The Why-Am-I-Torturing-Myself Spiral

Blank diagramHey, Writerly Women. How's it going?

Actually, that isn't just a greeting. It's the topic of today's post: How IS it going, this writing thing? In fact, IS it going at all?

Because I have a number of clients in From Shadow To Shelf and Doorways, it seems there is always at least one in the Writing Pit of Despair. We've probably all been there --

"I'm doing everything BUT writing. Seriously, who alphabetizes their spices when they don't even cook?"

  "Every time I sit down to write lately, all I can do is stare at the screen and think about enchiladas."

"I think I have to face the reality that all the good writing I'm going to do has already been done. I wonder if they need greeters at WalMart." Ashamed

Please feel free to write down your own wail. And once you've written it down, why not just go ahead and post it in a comment? The old adage is true: misery really does love another miserable person to sit down and commiserate with over coffee. The intriguing thing about that, though, is that pity parties for two or more often result in the participants deciding maybe they'll give it one more go.

That's my FIRST SUGGESTION for pulling out of the Why Am I Torturing Myself Spiral. Remember that tribe we talked about last week? Now -- when you're close to deciding you have no talent, no future, no self-discipline, nothing important to say (you get the idea)  -- is the perfect time to call, text or email one or all of them and say, "Do you have a minute to talk me down out of the Crazy Tree?"

We've all been up there, myself included. After the 2007 recession, the Golden Era of Christian Fiction began to rust and corrode. The 100+ books I'd had published made no difference in getting a new contract. "That last one didn't sell as well as we'd hoped" precluded new books. The day I realized the season of bliss was really and truly over, I started calling the members of my tribe. Paula. Dale. Father John. To name only a few. Granted, it took me another year to settle into a new season, but here I am. Writing. Mentoring writers. Looking at a new market. Thanks to the folks who gathered at the bottom of the Crazy Tree and talked me down.

Gloria at retreatAnd if you haven't quite found that group of supporters yet? It is quite possible to be your own supporter. My SECOND SUGGESTION is one that worked like the proverbial charm after the Young Women Writers Retreat last month. Being there was a high for all of us. Everybody was pawing the ground to get home and put all that great stuff they learned to work. Yeah, well, we'd all had that high before and we all knew how quickly you can come crashing down when faced with kids, stopped-up toilets, grouchy bosses, etc. SO -- each writer decorated a blank note card found in her goodie bag and addressed the envelope to herself. On the very last day, each person wrote herself an encouraging letter inside, specifically naming the things she'd learned, that had inspired her, as well as her next steps. They sealed them up and gave them to me. Two weeks after the event, I stamped them and mailed them out. SO many of them have contacted me with these reactions:

    "This came at EXACTLY the right moment."  

    "I was feeling like, 'what's the point?' and then I got my own letter and it changed everything."

    "I checked the mail every day, waiting for it. I did the happy dance when I got it. I can do this."

It works. The next time you're feeling pretty good about your sweet writer self, write yourself a note and seal it up. When you start to spiral down into the Pit, either open it up or mail it to yourself (if you can wait a few days). Seriously, do it. Because down in that space where your soul dwells, you KNOW you were meant to do this. You KNOW you can. Why not be as encouraging to yourself about that as you would be to a writer friend?

Now, sometimes the descent to the Pit has some evidence behind it. I wasn't getting contracts. No more requests to 'please write a book for us.' Fewer and fewer requests to speak. Clearly I had to find a different direction. One that still involved writing, just not the kind I'd been doing so successfully for 30 years. Maybe what I did can help you if you find yourself in the place of "This just isn't working."

    SUGGESTION #3.  Ask people who know you well what they see in you that is creative. That isn't a narcissistic question; you're gathering data. Fellow speaker Dawn Moore puts it this way: "What am I your go-to person for?" I was intrigued by the answers I received. They were enough to get me moving toward more exploration. I'm still doing it.

