How to Survive Unendurable Heartbreak

humpty“No matter what happens we are always

on the adventure.

Sometimes the heartbreak is unendurable

and you’re in a hole.

That’s just where it starts to get interesting.

Rupture is the beginning –

it’s a passage in your unfolding”.  

Mama Gena

Things need to fall apart before you can put them back together the way YOU want to.

Because as of now, you may be put together by those who raised you, society around you, media, and choices you made to navigate everyone elses’ ideas.

There are numerous times when you experience unendurable heartbreak in your life and it feels like the end.  If only you could remember that this is the real starting point. Rupturing and falling apart gives you the place to put yourself back together the way YOU want.  There are choices you need to make now – people to invite in or kick out of your life, places to go, things to do.

You realize that every single doorknob and cabinet handle of your life is yours to choose.

Should this be easy? Who knows. It’s not. It’s unimaginably hard. 

What makes it possible to bear is if you keep in mind that this is where it starts to get interesting. This is the begining of a journey, not the end. From this perspective it becomes curiously exciting even though your tears are flowing and fears and growing larger.

One life. That’s it. That’s what we get. So allow yourself to unfold and fall apart so you can put Humpty Dumpty back together again. The fairy tale was right. All the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put him back together again. 

But the woman can.  They should’ve called a woman.

photo credit″>Humpty Dumpty_3037</a> 

How To Make Writing Easy

girl writing in journal


Does this woman look like she is working hard? Or thinking about how to make money writing or become famous fast?

Not to me.

On her finger is a gorgeous diamond ring, cradled in her fingers a red leather journal and her body seems relaxed. She writes.

The everyday woman.  That’s all I really want to be. So how did I get tangled up in so many other things that drag me away from putting on a pretty ring, a gingham blouse and writing in a red journal?

Many things. If I had to list them I wouldn’t know where to begin or end, so I don’t thing it’s in my pleasure to begin a thought process like that. What I do want to do is go back to the basics.

Writing. Every day. Whatever I want.

Seeing something, being inspired, and writing about it. Enjoying the writing journey. I can always keep my goal oriented projects going, yet when I write just for me I feel smug and self satisfied.

As if to say “this is what I think and I’m saying it out loud”.

How many times are we shut down, either by others or in the desire to fit in and be politically or socially correct? Not wanting to say something that will hurt someone?

Well, here on the page you have complete freedom. Write whatever you want. You don’t have to show it to anyone if you don’t want to and if you do then go ahead. Somehow I feel like if someone heads over to my blog that has my own name as the URL its just too bad on them if they don’t like or agree with anything here.

Because Its Mine. And I am one hell of a greedy bitch when it comes to my writing.

How to Write Even if You Have Writers Block


“Golden bridge, silver bridge or diamond bridge; it doesn’t matter! As long as the bridge takes you across the other side, it is a good bridge!”  

Mehmet Murat ildan  

The other side. That’s it. Just get to the other side.

What about enjoying the journey? 

Two schools of thought here. One says if it gets what you need, it served its purpose. The other thought is that the journey is the most important. The view from the bridge. How stable is the bridge? 

Like writing.

Some writing you enjoy just because. You love putting words together, writing sentences that turn into paragraphs, chapters, stories. The feeling is exhilerating regardless if anyone reads it. The wooden bridge. 

Then there is the writing that you want to share or what’s the point? You want people to read your writing and feel something. You want to change peoples life experience because you wrote. That’s the golden and diamond bridge.

Which bridge is your favorite? Is the wooden bridge, writing for yourself, the safe bridge?

Is the writing you do to share, sell and inspire and entertain and inform others the “real” one? 

I like to think it’s good to do some of both. In order to avoid writers block I choose a daily image and just write what comes to mind. That’s my wooden bridge. I can write anything and so I am not blocked. No judgement. So self sabatoge. No one cares about that writing but me. I am writing and that’s all that matters.

Then there are the stories I write that are exhilerating, tortorous, exciting, demanding, painful, tearful, wonderful. Those are for you, and those are the diamond and golden bridges.

Like my kids, I love both equally.

The Frida Kahlo Pumpkin

pumpkin prompt 1

“Take A Lover Who Looks at You Like Maybe You Are Magic”

Frida Kahlo

Did anyone ever look at you like maybe you were magic?

