Category Archives: The Writing Life

The Writing Life — Your Best Writing Self

I know I’ve been a bit quiet lately with this column. That’s because I’ve been in a place of exploration with how I can best show up each day in my writing (actually in all phases of my life and business but for this column we’re talking about writing).PenInk_150

And, oddly enough (or maybe not so oddly) even though I am a writer, writing about it didn’t feel right. I felt like I needed to be IN the process, rather than outside and observing the process. (Because no matter how deep a piece of writing can feel and be, you still need a certain level of objectivity just to discover the words to describe it.)

So what I’ve focused on is the actual writing. I’ve been working on my new novel (gasp!) and my next business book. And, it’s actually been coming along really well. Continue reading

The Writing Life — Take the Pressure Off and Just Create

I’ve been feeling the call to start another novel.PenInk_150

This is on top of working on my next nonfiction book, blogging several times a week, and let’s not forget copywriting for clients and my own biz.

Needless to say, starting a novel feels like a lot of writing on my plate. It also doesn’t feel like the best use of my time.

So, I’ve been resisting the call.

And all I’ve managed to do is make the call stronger.

<Sigh.> Continue reading

The Writing Life — What Writer’s Block May Be Telling You

All last week I had great intentions to dig into my next book, and, well — you know what they say about great intentions.PenInk_150

You see, since the beginning of 2015, I haven’t had a decent block of time to get a lot of book writing done. Between some traveling and  getting that nasty head cold going around that seems to take forever to go away, book writing was delayed. This past week was the first time this year I was healthy and not going anywhere so I thought it would be the perfect time to make some major inroads.

Unfortunately it turned out to be not-so-perfect. (Sigh.)

At first I thought it was because it always takes me a bit of time to get back into a book after leaving it for a few months.

When I was still stuck,  I then thought I was having a bout with Resistance or “The Upper Limit” problem (I had just finished reading The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, and in it he describes the Upper Limit problem — which sounds an awful lot like Resistance. Basically any time you start to feeling a lot more love, creativity and abundance, you can trip your “Upper Limit” and bring yourself back down to not feeling so great. In other words, you self-sabotague.) Continue reading

The Writing Life — What Are Your Readers Really Buying?

There’s a saying in the fiction writing world, that goes something like this (and unfortunately I don’t know who first said it).PenInk_150

Your first paragraph is what gets people to buy that book. Your last paragraph is what gets people to buy your next book.

In other words, people are willing to give you one shot based on how you start your book — but they may not be willing to give you a second one if you didn’t satisfy them.

This week I’m starting to explore what else people are buying (starting with my Monday Morning Musings and Life, Biz and the Pursuit of Happiness). And even if you don’t have a traditional business but you’re still interested in selling books, this definitely applies to you.

Continue reading

The Writing Life — Exercise and Boredom

In Stephen King’s book “On Writing,” he explains that every day he takes a walk. The same walk. The same way. In his words, it’s good for writers to be a little bored.PenInk_150

Now, while I do have a regular exercise routine, I do switch things around. For instance, I just switched up my routine so it’s now a combination of hot yoga, Pound and Zumba. For myself, I like trying new exercise routines and I do get bored over time, which tends to lead me to not exercising instead of coming up with new plot twists (which is the reason why King thinks writers should be bored, he thinks it helps jumpstart the muse).

However, I WILL say when I walk the dogs, I walk them the same way every time. I rarely vary it (and even my variations is basically the same walk a little longer).

So, in a way I’m doing both — changing up my exercise routine while doing the same thing every day. Continue reading

The Writing Life — Can a Broken Writing Plan Lead to Success?

As I was getting ready to write this post, I took a look at what happened to my writing plan and goals for 2014.PenInk_150

You see, in 2014 had a VERY aggressive plan, wanting to complete a number of books along with regularly writing on the blog. (And when I mean writing regularly on the blog, I mean a regular schedule of nice, long, juicy blog posts).

So, what happened? Well, some of the plan got done. But not all. In fact, I would say I’m not sure I even got half of my lofty goals accomplished.

When I realized this, my first thought was disappointment in myself. I should have worked harder.

But, that’s the old Michele talking. And one thing I’m committed to in 2015 is different results — which means no more definition of insanity (i.e. doing the same thing and expecting different results).

So I took a deep breath and decided to look a little deeper. And here’s what I discovered. Continue reading

The Writing Life — Do You Have a 2015 Writing Theme?