    SUGGESTION #4. If nobody's buying your work right now, write anyway. If you're even reading this blog post, I can safely say you can't not write. Journal. Finish that novel or short story or poem or non-fiction piece just because you want to -- not necessarily because somebody might publish it. Seriously, even if you're under contract, there is no total guarantee that your book will see print (publisher goes out of business, that kind of thing). If it does reach the shelves it might not be a best seller. We could all what-if ourselves endlessly ... or we could just write. Mj writing

    SUGGESTION #5. Do what GLORIA and ABIGAIL G. did recently. If you're stuck in the "Oh the heck with it" mire, call a writer friend and invite her to do a "Writing Sprint" with you. Hang up, set a time for 15 minutes and write without stopping. Then get on the phone/Skype/Zoom/Facetime again and compare. It worked wonders for them. I can't wait to try this at a retreat ...  

    SUGGESTION #6. See that blank diagram at the beginning of the post? It looks like you feel, right? -- gray, complicated ... How take a look at this one.

Concentric Japanese diagram


The possibilities that lie within a funk are really pretty creative and interesting and motivating. I did a whole BUNCH of self-exploration like this when I was floundering -- and the inspiration still hasn't stopped coming. I'm off to Concord, MA, next week to do research for my novels. A colleague and I are developing a program for non-fiction writers. Mentoring becomes more creative all the time  -- because God and I looked at me and said, "What else ya got?

Ladies, you got a lot. Come on up out of that spiral. Get down out of that crazy tree, or shout to us to help you. We're all in this together.





Creative Community: A Necessity

YWW 2019 groupHello, Writerly Women! Two weekends ago, we added to the community we've formed here on the blog. Some of the faces you see in this pic belong to writers whose names you've heard -- GLORIA, CAYLENE, ABIGAIL, SCOTIA. Others are new to the group -- two SARAHS, a JENNY, an AMALIE and a LAUREN. Our retreat at Glen Eyrie in Colorado Springs was nothing short of amazing --

    * one writer came away with a complete outline for her non-fiction book

  •   * one received a request for a proposal from the on site publisher
  •     * one is already taking steps to change her living situation to make room for who she is and what she wants to do
  •   * one discovered her creative self, just for the joy of it
  •   * still another reported feeling significant for the first time in her life

    There's more, but you get the idea, yes? As much as I would like to take credit for inspiring all that wonderfulness, I really can't. Most of it came from the sheer energy of authentic, creative women supporting each other, being transparent about their dreams and opening up about the BOHOs (Big Ol' Hairy Obstacles) we all run into. ALL of us. 

THAT is the definition of Creative Community. And it's contagious. Five of the young women you see here have formed a writing group in the Springs and meet monthly -- in addition to a pretty steady stream of communication among them. I can document the difference that has made: the writing of every single one of them has grown ten-fold since last year when they first came together. 

Another trio gathers whenever they can to brainstorm about their stories and get inspiration from obscure movies. They know they are among the crazies -- and they're owning it. Goofy YWW 2019

As God would have it, four of the retreat ladies were from Pennsylvania and didn't know each other before they came. They are now forming their own creative community, something they've never had before. Chelsea and Abigail at YWW 2019

If we're going to stay sane in this thing called creative writing, we can't do it alone. We need the tribe. And not just when we're first starting out. . .

I always return home from leading workshops happy and satisfied, but physically depleted. It usually takes me three days just to unpack. Not so this time. When I got home to Tennessee, I had almost as much energy as my 19 month old chocolate lab, which is saying something. Filled with the enthusiasm of those 17 young women writers (the word enthuse does come from the Greek for 'filled with God' -- just sayin'), I was ready for the next thing. I had announced at the retreat that I was going to retire from one-on-one mentoring in July of 2021 -- but in a matter of days after hitting home soil, I was already working with a colleague on providing help for serious non-fiction writers and having in-depth conversations with artists and tech people about offering my writing courses on line. There are workbooks in the development phase -- and I'm off to Concord, Massachusetts week after next to do research for my novel.