Until this pumpkin person up above, I mean. Just something to think about.

This was supposed to be a fall/pumpkin blog post about the changing of leaves and why pumpkin spice coffee is so popular.  Yet, somehow when you give a writer an image you just never know what will happen.

Fall, changing of the seasons, Halloween, and boots. Add love to the mix and take a deep breath in and allow the season to embrace you and gently carry you away from the summer and towards the winter.

What better way to move along past September then to do some contemplative writing?

Open your laptop, notebook or pull a paper napkin off the nearest table and breath in, breath out, and write down whatever is on your mind.

Spicy lattes and love. That’s a combination I could live with.


31 Things To Stop Doing (so you will start writing)


Yesterday I wanted to give up.

The flow I was in with my writing had become a battle and I started feeling  like a fraud.

Who was I to coach others on writing when my fingers were stuck in cement? I wasn’t finishing my writing projects and my blog was felt like a rock in my shoe I was just too lazy to shake out.

Until I remembered why I want to write. I want to write because I do it well, it stops the insanity in my head for a while, and brings me some peace and clarity.  Like most writers, I also write for the dream of seeing my name on the NY TIMES Bestsellers list one day. Oh, and money – for the money, JK Rowling style.

A favorite actor of mine said,

“The only good reason to have money is this: so that you can tell any SOB in the world to go to hell”. Humphrey Bogart

I must confess that one of the reasons behind my perseverance in writing is because while I love writing for the journey, I have some people I would love to tell where to go. In my fantasies, my writing will bring me monetary success so that I can do that.

Y’know like “ F** off, my book is on the New York Times Best Seller List”.

Wow – that was not what this post was supposed to be about.

I was going to make this post about how I lost my obsession with writing when I slipped on the ice this winter, and fractured my elbow and tore ligaments in my shoulder.

I developed some unhealthy habits because I could not write, and when I don’t write I go a little nuts.

Without writing here’s what I did -

I spent my time:

  • Addicted to the iPhone
  • Laying on the couch popping pain meds non-stop
  • Watching too much on Netflix
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Telling myself the kids need me. All. The. Time. (they don’t)
  • Cooking for the family. I mean, thinking about it. (I don’t like to cook)
  • Bemoaning that my writing arm was in a sling and I was in so much pain.

Then slowly I started healing. Yet, I still was not writing. My bad habits had taken hold of me.

I was:

  • B**tching about money. Again.
  • Rolling around in the ‘not enough’ swamp.

There was not enough:

  • time.
  • money.
  • love.
  • help.
  • boots. (I love boots.)

I decided to quit thinking about writing and just give up and sit in the kitchen watching the eggs boil.

The eggs boiled and I realized that everything takes time. 20 min for eggs to boil. A lifetime to work through everything else. It takes time to come back to the writing page after having been gone for a while.

I went to what I call the center of my soul:  my bookshelf.  I pulled out a book by Steven Chandler on Time Management called “Time Warrior”, and a book by Steven Pressfield called “Turning Pro”.

I went to the swimming pool, sat at the end of the diving board and poked around the time management book. A few pokes was all it took for me to take on the energy of the book, the urgency to get focused and be responsible for my time.

I made the decision to read Turning Pro from cover to cover without budging.  I did, right then and there while sitting on the diving board. Drenched in sweat and sunburned, I felt alive again.

I was back in the game of doing what I love: Writing and inspiring others to write.

Here are 31 things to stop doing so you will start writing.

STOP Doing these 31 things:

1) Stop waiting for the perfect time. The perfect time is now. Right now.

2) Stop waiting to have more money. Writing when you’re hungry has a lot of power, and while I wouldn’t choose it, if it happens, use your hunger in your writing.

3) Stop wanting to be successful in your current business/career first. One thing has nothing to do with the other. You can write while you’re working:  Evenings, lunch hour, early morning, weekends.

4) Stop wanting permission from someone. Skip this. Just give yourself permission – that’s all that really matters.

5) Stop being afraid of your power.  You may not realize it, yet acknowledging that you are a powerful person that can be powerful with your words is scary. You are powerful. It’s OK to take that in.

6) Stop distracting yourself. The world is full of distractions for everyone. People that are successful are able to ignore distractions and focus. Just start with short periods of time. Can you sit, writing, undistracted for five minutes?

