Tag: creative autonomy
Creating conditions for growth
True gardeners are nurturing yet ruthless. They nurture seedlings and sickly plants, but are also quick to prune branches or eradicate pests that threaten plants (see also: the bumper crop of tent caterpillars we’re having on the West Coast this year). For a long time I felt a pang every time I cut a flower…
Publishing as relationship
Publishing is a relationship. It doesn’t need to look like anyone else’s. It’s not helpful to compare your relationship to your friends’ relationships or a rom-com ideal. Likewise, don’t let individual publishing plans plot your path. You don’t need to land a traditional publisher to reach your audience in the “right way.” You don’t need…
What will it feel like to finish your first draft?
In publishing, we often create work-back schedules. Based on the day we want the book to be in the world, we map out how many months we’ll need for writing, editing, designing, printing. The writer knows when their manuscript is due, and they’re writing toward that date. But what if you don’t have a set…
Clear the path: reasons for writing
It’s easier to write your book when you identify your target reader and frame the book as a gift for them. That’s generous and all, but let’s be honest: you’re also doing it for yourself. One of my clients is writing about a trip he took over a decade ago, which he can’t get out…
Feedback loops: Showing up as a writer informs your writing
Your writing informs your outline and vice versa. You can have a perfect plan for your writing, which makes sense on paper. This chapter follows that one, and this example will land perfectly here. You have a logical flow and, you hope, an emotional one too. But, as happens on the best road trip, the…
Nourishment: practices to sustain creativity
Some trees grow more readily in the forest when building on what has come before. Take hemlocks, for example. They’re fond of growing in nurse stumps or nurse logs, like this downed Douglas-fir. That way they can be closer to the light, and find firm grounding in nutrient-dense wood. In our creative lives, we can…
Self-care for editors
I SEE YOU, BABY Saving that file. Taking that personal day. Plotting that schedule. Nudging that client. Thanking that accountant. Taking that workshop. Backing up that research. Implementing that system. Automating that calendar. Negotiating that autonomy.
I completed a manuscript consultation for a first-time writer. I read his manuscript, offered a memo with revisions, and then chatted with him. He’s writing in the field of sports psychology. He has competed in sport, and coached athletes, so his examples were from the perspective of both an athlete and a coach. Makes sense.…