Even goofier YWW 2019What the Sam Hill happened?

Creative Community.

Before the retreat where I was supposed to inspire OTHER PEOPLE, I was looking ahead to retirement. After immersing myself in their  energy, I'm starting a new yet next logical venture. Alone, we can have ideas and dreams -- but together we can find the boost that gets us going. I think it comes down to this marvelous quote by Mother Teresa:

I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.

Mother Teresa

So what do you do with that? If you weren't able to make the retreat -- if you feel like you live out in the middle of Not-Creative Land -- if the people you try to share your writing dreams with nod politely and all but pat you on the head and change the subject to something scintillating ... like where to get a great manicure (or eyelashes -- what is WITH that, anyway? I digress)   How do YOU find your people? 

I have some thoughts on that. Let's see if this helps:

  • Comment here regularly. On this blog. Start conversations. Use it like a Facebook chat if you want. When I had my teen blog for 8 years, I was amazed at the friendships that grew from that. Some of those now-women still keep in touch -- really in touch, as in visit each other in different states! You aren't going to find as many of your kind of people many other places. It's a start. Kate at Glen
  • Reach out to even one other artist in your area -- and she doesn't have to be a writer; visual artists, musicians, choreographers, photographers all possess the same creative energy that you do. Make it a thing. "Come to my house for a glass of wine and a sharing of creative woes and victories on THIS DATE at THIS TIME." Or, "Will you meet me for coffee at _______, just to talk without somebody thinking we're nuts? How about THIS DATE at THIS TIME?" Notice the specificity of it. This is no time for, "We should get together." Be the one who makes it happen.
  •  Whenever you're in a crowd or group locally -- a party, a church small group, a baby or wedding shower, in line at Starbucks -- make it known that you're a writer (and whatever other creative thing you do ... LILY, for example, is an amazing artist and photographer, ESTHER is also a gifted visual artist, KELLY is a film editor. See if anyone else pipes up with a, "You are? So am I!" Then refer to the second bullet point above.

Shall we start right here? Leave a comment or click here to email me what area you live in. I'll be happy -- no, I'll be delighted -- to connect you with your fellow aspiring authors who aren't far away from you. I'll get everyone's permission, of course, before I start giving out  email addresses.

If you're already in a Creative Community, will you share how yours formed, how it works and what it's done for you? After all, we ARE all in this together.

Speaking of which, the Glen Eyrie Writers Workshops are happening July 6-9. As soon as the website goes live I'll provide a link. This could be the first step toward finding your tribe. We would love to have you.



Nancy Rue 

A Conscious Walk

HOlzer bookHey, Writerly Women. Before I get into today's pondering point, I just want to say how jazzed I am that conversations are taking place in the Comments section and that you're sharing what you glean from the posts. Community is happening, which is essential. Writing can be isolating. We need our fellow story-tellers to assure us we haven't, as they say in England, "gone 'round the bend." 

So ... why the book cover today? This book was written by Burghild Nina Holzer. How could she be anything BUT a writer with a marvelous name like that? ( I confess to wanting to say it with a thick German accent and lots of spitting in the process. But I digress ...) One of the things she says absolutely nails what we've been talking about here: going deeper.

The reason so many people block themselves from writing, from creating, is that they are not here. They have a head full of blueprints for the goal, they have elaborate outlines of how to get there, but they have never taken a conscious walk from their bedroom to their bathroom.   

I don't think she's just talking about the stumble there at five in the morning. The metaphor is apt. Let's unpack it.

Last time, I asked you to think about your canvas --- that one theme that everything you write authentically will add a brush stroke to. GLORIA says hers is "Everyone wants to be seen and heard." NATASHA came in with, "Everyone has a story to tell." At first glance it seems that they could write one book about that and then have to move on. But if they -- and we -- stay here with that theme, dwelling, as Emily Dickinson says, in possibility, we find that those possibilities are virtually endless. 