7) Stop hiding from your demons. They’re everywhere: In your dreams, your thoughts, your past. Bring them with you to the page and write to them. Let them sit alongside you as you write them a goodbye letter. If they revisit, do it again.

8) Stop pursuing a shadow career (where you are the support for another that is going for their dreams) while ignoring your writing. No matter what your career is right now, make the time to write.

9) Stop chasing many dreams and goals. It may feel free when you don’t lock yourself down to one thing, but you are trapped in scattered energy. Choose your one thing, one topic, and go for it. That is true freedom.

10) Stop thinking that some people are born as professional writers. They had to work at it. HARD. So do you. You work at it, you fail, you crash and burn. Then you really have something to say.

12) Stop your addictions to______. I know you can’t stop completely but you can stop long enough to get some writing out.

(It can be an addiction to a substance, to failure, to love, to a person, care-taking, money, shopping, sex, distraction, drama, traveling, negative thinking…fill in the blank.)

13) Stop trying to change bad habits.  My trick is to  just start a good habit. It will cancel out some of the bad ones. 

14) Stop saying  “I’m so busy”. Of course you take care of stuff, but you don’t have to make being busy your go to motto. Instead of saying “I am busy” say “I am a writer” as often as you can.

15) Stop creating drama in your life, or getting sucked into someone else’s drama. Deal with your own internal stuff and stay out of other peoples stuff.  They will figure it out without you, leaving you the time and energy to focus on your writing.

16) Stop giving up on your dream of writing.

As Churchill said, “Never never never give up”. 

17) Stop letting your fears hold you back because there is no end to your fears. Allow yourself to feel the fear and do it anyway.

18) Stop procrastinating. Write like there’s no tomorrow. There may not be, and your story and writing may be hidden from the world forever.

19) Stop avoiding a simple life. Life gets simple when you have one track you’re on. Make that one track your writing.

Be regular and orderly in your life so you may be violent and original in your work. Gustave Flaubert

20) Stop ignoring the secret dream or passion you have. Dreams that are ignored tend to become quite rowdy and show up in your life to get your attention in unconventional ways.

21) Stop clinging to your unproductive friends and turn to those people that are committed to their craft. You don’t have to give up your unproductive friends completely but remember that you become like the 5 people closest to you.

22) Stop punishing yourself in your mind if you don’t know what you want. Stay open to the world around you and keep asking questions of yourself and the answers will come.

23) Stop thinking about regrets of the past and stop obsessing about the future. Read some Eckhart Tolle and be in the moment. That’s where creation is, right in the laser focused, present moment.

24) Stop waiting to be inspired and just write something. Anything. You can throw it out.

25) Stop obsessing about what ‘other’ people, other gurus or know it all’s are doing. You have enough inside you so be your own guru.

26) Stop trying to be great and just be ordinary. Once you’re getting ‘ordinary’ done, you can work on being great. One step at a time.

27) Stop dreaming of fame and fortune as the rewards for your work. Know that the journey is the reward in itself.

28) Stop waiting for the perfect space.  Create an orderly corner for yourself and go there every day at the same time, even if its only for five minutes at first.

29) Stop thinking you have to know everything. You don’t. Most people don’t know what they’re doing at first. You can figure if out along the way, so get on your way.

30) Stop letting a bad day or a missed creative session hold you back from writing again tomorrow. Keep going. Athletes play while they’re hurt. You can come back after a flop.

31) Stop thinking it will get better. If this is how it is so be it.

This is your current life. Create anyway.

The One Thing Left To Do:

Make a decision to write no matter what. Cross over into the place where obstacles still exist but excuses do not.

Steven Pressfield, author of the book I read on the diving board says this:

“I didn’t talk to anybody during my year of turning pro. I didn’t hang out. I just worked. I had a book in mind and I had decided I would finish it or kill myself. No tv, radio, music, sports, sex. I didn’t read the newspaper. For breakfast I had liver and eggs. I was like Rocky.” 

You may not be able to check out completely, yet in your own way, with whatever you have going on in your life, you can figure out a way to do a version of what Steven Pressfield did.

Pursue your art.

Decide. Look into the mirror and what do you see?

Make that person you see in the mirror the one that owns their power to take on the decision to say “I am a writer”.  And write no matter what.

