Thursday, March 6, 2014

Are You Upside Down in Your Writing?


A recent phone call and an email reminded me of a problem most writers encounter at some time. It puzzles me, but I have a couple of theories. (Of course I have theories. I am nothing if not full of opinions.)

Here is the problem: The writer begins writing her life story for her family and friends. The writer has in mind a few stories she wants to write.  She produces those stories; all is going well. The writing is fun and easy. Then something changes. She quits writing about her life or quits writing altogether.

My theory -- the writer encounters lone tree experience. Writing is mainly a solitary process. Every day the writer must decide to sit down, alone, and write the next story. As the writer examines her life, she encounters the next experience -- my second theory.

Parts of this process are going to be a rocky and uphill path. Even writing light stories for family produces self-examination and reflection. Sometimes that results in mental or emotional discomfort. The writer doesn't know what to do with these thoughts and emotions so -- she quits writing. Upside down in her writing.

How to get yourself right-side up in your writing?

Respect your creativity. Every day that you sit down to write, you are creating something brand new that only you can create.

Respect your life experience. If the memories feel uncomfortable, push yourself up that rocky trail a few steps a day. It is okay to write only one sentence. That counts. Write one more sentence the next day. And the next until you feel strong enough to write entire pages.

Respect your own sensibilities. You don't have to allow everything you write to be read. Simply writing the experience may be enough to get you back to writing. I have written  two stories from my life that I know I will never show anyone (not even Gentleman Friend). However, after writing them, I felt stronger and more able to move on with more writing.

Respect the writing process.Writing takes time and energy. You notice the photo above is not a picture of a "walk in the park".

Respect the result. If you stick with it, I promise you will feel your life affirmed.And, as you look back at the significance of what you have completed, you will feel you had fun. (If you don't feel good at the end, call me.)


If you are stalled in your writing, look back at the last thing you wrote or at any of your stories. Re-type, or re-write in your handwriting, the last page of that piece. I mean simply copy it. (Don't worry about editing. You are in creative mode here.) And then go on and write a new sentence. And another new sentence. A new paragraph. That paragraph could continue the story or it could jump ten years ahead or back in the story. Doesn't matter, just get back on the path and get your writing right-side up.


Crispy Peanut Butter Balls

These yummy, easy-to-make treats (and the photo) are from Mom on Timeout. They have a special ingredient that makes them extra appealing to me -- Rice Krispies. I like peanut butter okay -- not absolutely crazy about it -- but I think the crunch in these will be just right.
Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Crunch Balls
  • 2 cups crunch peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 - 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 16 oz chocolate candy coating (CandiQuik)
  • 1 tsp shortening
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped salted peanuts (optional)

  1. Combine peanut butter and butter together in a large mixing bowl and mix until well combined.
  2. Stir in vanilla extract.
  3. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, half a cup at a time until mixture is nice and smooth and you can easily form balls.
  4. Stir in crispy rice cereal.
  5. Shape into 1 inch balls and refrigerate for 30 minutes on a waxed paper lined baking sheet.
  6. Melt candy coating and and 1 teaspoon of shortening together in a microwave safe bowl following melting directions on package.
  7. Dip the peanut butter balls into the chocolate using a toothpick.
  8. Transfer to wax paper and sprinkle chopped peanuts on top immediately.
  9. Let candy stand until the chocolate is firm.
  10. Store in an airtight container.

If you feel your writing energy flagging, visit to find more tips and resources. 

And if you need more of a buddy to hold your hand, get the Write Your Life Story Workbook.

All photos except the recipe photo are by Carol Newman.

All rights reserved 2014 There's An Angel In Your Inkwell®

1 comment:

Pat said...

Thanks for these helpful suggestions.Somewhere down the road - near or far - they will help me move my mountain.