The key is to  stop (often) all the planning, the angsting over the market and the social media demands, the stressing when we realize halfway through our manuscript that it isn't going anywhere. In fact, before we even begin a project, we truly do need to sit with it, where we are, and be conscious.

Now, if you're like me, you can't go hang out by a lake and dwell on this until it comes to you. (I live steps from the bank of one and I can count on the fingers of one hand how many times I've done that). If you can, I am in awe of you. Most of us, though, need to go through more of a process. Let's call it the Percolating Process. Percolator
(Friend and author Tim Shoemaker calls himself a crock pot when he does this; not to be confused with crack pot. Just wanted to be clear on that.)  I don't know if you're ever seen and heard a percolator do its thing, but it's quite charming. My parents had one when I was growing up, and I loved to watch and listen to it. When it's first turned on, it doesn't do anything. Then one blurt of weak coffee will appear in that glass thingie on the top and quickly disappear. Then two in a row, and then three, and so on with increasing frequency. The blurts make a sound that I'm having a hard time describing in words (should I admit that?) It's like bloop. Bloop-bloop. Bloop-bloop-bloop. Bloop-bloop-bloop-bloop-bloop BLOOP-bloop. It was part of the soundtrack of my childhood. When the blooping stops, the coffee is done. I can still picture my father's face when he took that first sip. The man knew how to enjoy.

When we are HERE, when we're CONSCIOUS, we can -- and must -- percolate. What does that look like? For me, it's this:

    1. First bloop: the hint of an idea. For my current novel, that came from hearing a spot on NPR.

2. Second bloop: the idea keeps coming back. That NPR story wouldn't leave me alone. I had to look it up on the internet, at which point I became even more intrigued.

3. Bloop-bloop-bloop: somebody that idea can happen to starts to take shape in my mind. The mother of a murdered teenage girl. Broken by the tragedy. Just now coming back to herself when ... Thoreau 4

4. Serious blooping: journaling. I wrote about Meredith for reams of pages, and then let her write to me. 

5. Deep blooping: epiphany. I happened to do a study (unrelated) of  Mary Magdalene and somehow I knew what my Merry (Meredith) was about. As always, there was a part of her that was a part of me I hadn't admitted to myself.

6. Stillness: going deeper. I researched Transcendentalism (you'll see why if/when you read it). I talked to women whose spiritual journeys I know are genuine. I kept journaling. Slowly I knew what the story was about -- not the plot but the inner journey. Merry's and this phase of mine.

7. Time to drink the coffee: enjoying shaping the novel. As a Planner, I did the fun part (for me) -- the character analyses, the plot skeleton, the rest of the research, the trip to Concord, Massachusetts, the interviews with experts. It felt delicious to put it all together in what I call my first draft, which is a 40+ page chapter by chapter outline.

I can never get to Step 7 if I don't percolate my way through Steps 1 through 6. 

Whatever your process is, you skip the percolation at your peril. Perked coffee, drip coffee, even Keurig coffee if it's good quality (check out the Black Rifle Company for the best I've tasted) is all far superior to instant. Does anybody even drink that anymore? Even when it comes to tea, yeah, I can make it in the microwave, but waiting for the kettle to boil and hearing the steam whistle and pouring the hot water over loose leaves of Cream of Earl Grey ... THAT is a process worth going through.

So, to think about, and hopefully comment on: Are you HERE with your current project? Have you taken the CONSCIOUS WALK through your protagonist's inner journey, and your own? Give it a shot. Ponder what brush stroke it adds to your canvas.   Share that with us, will you?

Our blog friend SARAH has joined the roster for the Glen Eyrie Young Women Writers Retreat. There's still room for 7 more. Just sayin'.  Click here for infoIMG_9678


                                                                            Nancy Rue         

News From Natasha

Natashs's blog Hey, Writerly Women, this just in: NATASHA has a wonderful blog. She's writing about tough, timely things in a voice we NEED out there.

