Shutting down for years

As a coach, I come across a lot of writers who go through strong on and off phases with writing. They write for years, are passionate about taking classes, begin a novel, almost finish several short stories, then they shut down and do no writing for years. Not months, years! If you’re a former student […]

Tremors

Shattered Face. Art restorers gathered pieces of a saint’s face as part of clean up efforts after a series of earthquakes hit Umbria in 1997 and broke frescoes on the walls of the St. Francis Basilica in Assisi, Italy. Courtesy of The Independent Newspaper, London. Oh, the artistic deaths I have known. My first death […]

Owning the inner abstract

Beer on fire (pub lights glow up my beer), cell camera, http://www.carolineallen.com Driving home from Boston late at night on a Saturday night, I am hollering like a mad woman at the top of my lungs, “I’m so bored! I’m so bored! Boring! Boring! Boooooooooooooooooring!” I scream until my throat turns raw, and I break […]

Slaying seriously scary monsters

sketch of Jesus, based on medieval altar piece in London’s Tate Gallery, http://www.carolineallen.com I just received an interesting e-mail from a client. How do we write with authenticity and integrity when to do so draws up so much pain? When writing the truth is so traumatizing it shuts us down? One of the greatest writers’ […]

Multiple choice

Girl on chair, acrylic on canvas, http://www.carolineallen.com A multiple-choice question for you. I will begin and stick to a regular writing schedule when: A. My children turn 18 and leave home. B. I find a job and am not so stressed out about money. C. I finish a big project at work. D. I finish […]

Writing and Privacy

As a writer and a writing coach, I’ve dealt often with fear around writing a piece that exposes someone in the family, or an ex-lover or friend. A client will say to me: If I tell the truth of this event I’ll never be able to publish it. It would devastate my family. I say: […]

“Not Every Idea is of Equal Value”

Morning grass, New Sharon, Maine, http://www.carolineallen.com I’m reading Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell (I’d recommend it for practical advice on novel writing), and he discusses how to know when a story idea is too mediocre to pursue. He writes, and I agree, “Not every idea is of equal value.” It is extremely difficult […]