the steps to writing a book to the ancient cloisonné method for metalwork décor. The pictures serve to provide a mental picture as you work your way from vague story idea to a completed novel. What is cloisonné? Cloisonné is an enamelling technique whereby fine strips of metal are welded into metal…

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[Auto-] Censored Art (Day 15)

Yesterday I caught myself doing something rather repulsive. I was writing a scene in my novel and then I quickly proceeded to delete it—just like that, without a second thought about it. Now, it is not the actual deletion of a passage that scandalized me—of course not, that happens all the time—but rather the impulse…

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Lessons from the Creative Writing Battlefield (Day 14)

A few readers have been asking me how the romance novel experiment is coming along, and the answer is: “quite nicely.” Here are a few points I found worth sharing:   When I sit down to write now, I write. I am averaging about one thousand words per hour, for up to three consecutive hours.…

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Never Deride That Which You Desire (Day 13)

Finding a good place to write is paramount. I have recently exchanged the hustle and bustle of the coffee-shop for the solemnity of the library. I would not have been able to do this even just a year ago. Here is a bolt from the blue for you: when I was experiencing my worst bout…

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Doodle Your Way Through Writer’s Block (Day 12)

Making art requires talent, patience, and perseverance. While we probably all do pay lip service to the noble idea of gaining momentum in our work, what significant actions do we really take in our day-to-day lives to ensure that we will not veer off course? Plainly put, when you are staring at the page and…

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Against the Wind: A Tip for Creative Writers (Day 11)

Many artists who cannot seem to work on their projects think that they are suffering from artist’s block, however the real problem may not necessarily be that they are blocked, but that they have not learned to properly channel their creative forces. There is a slow leak in the pipes of their creativity, so to…

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Writing Routine: The Best Antidote to Writer’s Block

In 2013 Mason Currey wrote a book called Daily Ritual: How Artists Work, an enjoyable collection of the range of quirks and idiosyncrasies of some of the most creative people in history. Although learning that Beethoven personally counted the sixty beans that would end up in his cup of coffee every morning will not necessarily…

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The REAL Reasons Behind Writer’s Block (Day 10)

A former student of mine wrote me an email, to which I still have not replied. Ever since I have received that email, I keep on telling myself that I will write back. The issue is that I received it four years ago. It matters not how many good intentions you have (and as the…

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A place to write (Day 9)

Finding a good place to write is more important than you think. I have been experimenting with various places, from libraries to coffee shops to different rooms in my house. It is not just about finding a “quiet” or “nice” place, or being ergonomically comfortable. I’m talking about the feel of a place. Let’s digress…

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