Check it out , and if you can, leave her a comment. I think you'll want to.

While I have you here, you DO know about the Young Women Writers Retreat April 12-14 at Glen Eyrie Conference Center in Colorado Springs, right? If not, hie thee hence to the website and check it out. HANNAH, ESTHER, GLORIA, JENNY,  CHELSEA, KELLY, SCOTIA, CAYLENE, KATE, ABIGAIL and AMALIE are all going to be there, and there is still room for 9 more. Scholarships are available through Glen Eyrie. Crazy group without Estherr  



Seriously, who wouldn't want to be part of this action? Our theme this year is "Making Room for Your Writing" , and I have a bunch of new activities planned and fresh approaches to implement. If you need more info, just email me.  The only requirements are that you be between 18  and 39  and you want writing to be part of your life.

See you back here Wednesday?



Nancy Rue       

What's Your Canvas?

EverybodyHey, Writerly Women. Can I just say how delighted I am that our community here is coming together so beautifully? You're encouraging each other, celebrating victories, hopping onto your fellow writers' blogs and websites. Writing is such an isolating art most of the time, and the fact that you're participating in a group which recognizes that and comes in with support for that loneliness is, to me, a God thing. So welcome, our two latest additions: HANNAH and NATASHA -- both young, awesome fiction authors I'm honored to work with.

SO, how's the journaling going? I'm personally digging the whole spiral journaling thing. If you haven't read last week's post you might want to go there, because we'll be referring to that practice from time to time in the weeks to come. I'd still love to have pictures of your journals, and do feel free to comment about what your personal writing is showing you any time. 

That, of course, is part of our 40 days of going deeper into ourselves in order to go deeper in our writing. Good books have been written about creating richer characters and more complex stories. My favorite of those is Donald Maass's The Emotional Craft of Fiction.  Emotional craftI not only recommend it to my clients but I use it myself. I could just tell you to go buy it and end this post right here, seeing how "The Don"  -- as he's referred to by those who have studied under him -- poses many questions that encourage writers to search their own souls before they search those of their characters. In fact, do check it out if you haven't already.

But I'd like to approach this in a little bit different way -- from my own experience, which is basically what we all work from, right? (I'm trying not to be narcissistic here!). At the time I wrote the book you see above (with the world's longest title!) Everybody Tells Me To Be Myself, But I Don't Know Who I Am, I realized I wasn't saying anything I hadn't said before in the fiction I'd written, both for tweens and their grown-ups. Everything I'd written up to that point was about authenticity. Didn't matter if it was a tween fiction series, a set of novels for teens, a novel trilogy targeted to adult women, non-fiction books for all of those age groups ... even my blogs and Facebook posts ... they were all centered around the theme of being one's true self. I started pondering whether I should come up with something new. How much fruit could actually still be on that tree?

And then our priest (I'm Episcopalian) preached a sermon in which she said that it's quite true that every pastor, preacher, priest or what-have-you has only one sermon that he or she preaches over and over in some way. After explaining what hers was -- and son of a gun, she was right! -- she said (and this is one of my favorite phrases now): "The brush stroke I'm going to add to that canvas today is_____"

I have to admit I didn't hear much of the rest of that sermon (I'd heard it before obviously!) because I couldn't get that out of my mind. That was what I was doing as a writer. I only had one book in me. I just kept writing it in different ways and -- and this is the important part -- adding a new brush stroke every time.

That didn't just serve as a way to "get me off the hook". It actually forced me to go deeper with that same theme. If I was going to have new brush strokes to add, I myself needed to become more and more authentic, getting down to those false places where it can actually be painful to scrape junk out and make space for what's real. I quickly learned that it was not for the faint of heart. Girl artist

Writing isn't, unless we're putting out formula romances or cozy mysteries (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, okay?). If we want to write with meaning, with passion, with power we pretty much have to open a vein. But before we get out the scalpels, we need to know just what that canvas is.

