Keep the channel open

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will […]

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Dare to live differently

John Lennon Quote

Sometimes life has to get really, really uncomfortable before we are willing and motivated to make lasting change. Debt has to become an unbearable weight before we alter our spending habits. Corporate life has to become so soul-crushingly miserable that we are willing to give up the regular paycheck. The pressure of not acting on […]

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Three months to live … differently

At the start of 2014, I drafted a series of ambitious goals, the SMART kind, which involve specific, measurable steps with corresponding deadlines. A few weeks later, I crunched numbers to find that two of my goals weren’t financially worth the effort, and letting them go was a welcome relief. Even if those projects had […]

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From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines.

–Walt Whitman, from “Song of the Open Road” Photo by Sylwia Bartyzel

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‘Paris is always a good idea.’

In September of 1992, I landed in Douai, France, a teenage adventurer off to spend a year of high school as a foreign exchange student–a year that profoundly influenced my character, my perspective, and my ability to stay put for any length of time. In the two decades since that pivotal experience, I’ve visited some […]

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Author Sally Lloyd-Jones on storytelling

In my last post I mentioned frequently reading interviews with writers who share their creative insights and daily work process. The International Arts Movement recently featured author Sally Lloyd-Jones in an interview on her creative process and insights. Below are a few of my favorite nuggets. “For me it is key to keep things playful, […]

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What the world asks of you is courage

Write everyday. Line by line. Page by page. Hour by hour. Do this despite fear. For above all else, beyond imagination and skill, what the world asks of you is courage. Courage to risk rejection, ridicule and failure. As you follow the quest for stories told with meaning and beauty, study thoughtfully, but write boldly. […]

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Someone, somewhere, right now, needs to read your words

Someone, somewhere, right now needs to read your words, your gift. Someone, somewhere, right now needs to know that even if the words come out all wrong, they came out anyway. They need to know that someone transcended their own insecurities, excuses and reluctance. Someone, somewhere, right now needs to know that because you write […]

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Patience in the gap

Ira Glass, the critically acclaimed radio host of “This American Life,” offers encouragement for anyone starting out in a creative field who finds that the work they’re currently producing doesn’t match up to their tastes and ambitions. His advice: Don’t quit. Keep steadily producing a volume of work and you will eventually close that gap.

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Unfinished stories, shelved dreams, and the constant creative impulse

When I was a little girl–third grade maybe–I started writing my first “book,” called The Bubblegum Tree. The plot premise was a young girl and her younger brother discover a portal to an enchanted other world through a tree in their backyard that sprung up out of an accidentally planted piece of chewed bubblegum. I […]

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