Now it’s your turn to reply to this email with your story. What are you up to? What’s happening in your life? What do you want to share with the world?

Would you like to work with me?   I won’t leave you alone. I will email you, text you, call you,  and make sure you’re writing.

$97 is my fee for now for new clients only, until I fill up the few slots I am offering because I am taking a break between writing projects.  (YES I spend most of my time writing.)

What you get is:

  • a half hour session about your writing desires and goals
  • a written, emailed, personalized step by step writing plan based on our conversation 
  • a follow up with me via email one week later

Go for it. You are a writer.

You will receive an email confirmation with my calendar so you can schedule your call.

The Right Way to Think About Writing


Are you authentic?

Authenticity, such a big word yet a rather simplistic definition.  

According to Webster’s Dictionary, authenticity is defined as “the quality of being authentic”. Easy enough one might say; however, why do we all struggle with being genuinely who we are?  If we were to expound on this word a bit, one might come to grips with the magnitude and power it possesses.

Authenticity is the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite external pressures; the conscious self is seen as coming to terms with being in a material world and with encountering external forces, pressures and influences which are very different from, and other than, itself.  

Now, we have arrived at the exact reason this word is so huge as it is rather complex to live out. The inner voices we all possess have cultivated our self-esteem to creep in and say things such as:

-Will they like me for who I am?

-Could it be true that I’m that amazing?

-Do I even really know who I am?

As you can I’m sure relate; the barrage of inquiries could go on and on.

This is where writing comes into picture.  Writing is an avenue where one can experiment with giving the “real you” permission to come out and play. After all, writing is just a compilation of words on paper. Yet, those words are indeed an expression of you. The key is to allow words to flow out of you sans judgment. This is when the magic happens and suddenly the authentic you has began to emerge.

Trust me, the response to the real you will be nothing short of favorable. It will feel awkward, it will be scary and it will seem impossible, but this will make all of the difference.

How will you know if the genuine you has come to the surface?  By putting yourself out there and letting someone read what you write.  Then, truly receive their reaction!  How does it feel to let someone else hold the mirror up and reflect back to you what he or she sees?  Amazing, right? So, you don’t say? 

Well, my friend by being authentically you and through receiving this goodness; you have given the other person a gift.  The treasure of allowing them to also be who they are in the purest form.  You see we get what we give!  Our thoughts, opinions and feelings matter and they serve us well when viewed positively and intended for the highest good of self and others. 

Writing is a way that you can begin to discover the real you.  The key is to accept that you are perfectly imperfect and to have no expectations.  You will be alive; you will feel accomplished and perhaps comfortable in your own skin for the very first time.  Let me be the first to tell you, this whole notion of being implicitly who you are can change everything. 

Years of sacrifice, telling people what they want to hear, being who they want you to be; these were all for naught.  What everyone really wants to see is the uninhibited you in all of your authentic glory.  In turn, they will also be who they steadfastly are as a person. 

Without delay, grab your journal and favorite pen, fire up your laptop or your Smartphone and let those words pour out of you.  In the words of my favorite poet, Robert Frost,

“I took the road less traveled on and that has made all of the difference” as I made the conscious choice to be ME.

More about Joni…


Joni Goodman is a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) with over 16 years of learning and development experience in the areas of sales training, mentoring, executive coaching and presentations skills. Joni’s passion lies in consultancy where she thrives on facilitation and the coaching and developing of others through skill based learning in order to make a difference in their lives. Joni is also a published author in “The Book of Road Tested Activities” and “ATDs Trainer’s Toolkit” 

Writers Block: What is the REAL story?


My first book, Autobiography of an Orgasm, took two years to write, but that was because I spent twenty-one of those months writing a different book.

The original book I was working on was about my life and spiritual path as I travelled between the US and Zimbabwe, and it included a very short passage about a sensual encounter with a man in Africa.

When author Joyce Maynard evaluated a chapter of that manuscript, she said,

“You should be writing about your sensual path.”

At the time, I remember thinking  I could never tell the truth about my sex life – it was filled with so many lies, so much sadness and shame. It was a part of my life that I wanted to hide.

I was not brave enough to tell the truth about my sensual path, so I continued to write the book about my travels. A year later, Joyce read another chapter from the manuscript and told me the same thing again.

This time I listened.