    What is that theme your characters keep pulling you back to?

    What is the recurring issue in your life that seems to be taking years to resolve?

    What is common to the novels you read over and over, the films you'll watch repeatedly, the non-fiction books that continue to speak to you?

    What do you admire in the people you respect? What do you want to emulate?

Those are just a few of the questions that will help you discover the grand painting your life's work is creating. The answer to them will not only deepen your writing ... it will deepen you. If I hadn't written as much as I did from age 30 to age 62 (when I began to divide my writing time with mentoring) I wouldn't be the same person I am today. I'm not "there" yet. Seriously, we're not done 'til we're dead, are we? But I would not be as far along as I am if not for creating Lily and Sophie and Lucy and the Mean Girls and Sullivan Crisp and the 'Nama Beach High crowd and the Flagpole Girls and all the other characters who showed up on the page. They added brush stroke after brush stroke, and yet my new characters in my work-in-progress have found even more places on the canvas that need filling in with color and texture and perhaps some new styling. Asher's U collage 

You see what we're doing here, don't you? We're looking at not just one book out of you. We're talking about a body of work, each project taking us deeper. THAT right there is why it's so important to know, or at least have the whisper of an idea, what our life/writing theme is. Just one word -- that's all you need. 

Really, really, really this doesn't mean you're "stuck" with only one thing to write about. The possibilities for what you do with that if you're true to yourself are virtually endless. It's also guaranteed that it will evolve and grow as you do. So don't think of this as a decision you have to make for the rest of your life, but as an awesome discovery that will carry you on its creative wings for years to come. 

Will you tell us what your WORD is? Or if you don't know yet, will you describe how you're playing with ideas until the solid one comes to you? We would love to hear. This is big stuff. Who doesn't need the support of other artists who say, "Yes. You've got this. Get the brushes ready." 

Blessings on your delicious seeking,

Nancy Rue               


JournalsOne of my all-time favorite quotes is from the great Russian playwright Anton Chekhov. He told his writing students: "If you want to work on your art, work on your life." That's what we're about during this Lenten season -- deepening our lives so we can deepen our writing.   

LILY is doing it this way. "For the Lenten season this year, my plan is to observe, describe, and write down how the Lord is present and working in our lives on a daily basis. I'm pretty sure this will also impact my writing as I work on book 2. I'll be in a better position to see the magic and to notice attitude and related issues that need to be explored."

SARAH... recently attended a blogging weekend with some awesome ladies and is tentatively trying to start writing one.

AMANDA, like me, is also developing an at-home yoga practice.

In her new blog, HEIDI is appealing to something deeper by making sure that her time with God's word is more important than her own words.

HeidiWait for it ...

Some of you are going to cringe, roll your eyes, etc. when I say this, but one of the almost magical ways to arrive at that "something deeper" is through journaling. I know just because you're a writer doesn't mean you're drawn to keeping a journal. And most writers aren't as into the whole thing as I am. The picture above shows just four of the journals I have going at the moment (one for my protagonist, one for yoga, one for just me and one for my deep spiritual study.) Don't click off here -- I'm not going to suggest anybody else has to chronicle every moment of their lives the way I seem to. Seriously.

However ... I'm putting this out there. According to Socrates, an unexamined life is not worth living. Before you come back with: And an unlived life is not worth examining, hear me out. If we're to write in a way that goes deep into the soul of our characters (in fiction) or the very spirit of our readers (in non-fiction), I think we need to be able to write into our OWN souls and psyches and spirits as well. And besides, you never know what you're going to discover in there.

