path of the storyteller / blog

Why is it so hard to focus? It’s every writer’s complaint.

focus mindset process Jan 29, 2023
 

So there I was, sitting in my local coffee spot, sipping my Americano and mulling the question at hand:

What should my livestreamed talk be about this week?

—when my focus was upended by a conversation at a nearby table.

Reader, I eavesdropped. An intent young man was sharing his hopes and dreams with a patient young lady, who nodded in time to his drumbeat of earnestness.

He listed one ambition, then another, and then two more (you can find out what they were here).

Flushed with feeling and caffeine, he concluded, “That’s it! I’m just going to focus on these four things. Oh, and my music, too!”

That’s five things, but never mind. I knew at once that my topic would be focus. It’s every writer’s complaint.

  • How hard it can be to maneuver ourselves into work mode to start with.

  • How easily we get distracted.

  • How frustrating it is to finally buckle ourselves into the writing chair, only to tinker aimlessly with our work-in-progress...

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How shame holds writers back

mindset Jan 19, 2023
 

The always inspiring Brené Brown defines shame as an “intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.” 

Is there anyone who hasn’t felt this at one time or another? 

Shame is a tough feeling. It can stop us in our tracks. Even talking about it feels shameful!

My work teaching and mentoring writers over the years has shown me this truth again and again: All the story structure and writing craft expertise in the world won’t matter much if the writer’s mindset gets in the way of actually doing the work in the first place.

All those stubborn, hard-to-admit beliefs that we’re not talented enough, or that what we have to say is not interesting enough, or that our dreams of writing are too foolish and impractical to even admit to others?

That’s shame talking.

Shame holds writers back in so many ways. It...

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What writers can learn from....pickleball?

 

ENROLLING NOW! The Path of the Storyteller program starts in January, and seats are still available. Click here to learn more. 


It’s the game that’s sweeping America, and the world: Pickleball!

I too, have happily fallen in semi-obsession with the new national pastime. It's good for writers to get fresh air and exercise! 

But I also find it’s really good to be learning something new.

It’s stimulating to be a beginner. It puts the focus not on “how good” we are, but on how open we are to learning.

This is a real life skill. The process of learning is the same no matter what the subject matter is. If we cultivate becoming good at learning, we can learn anything. 

Including how to write really good fiction.

See, you knew I’d get to writing eventually!

In my many years of teaching and mentoring writers, I’ve found that writers sometimes have unrealistic expectations about what...

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Today’s the perfect time to do this!

careers mindset process Dec 07, 2022
 

ENROLLING NOW! The Path of the Storyteller program starts in January, and seats are still available. Click here to learn more. 


A question for you: When is the perfect time to act?

To start a new project?

To break an old habit?

To finally drop something that’s not working?

To pivot? Reboot? Change course? Face facts?

I think most of us know in our hearts when SOMETHING needs (or has long needed) to change. But that doesn’t always mean we take action.

Often, there's a panicked answer that rises within us:

Not now.

There’s too much on my plate.

I’m already overwhelmed.

After I get these ten other very trivial things sorted out, THEN I'll be able to finally deal with That One Important Thing that I’ve been putting off for years

We’re all this way. People (and writers are people, don’t forget!) never seem to run out of ways to say “Eek! I’m not ready for this."

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