“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” -Joan Didion


Maybe it was because I was turning fifty and no longer cared as much about what people thought about me. Maybe it was because in the end, the discomfort of not telling the story was worse than the transparency of telling it. Maybe it was a little of both.

My book opened with the line: “I had my first orgasm when I was thirty-six, which means I spent half my life faking it” and for the next 40,000 words, I wrote all the stories that I felt were unsayable, unlovable and unforgivable. I learned that the real story I needed to tell was the story hiding behind the one I was writing, and once I tapped into the source of what I should be writing, the story flowed out of me like a I was watering a garden ready to bloom.

It was a relief to write the truth. It was also uncomfortable and vulnerable at times but ultimately I found strength in being vulnerable.

After releasing, Autobiography of an Orgasm, something unexpected happened – the transparency was where readers connected to my story. I began to receive story after story from readers who thanked me for putting words to their own disconnection from their sensual being. For some, it became a starting point to look at their relationships to their bodies. For others, it became a launching point for reclaiming their bodies as holy and experiencing healing through orgasm. 

Look at your writing now. Is there something you are not telling the whole truth about?  Where can you write with even more transparency?


In order to be a writer, you have to learn to be reverent. If not, why are you writing? Why are you here?” –Anne Lamott


I asked for submissions for the next book, an anthology I was editing titled Autobiographies of Our Orgasms. I received so many soulful, reverent stories about the sensual paths of men and women, but in nearly all of the pieces, there was a deeper story, a deeper truth that needed to be told.  When I suggested revisions, some of the writers courageously revealed the deeper truths. Others said they weren’t ready to write the whole truth because of concerns about family, friends and careers.

My advice to any writer on writing the passages that make you uncomfortable is whatever you choose to do, offer it with reverence. Offer your writing in the same way you would make an offering at a sacred temple. And remember, you will find the most connection when you write the scenes you would rather hide from.

Can you honor yourself enough to write the real story you want to tell?

You can find more information on Betsy Blankenbaker’s books or her Qoya Writing Workshops at She is accepting submissions for Autobiographies of Our Orgasms, Vol 2 through September 30, 2015.

The Sensual Writer


Writing to me is sensuality. It is talking about the assault on the senses and the effect on the individual. The main thing is to immerse yourself in the material, and reach for the intensity.

-Anne Rice

Does everything have to be about sex? 

It’s tempting, but no, not everything has to be about sex. 

But wouldn’t it be great if we felt passionate, blissful, satiated, loving, and fulfilled most of the time? I believe we would appreciate life more if we experienced everything with the full engagement of our senses, including when we write.

When our senses are open, we are present in our bodies. We are sensual.  We see, feel, hear, taste, and smell more completely and passionately.  We are more alive, we feel good, we engage from a higher place.  We are, simply, happier.  And isn’t that the whole point?

As writers, our awakened senses inspire us to serve our readers better. Or at the very least, help us to enjoy the writing process at every moment.

The sensual writer is a passionate writer.  It doesn’t have to be a trashy novel or erotica to write from a turned-on, sensual state.  When you are present, focused, and stimulated (yes just like sex), you will find your creative juices flow more gracefully and fully.  It makes the process of writing enjoyable, satisfying, and maybe even euphoric. 

The sensual writer is a vulnerable writer.  When we let go of inhibitions and allow ourselves to be naked and vulnerable, we can travel to the depths of our psyche and emotions to meet our true self.   From this place, the shame, disappointment, and judgment that hide our most secret desires can be exposed and expressed with authenticity.

The sensual writer is a therapeutic writer.  Sensuality is a healing energy.  Writing with our heightened senses, conscious presence, and courage to expose our truths nourishes readers with stimulating thoughts, ideas, and fantasy.  It connects us to the universal forces of humanity to heal our sensual souls.

So, let’s get naked and vulnerable, be fully connected with presence, heighten our passion, enjoy the depths and heights of our emotions, ignite all our senses, and allow our creative writing juices to flow. 

Here are a few tips to opening up all your senses to become a sensual writer.

1) Create a space that makes you feel deliciously alive and peaceful.  Try writing with scented candles, flowers, stimulating art or photographs, and music that helps you to settle into your body.

2) Try light, healthy, aromatic snacks that tempt your taste buds but don’t fill you up. Enjoying small pieces of chocolate, juicy fruit, or honey now and then.  Learn to smell the aroma before you take a bite.  This heightens the brainwaves for taste.

