Guest Bloggers

How to catch the ideas that flit by.

Today’s Guest Blogger post is from one of my favorite authors, Rachael Herron. Rachael writes: A comment by David Sedaris on a podcast gave me an a-ha moment recently, and I wanted to share it with you. I’d always wondered how he got his essays so brilliantly specific—filled with the kind of particulars that put you right into the spot where he stands. From Me Talk Pretty One Day, “For the first twenty years of my life, I rocked myself to sleep. It was a harmless enough hobby, but eventually, I had to give it up. Throughout the next twenty-two years I lay still and discovered that after a few minutes I could drop off with no problem. Follow seven beers with a couple of scotches and a thimble of good marijuana, and it’s funny how sleep just sort of comes on its own. Often I never even made it…

Guest Bloggers

Trust your intuition for creative writing.

Guest Blogger Suzanne Murray inspires our writing to flow from a dream-like state of consciousness and to trust our intuition. Suzanne writes:  How Do We Allow Creativity to Flow? When we get lost in a good book it’s because the writer got lost in letting the story come through as they wrote. I remember the first time when I got on a roll with my writing, where I knew I was writing something good. I stopped and looked around the room to see where it was coming from because I knew it wasn’t coming from my everyday self. Since then I have come to understand writing comes from a dream-like state of consciousness of allowing what wants to be written to unfold. It doesn’t involve thinking or trying to figure it out but rather feeling and sensing what wants to be born and following that golden thread. All creativity comes…

Guest Bloggers

So, what is a story?

Today’s post is by Lisa Cron, author of Story Genius and Wired for Story. We think in story. It’s hardwired in our brain. It’s how we make strategic sense of the otherwise overwhelming world around us. Simply put, the brain constantly seeks meaning from all the input thrown at it, yanks out what’s important for our survival on a need-to-know basis, and tells us a story about it, based on what it knows of our past experience with it, how we feel about it, and how it might affect us. Rather than recording everything on a first-come, first-served basis, our brain casts us as “the protagonist” and then edits our experience with cinema-like precision, creating logical interrelations, mapping connections between memories, ideas, and events for future reference. Story is the language of experience, whether it’s ours, someone else’s, or that of fictional characters. Other people’s stories are as important as the…

Guest Bloggers

Go With The Flow

What do you call it when your creativity just seems to flow? Alison Luterman had an epiphany: I was singing in a little pop-up chorus this past month. It was a tricky classical piece, and the other women were all looking intently at their sheet music. I don’t really read music, so I ignored the paper and gazed at our teacher, trying to meld my brain with hers. Okay, I know this is going to sound woo-woo, but that night in chorus, watching the teacher’s hands on the keyboard, hearing her sing the parts, my body understood the music on a level my mind couldn’t. In Interplay we call this “ecstatic following” and we often do it as a group in dance. I remember being introduced to the concept and having an immediate suspicious reaction to it: “Ecstatic following– you mean you surrender your critical thinking? That’s how we end…

Guest Bloggers

Writing Success Revealed by Thonie Hevron

  Guest Blogger Thonie Hevron’s interview reveals her writing successes. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience? Keep working. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? I used to have to light a specific scented candle but I’ve outgrown that. I had to write to classical music, but I find it distracting now. I won’t drink wine while I am working or anything but water or coffee. Pretty boring, I’d say. Sometimes, those quirks become excuses for not putting my butt in the chair. No quirks, no excuses. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher? I’ve done both and each has plusses and minuses. Self-publishing has more author control. I recall after my first book, By Force or Fear, came out, a reader said he found very few editorial mistakes. That was one of my goals. Editing…

Guest Bloggers

Relax To Enhance Your Creativity

The Write Spot Blog is all about writing: Writing Prompts to inspire you; Just Write tidbits to motivate you; Quotes to let you know others are in the same boat as you; Places to Submit to get your work out there; Book Reviews to share authors’ work; Guest Posts for all kinds of writing-related things. Today’s Guest Blog Post by Suzanne Murray talks about increasing your creativity by relaxing. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But what about cortisol, adrenaline, and epigenetics? Factor those in, and it becomes apparent that relaxation isn’t as easy as drifting in a hammock. Fortunately, Suzanne Murray offers strategies to help us learn to relax.  HOW CREATIVITY CAN HELP US RELAX We all know that relaxation makes us and our bodies feel good whereas stress causes us to tense up and feel less that optimum. New scientific research shows just how important relaxing our bodies and minds is….

Guest Bloggers

Too stressed to write?

Are you too stressed to write? You want to, but you just can’t clear your mind. Maybe you’re drifting in The Fog of Overwhelm. The following is paraphrased from Ted A. Moreno’s Blog Post, Avoiding the Fog of Overwhelm Part I and Part II, where Ted discusses “the state of overwhelm, what it is, how it happens and how it affects us.” State of Overwhelm   Overwhelm happens when there is too much information coming into our conscious awareness. Our minds only have a certain capacity, like a cup that can hold a limited amount of liquid. When our minds are filled to capacity, and stuff keeps pouring in, we lose the ability to cope. At this point, our ancient survival mechanism, that good old fight or flight, gets triggered. When that happens we become what is known as “hypersuggestible” which means that we are susceptible to whatever is coming into our…

Guest Bloggers

Let Go And Create

Guest Blogger Suzanne Murray writes about how surrender can help creativity: We can’t force creativity. We know this intuitively. If we told a painter that we wanted a masterpiece by five o’clock tomorrow, he or she would look at us like we were crazy, that we clearly didn’t understand what being creative was all about.  An important part of being creative is learning to surrender to the flow of the universe, allowing something greater than our everyday self to move through us. It’s not something we can figure out with our linear mind. Of course, if we want to paint we need to learn how to work with our chosen medium and studying the work of the masters can help. If we want to write it’s really valuable to read widely and deeply, to show up daily to put pen to paper and perhaps take a workshop on form we…

Guest Bloggers

Begin with the low hanging fruit.

Guest Blogger Jan Ellison talks about truth in short stories and novels. Years ago, when the first short story I published was included in the 2007 O. Henry Prize anthology, I was standing out front of my kids’ school when a woman I hardly knew poked her head out of her car to say that she’d only read the first paragraph, but would I be willing to tell her how much of my short story was true? It was the first time the question had been posed to me, and I had no idea how to answer it. Did she only want to read the story if it was “true,” or if it was not? Sometimes the question comes in other forms. What gave rise to the novel? What was the inspiration for your story? Is it autobiographical? I am as guilty of wanting answers to those questions as any…

Guest Bloggers

Cultivate Creativity

Cultivate creativity: Grow awareness and eliminate distractions. Like gardening: Pull what you don’t want (those darn weeds) and nourish what you want to grow. The following Guest Blog Post is an excerpt from Suzanne Murray’s 1/14/17 blog post. I started writing before the development of the personal computer, when cut and paste meant I was down on the floor with a pair of scissors and a jar of that thick white glue that smelled vaguely of peppermint. It was in many ways a simpler time with far less pulling on my attention.Every morning upon rising I would make my single cup of French roast coffee, dripped through a Melitta, and then sit down to write. There weren’t thoughts like I’ve got to check my email or Twitter feed to interfere with putting words on the page. If I needed to do research, I went to the library, the sacred hall…