Tag: creative process

Imposter Syndrome, for authors

For those of us who truly care about writing, owning our author-ity as an author is sometimes a challenge, both because there is almost always a writer more successful than we are, and also because there are so many pretenders.…

EPC — Voice as Defense

Play

Voice is our protector.   Here is an excerpt from my book Women Voice and Writing, to help you think about this…

In a self-defense class, our instructor Peg taught that the voice is always the first line of defense. “Speak up. If you are being attacked, yell. It helps retard shock and shallow breathing. If you yell, your lungs fill up and you are more grounded  and present than if you move into a flight response.”  Peg instructs  our class of 18 women to stomp our feet and yell “No!” then scream “911” all together.

We do this, loudly. A good deal of sound comes out. Then we laugh, a bit uncomfortable from our uncharacteristic shout. But one young woman is in tears. Peg, our instructor, asks her, “What’s going on?” The twenty-something  woman says, “I’ve never yelled ‘NO!’ before, and it scared me. And it felt so good.”

EPC — Creative wounds, or, the value of hard times

Play

Another excerpt from  my book Women Voice and Writing.

Megan LeBoutillier used the term “creative wound.”  There is an archtype of the wounded  healer. The theory is that one needs to go through a healing crisis oneself, facing death or near death, before  one  can  come  into  the  fullness  of  her  healing  power.  Only though the alchemy of this kind of transformation, then, can one understand and minister to others in healing.

Wounding may not be necessary to attain depth of voice. But if one has been through  a crisis—creative or personal, that crisis can be used in service of strengthening voice. And clarifying voice.

EPC — A Matter of Time

Play

There is a myth that one needs to make huge caverns of quiet time to write. The reality is that  most writers  begin in the margins  of their unquiet  life, and  move to full-time writing  as occupation  only after many years. Writing in the margins becomes especially complicated for women with  work, relationship, and  children.  The myth  of needing  time to write full-time may be confused with the need for some combination of solitude,  silence, and  stillness  in order  to write.

Here is an excerpt from my book Women Voice and Writing, to help you think about this…

EPC — The Athleticism of Voice

Play

Sometimes when you are creating, you just need to put a lot of muscle into it. Here is an excerpt from my book Women Voice and Writing.

We have a myth that the Muse visits, like the tooth fairy, giving inspiration. This can of course  happen,  but  in its own  unique,  un-forcible timing. Until then, and to woo the Muse, we need to sweat.

Rachel Vail touched on this myth first in my interviews, when she talked about the athleticism of writing:

EPC — Motivation

Play

What motivates you as a writer?  What keeps you going, or rather coming back to the blank page (or screen)?  Here is an excerpt from my book Women Voice and Writing, to help you think about this…

I was in a group of writers that met for two years to try to collaboratively write a book together.  We  learned a lot about different approaches  to writing,  and  a lot more  about  each other. We were  a tremendously  rich  resource  for  one  another,  an  unlikely  group  of women. Left to our own devices, we would not probably have chosen each other as friends, yet the process of attending to task blossomed friendship within it.

However, after 18 months, we had copious outlines for our book, and no real writing yet. We had pieces here and there, but we kept losing momentum, then would regain it. It looked like our fire was going out.