I’m exploring 2015 Themes on the blog this week (you can check out the other posts from Life, Biz and the Pursuit of Happiness, Monday Morning Musings and Friday Creativity Jolt) and thought I’d end with some musings on how themes relate to writing. (Or, at least, how I’m relating my year theme to my own writing.)PenInk_150

I’ve never done a specific yearly theme for writing, but my current theme of Play/Fun certainly applies to writing. Especially since a big part of Play/Fun is nurturing my creativity.

To me, a theme for the year is bigger than just your writing goals or a business plan or even something around relationships or health. It really encompasses your entire life — how you want to be as a person. Continue reading

The Writing Life — New Year, New You

Yep, the Writing Life is back along with the rest of my blogging. (And you can read more about my hiatus from my biz/entrepreneur side right here.)PenInk_150

Now, while I have taken breaks from being an entrepreneur (which were not always smart decisions nor even fully planned out but that’s for another day and another column) speaking from my writing side, I really don’t take a lot of writing breaks. Since I’ve been writing for a living for like, well, it feels like forever, the only real breaks from writing is when I’ve taken an unplugged vacation (which until recently have been few and far between — I’ve gotten better at unplugged vacations in recent years).

But this time, I took nearly a month off (with only a few exceptions). I decided to not worry about my blog or my book and just relax and fully recharge.

And, I have mixed feelings about it. Continue reading

The Writing Life — Out With The Old…

You need to let go of the old to welcome in the new.PenInk_150

This is something we’ve heard over and over. And, more than that, it makes sense. After all, if there’s no space for the new, where would it fit?

But, yet, it’s still difficult to let go of the old. Even if we don’t like or want the old, it’s still familiar to us. Not only that, the skeptics among us may even be concerned that even if we don’t like what we have, what we get in its place could be a lot worse. Continue reading

The Writing Life — Uncle, Uncle!

I have good news and bad news.PenInk_150

The good news is our kitchen cabinets are coming tomorrow! I can’t even tell you how excited I am and how tired I am living in the chaos of a major remodel.

The bad news is I’ve found myself waving the white flag. I’m just not as efficient as I was a couple of weeks ago. I’m not writing the way I was. The external chaos and the internal growth is starting to catch up to me.

Uncle! Continue reading

The Writing Life — Life Happens

This weekend I had some great intentions to get a lot of writing done.PenInk_150

Unfortunately that’s all it ever amounted to — great intentions. (As in the road to hell is paved with good intentions.)

So what happened? Well, the remodel suddenly required a bigger chunk of my time then I expected. I also was more tired than normal — the week before I hadn’t been feeling well, plus with all the growing and stretching in my business and personal life, I just needed more rest than normal.

In other words, life happened. Continue reading

The Writing Life — Getting Back to Center

Much to my surprise, this week ended up turning into a pretty good writing week.PenInk_150

I got an excellent start on my next book along with completing other writing work (which included my blog posts and updating my website).

So despite the chaos I find myself currently living and working in, I’ve still managed to have a fairly productive week.

What’s my secret? Learning to stop fighting what I can’t change and just go with the flow. (In other words, Let go and let God.) Continue reading

The Writing Life — Writing in the Midst of Chaos

I feel like I’ve gone from one type of chaos to another.PenInk_150

From a family emergency to a very-much-needed house remodel. Right now the kitchen and dining room are torn apart with everything piled in the living room (with still more tearing apart that needs to be done). The downstairs bathroom is also on tap for this round of demolition. Once the downstairs is complete, the upstairs bathroom will be next.

From emotional to environmental. Completely different but yet they share similar threads.

Like breakdown to breakthrough. Continue reading

The Writing Life — The Power of Rituals

Things still haven’t settled down quite yet from my family emergency (which I wrote about in last week’s The Writing Life) so unfortunately I’m still not quite back to my old routine. Which means, of course, I’m really not as productive as I want to be.PenInk_150

And even though, technically, as a writer, I can write any time and anywhere, there are certainly more optimal times and places than others. (I also wrote about writing on the road here.) And I’m wondering if some of the reasons why it’s more difficult to just “write wherever you are” is because when you’re not home, in your environment and routine, you may also lose any rituals you use to help you actually physically sit your tushy down and write. Continue reading

The Writing Life — Why I’ve Been Silent On the Blog

You may have noticed I’ve been silent on the blog for the past week. That’s because I’ve been in the middle of a family emergency causing me to spend the past week in the ICU of a hospital.PenInk_150

Things have improved and we’re now in the “cautiously optimistic” phase, which is always a good thing. And that also means it’s given me some breathing room to write again.

And, as you might expect, this situation has triggered some soul searching in me, in terms of the direction of my business, my writing and my life. But that’s not what I want to talk about in this blog post — I want to talk about why the changes don’t stick. Continue reading