How to Turn I Can’t into I Can

Inspiration has failed me today. I have started four or five different posts and stopped. Uninspired, they failed to grab my interest. If I’m not interested, how the heck do I think I can interest anyone else? This doubt grew into an I can’t. How do you turn I can’t into I can? Resistance Steven Pressfield’s book, The War of Art, left me pretty unimpressed. I disagreed with much of what he wrote, except for his primary concept, resistance. Creatives aren’t the only ones who struggle with resistance. Resistance, or the naysaying inner voice, is a part of being human. Some call it fear. Long before I read Mr. Pressfield’s book I called my naysaying voice “the dark side” (a la Star Wars). It’s the inner voice that says, “I can’t.” Its name doesn’t matter. Recognizing when that inner voice speaks is what matters.  Don’t Go to Battle I take exception to Mr. Pressfield’s insistence that we must battle resistance. The “I can’t” means something. Sometimes “I can’t” means I’m exhausted or I’m sick or I’m distracted. Sometimes it means I’m tapped out as in empty or I’ve got nothing more to give. Forcing yourself to work when you’re empty or […]

Because There Are Lies, Secrets, and Scars

The plot is what happens to your character. The story is about how your character reacts to the things that happen. It’s simple cause and effect, right? Hold on there. It’s not quite that simple. For the most effective story your forces of antagonism (see this post) and your character’s lies, secrets, and scars (see this post) are interwoven. Easy for me to say. Difficult to do. Until you have the golden ticket. What’s that golden ticket? Because there are lies, secrets, and scars and opposition, there is a unique plot. Writers often worry about a story being “done to death.” It’s easy to believe there are no new stories in the world. One look at all the titles in Amazon can overwhelm you. Let’s rephrase. There are no new story concepts in the world. A story concept is reducing the story to the basics. Concepts include: the revenge plot, the detective story, the space marine story, and so on. There are hundreds if not millions of stories about revenge. That’s the test. If it’s a concept, there are lots of other stories like it. So how is a writer to make his story stand out? You make choices. Your […]

Energize Your Imagination: Be a Child

Everyone tires eventually. The details of life and the repetitiveness of routines dull our senses. Still, we push aside imagination and play for more important, more adult duties. And that is a disservice to our selves. We need reminders. Being an adult doesn’t mean you have to ONLY be an adult. Energize your imagination: be a child. Recently, I’ve fallen into this trap of always adulting. I’m a caregiver, responsible for all the household stuff, and caring for my dogs. I’ve been preparing for the publishing and launch of my novel. And I’m taking a short online course. In all the doing, I’ve not written new fiction for a month. And that made me cranky. My online class challenged me to do a video and publish it on my site. That reminded me that a friend had recommended a free website called Lumen5. I checked out the website and decided I’d do my assignment on it. But I hit a creative wall. What do I make the video about? I decided to use an old post This video, more accurately slideshow, is a re-imagination of the post called, Be a Child. It was a timely reminder for me. BE A CHILD It wasn’t difficult, […]