3) Keep scented lotions near your workspace. Take breaks giving your hands or whole body a luxurious self-massage now and then.  Touch is one of the most nourishing things you can do for yourself.

4) Take a 5-minute stretch or meditation breaks. Make sure you breathe deeply to stimulate the inner body.

5) Start off your writing session with a sexy dance break.  Find your favorite sensual song and move to it before you sit down to write.  Try this especially if you have writers block.  Getting out of your head and back into your body might be the perfect remedy.

6) If you have the luxury of privacy, try writing completely naked.  See how that vulnerability and excitement stimulates your writing.  If a private space is not available to you, try going commando.

I encourage you, at this very moment, to be a sensual writer.  Simply start swaying your body and maybe even slip off those undies – you know you’re tempted.  Grab your pen and paper and jot down how this experience makes you feel, especially when you move beyond your mind.  How are your words flowing? What phrases do you choose to use?  How many new ideas do you now have?  I’m having the time of my life imagining all of you writers in motion, intoxicated, inspired, and deliciously creative.

Coltrane Lord is a Couture Designer, Boudoir Photographer, Writer, Soul Searcher in Stilettos, Illuminator, and Creatrix at Lord Coltrane Haute Life

On Being a Vulnerable Blogger


In the not-so-distant past, each time I sat down to write, I was faced with the decision of whether or not to use a filter on sharing my emotions, thoughts, experiences, judgments, beliefs, and if I use one, how much truth must I filter out?

The series of anxious thoughts that flood my mind sound something like this:

Who is going to read this and do they even care what I have to say? How much personal information is “appropriate” to share with the public? If I say________, who will I offend? What will my friends and family think of me?

Can I write about experiences that have to do with other people? What potential clients might I push away for being too honest, transparent, and vulnerable? Can I swear?

Will people continue to think I am:

  • too much
  • too sensitive
  • too vocal about painful parts or even joyful parts of my life?

As far back as I can remember, people always told me that I should write. It’s always been easiest for me to articulate my innermost personal experiences with others via writing.

It was a way for me to say what I needed to purge, without having to look someone in the eye and be vulnerable in their presence. While in school, if I had the opportunity to write about a topic and weave my personal experiences into it, I was delighted, and enjoyed being able to candidly disclose moments of my life I would normally only share with a best friend or a therapist.

I found it easy to write about my life, seeing as I was an expert on it, and felt dread when having to discuss anything less interesting.

It just dawned on me in this very moment that writing is both a way for me to hide and a way for me to be seen.

It allows me to bare some deep and dark places I’ve experienced all the while hiding behind a computer screen, or, back in the day, pen and paper. I remember being terrified to keep a journal when I was younger for fear that someone would read it and my most painful moments in life would be revealed to another human being.

Coming from a childhood experience where I was molested, bribed with food to keep quiet about it, and threatened that if I ever told, something bad would happen to my mother, you can imagine the debilitating fear I felt to open my mouth, even if just putting these things down on paper.

It was these experiences that I’d kept secret for so long are what prompted me to begin to share my inner world with the outer world.

Up until about a year and a half ago, I never believed I had the permission to publicly write (or speak) about my experiences. I knew if and when I did, that my work would come from the place in me that has always wanted to be heard and seen.

Once I began blogging, I found myself holding back less and less. I was able to release the fear of what others would think. I was able be raw and real. What I have come to realize is that I receive the most loving and thoughtful feedback from people when I am vulnerable and I let people see the tender, human side of me. This is now why I write. I desire others to be able to find their voice too.

Here are more useful questions I ask myself now that you can ask yourselves too.

What is my intention behind my words?

How do I hope they will be received?

In what way do I hope to positively impact and inspire people?

Who exactly am I writing for?

Am I being completely authentic?

Is there a way for me to go deeper and be even more truthful?

Do I need to reel in my emotions and if so, will I feel like I am holding back?

My blog is now the virtual version of my journal. I openly disclose things I once held shame around. I don’t have to hide it under my bed.

I welcome you to read it.

Brittany England is a Mind/Body Wellness Coach, Certified FasterEFT Practitioner, and former licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. She is inspired by human connection, a desire for others to feel freedom within themselves, and trusting in the divine plan the Universe has in store! She can be found at and You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @tapintopeace.