Spiral journaling

Will you try something with me? One of the things I love most about being alive is that there is always something new to be learned, and just this week while reading a book on women and journaling I came across this scathingly brilliant idea. Here's how it works:

  • Write one page  -- in your own handwriting -- on a topic that's personal to you. I've offered some prompts below but absolutely feel free to do your own thing. It IS a journal, after all -- the freest kind of writing you can do. Write without stopping until you fill up a page. And 8 1/2 by 11 page, ladies ... no itty bitty pocket journals for this exercise.
  • Read through what you've written and highlight or underline one sentence or phrase that stands out for you. I promise you that in the midst of your rambling you'll find at least one pithy, jarring or shocking word or passage.
  • Write just that at the top of a clean page.
  • Now write one page on THAT. A whole page, without stopping.
  • Read THAT page and highlight or underline one word, phrase, or sentence that practically leaps off the page at you, waves its hand and says, "Pick me! Pick me!"
  • Write just that at the top of a clean page.
  • Write on page on THAT. A whole page, without stopping.     

Donald-Maass-1-AThis is called spiral journaling, and it's kind of amazing. It reminds me of an exercise Donald Maass has writers do in his workshops. You list five things that might be a protagonist's motivation for doing a particular thing or having a certain goal. Then you write 5 more. Finally, you choose the last one you listed and try that as the character's reason. Somehow, doing that takes you deeper. I share this with you in case you are still balking at the idea of recording your thoughts in anything resembling a diary.  You can just write a list. 

If you've ever worked with me in a writing class or as a client, you've probably been asked to journal with your protagonist or your antagonist. If you come to any in the future, you'll experience spiral journaling for your character. I'm finding it to be really, really telling.

Other options

First, though, I'm convinced we need to go deeper into our selves. If you save all your writing for projects, try spiral painting or drawing. Sketch or free paint a symbol for something you're struggling with. Find what strikes you most about this piece of art, hone in on just that in your next piece, and so on. I mentioned yesterday that KATHLEEN does something visually creative before she sits down to work on her non-fiction book, and I can personally tell you the results in her writing are like quantum leaps.

To get you started

If you'd like to try this but you're not sure what you want to write about (and by the way, it could be the thing you're most resisting...) these are some prompts that might get your inner wheels turning. SARAH says hers are a little rusty, but give them some mental WD-40 and you're good to go. Nobody is going to read this except you. It doesn't have to be "good." It just has to be you.

    * What's putting you on the interior hamster wheel right now? Or up the crazy tree? Or listening to that tape that keeps looping in your brain? 

    * What do you need to talk to someone about but you're afraid to for whatever reason? Olivia's journal

    * Is a "what if_" occupying your thoughts right now? 

    * Do you want to have a specific conversation with someone but you're putting it off? Losing yourself in Facebook or polishing the door handles instead?

    * Do you have a hope that you think sounds ridiculous when you say it out loud, but you want to explore it anyway? 

Want to comment?

If you want to comment this time, of course tell us anything you want to (except maybe, "Nancy, this is the all-time worst idea you've ever come up with.") But I would LOVE to hear:

                    How this exercise went if you tried it.

                    Your other experiences with journaling.

                    What other methods you use for exploring interior territory.

AND -- if you want me to include a picture of your journal in my next post, by all means email it to me

Meanwhile, enjoy this exploration. It think you'll find it's not as scary in there as you might think.



Nancy Rue     

Celebrate With ... Caylene!


Hey, Writerly Women, drum roll, please --


Our own CAYLENE has published!!!


Just   click here to check out her novella, Courage In the Mountains.  It CAN be done. Thanks, Caylene, for inspiring us all. 

If you have a milestone to share, please leave a comment or email me. We're in this together.

AND if you haven't read yesterday's post, click here to go there now and leave a comment to let us know you're in. Read the comments, too, because seven of you (that's 7) have reported in how you plan to go deeper -- in both your writing and your selves -- during these 40 days of Lent.  

In case you missed today's Quick Post, you might want to see what LILY is up to. Click here to check it out. Lily and me

I'm eager to get into the meat of our 40 days together ... so much so that I plan to post tomorrow. Yeah, don't keel over into a faint.


Love you, Writerly Women. Let's do this thing.


Nancy Rue