7 Indispensable Writing Tips From Famous Authors


Is this how it goes when you’re stuck and can’t write? 

When you finally open your laptop, you sit for two minutes, then get up, go to your kitchen and grab a snack.  Back at your laptop, you check your Facebook feed, then realize the sofa is more comfy, so you move there.  Then you check email.  Then you remember your eight glasses of water a day, so you head back to the kitchen, and while you’re there, you load the dishwasher with the breakfast dishes and call your dentist for an appointment.

Before you know it, the morning is gone.  Poof.

And then the afternoon evaporates the same way.  Next thing you know the week is gone.  Before long it’s the month and the year. 

Your precious words never make it onto the page and never get into the world.

So how do real writers actually write things? 

Surely they simply sit at their computers, place their hands on the keyboard, tap into their brilliance, and voila! Extraordinary words flow onto the page. 

Surely they isolate themselves in far-off places, like rose-covered stone cottages in rural Vermont, without other people, wi-fi, or telephones. 

I used to think so until I began paying attention to what accomplished writers have to say about it.   

Here’s what I learned:  they get blocked, too–they struggle with getting started, with finding the right words, with moving through the droughts.  They have distractions, family demands, broken washing machines, and email, just like the rest of us.  They are tempted to goof-off, just like the rest of us.

Yep.  I’ve heard it first-hand from acclaimed writers like Cheryl Strayed, Anne Lamott, Martha Beck, and Pam Houston, all of whom consistently produce fine work.   

Here are some tips I’ve discovered:

1.  Expect the resistance.  Struggle is part of the process of writing just like it’s part of any creative endeavor.  Expect it and don’t give into it.  Every single writer I’ve studied with says the same thing.  They all struggle.  What makes the difference?  They don’t let the struggle stop them.  Don’t let it stop you.

2.  Aim low.  In her brilliant and hilarious guide to writing, Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott suggests that you begin with a “shitty first draft.”  Yep, that’s all you need to get started.  Just get something, anything, no matter how terrible on the page.  You can edit, polish and change it later.

3.  Aim high.  Read the works of the masters. Cheryl Strayed talks about reading Alice Munroe and Toni Morrison to figure out how to move a character from room to room.  Think about it:  Cheryl Strayed, whose best-selling memoir Wild inspired Oprah to reconvene her Book Club, has trouble finding the right words, too. Writing can be challenging, so read the masters with curiosity and learn how they do it.

4.  Clean out the clogged pipes.  Martha Beck suggests doing Artist’s Pages for 15 minutes every morning.  Artist’s Pages are a technique described in The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron.  Simply set a timer and write steadily about anything for 15 minutes.  Don’t stop until the time is up.  This is not necessarily to be used or even re-read.  It’s just to get your creative flow unblocked.

5.  Treat every day like it’s your last.  Anne Lamott says to ask yourself what you will care about at the end of your life?  Having spent your evenings on Facebook? Watching the 10 pm news?  “If you want to write,” she says, “you must commit that every evening at 10 pm you will write for an hour, come hell or high water.”

6.  Breathe, baby, breathe.   Stress is the enemy of intelligence and creativity.  You can’t think or create when you’re stressed about anything, including not writing.   A simple trick is to use your breath with this simple exercise: inhale-two-three-four-exhale-two-three-four.   You can also try my Heartbreathing technique—it’s free and super-effective.

7.  Put down the whip.  If you’re mean to yourself, critical and judgmental, or tell yourself that you should have done it yesterday, you’ll make it worse.  Self-abuse is not motivating.  It has the opposite effect—you’ll avoid writing to avoid the tongue-lashing that you know is coming.  Be kind.  It really works! 

So now what?  Here’s my final tip:

Print out this article and put it in a visible place in your writing area.  Read it every morning.  Try out each tip and see what works for you.

And please do leave a comment below, about what you experience with these tips or your own favorite technique.

Terry DeMeo, JD is a coach, mentor, writer and storyteller.  Her blog is  If you join her mailing list, you’ll receive her free Heartbreathing materials—a guided meditation and worksheet that’s guaranteed to relieve stress in any situation.  Just drop an email to with the words “Heartbreathing Materials, please” in the subject line.