“For the writer who’s spent years running away from actually sitting down to do the work.”
I was a secret writer for decades, depositing my thoughts in a journal with dreams of becoming an author one day. But writing a book? That was different. I struggled to commit. I just kept saying “someday…
My husband had done it. He was a successful screenwriter for television and film. From the moment he decided to become a writer, he committed to becoming a successful writer.
I was in awe of his ability to sit down day after day and bring story ideas and characters to life. It didn’t matter if he was under contract with a studio or not, he wrote for the sheer joy of it.
He was as prolific as it gets, with a career that spanned 3 decades, and there was never a time he didn’t write.
-prolific: marked by abundant inventiveness or productivity- Merriam-Webster Dictionary
I did it again. I caught myself apologizing today for something that wasn’t my fault. It’s a bad habit I’ve picked up and it has no boundaries. I’ve done it in my personal and my professional life.
It’s a habit that clouds my judgment. Without realizing it, I often took the blame for issues that were not mine to own, simply because of a choice I made in the way I communicated.
Even simple phrases where I transferred information to my clients would start with “I’m sorry to tell you the report came in and your system failed to certify. We’ll have to address that. I know it will cost you some money. I’m sorry to bring you such bad news. Don’t worry; we’ll figure it out.”
It was the home’s deferred maintenance that caused the report to fail, can you identify how many times I took responsibility for the issue? I even ended with, “...
Many years ago, I began chronicling my thoughts within the pages of a notebook. I had suffered the greatest loss a parent could imagine, the sudden death of my 16-year-old son to bacterial meningitis.
On the outside, I looked brave, and strong, all together. Within the secret pages of my notebook was the true story; the story of the incredible struggle to wake up in the morning, to go on with life, to be alive for my living children.
Through time, my notebook became so much more.
It held the key to my survival, and ultimately my success. It helped me see the path to restore my broken life, not only by documenting my feelings, but inspiration from meditation, ideas from listening to others, and creative thoughts that rose above the darkest moments of sorrow.
I used it as an organizational tool to hold my life together. I had lists of things I needed to do, and friends I could call upon when I needed more than I could emotionally handle. I drafted a garden...
Isn’t it just the hardest thing to write when you can’t find the words?
Writers Block is a form of overwhelm in the writer’s brain. You think it’s lack of ideas, but I’ve found it can also be a muddle of too many ideas, or too much self-doubt, or simply the inability to have clarity on why you’re writing at all.
If you search the Internet for “writer’s block,” you’ll discover any number of ways to combat the dreaded stall in writing momentum. Many of the ideas come from wildly successful creative people.
Writer’s block is real. It happens even to the best of writers.
My late husband, David Peckinpah, was a writer for television and film. We couldn’t afford Writer’s Block… it was that simple. A block in writing meant we couldn’t pay the bills.
For me, writing is not my main paycheck. I wish it was, but I know for sure, writing...
It wasn’t all that long ago I lived in Los Angeles, surrounded by incredible energy of highly creative people. It’s a city that demands a certain amount of presence in order to even get your foot in the door.
But I saw it all the time… the people who seemed to have what it takes, and those that didn’t. Through the years I observed people rise to the top of their game, and it wasn’t always because they were the best writers or best actors. It had to do with presence, that special something that people exude when you first meet them, or even just walk into a room.
My late husband was a successful producer and writer for television and film, but in the beginning of his career, he was just as uncertain as everyone else. His eyes would dart around the room, he’d rub his hands together, and he’d avoid eye contact. As his confidence grew, so did his presence, and soon he...
“I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.”
Did you know when you fall in love with a great book, a delicious meal, a beautiful painting, or see a movie you’ll never forget, you’re falling in love with someone’s idea… born from creativity?
Several years ago, I started to become envious, even jealous of other people’s work. I recognized I was frustrated because I was not fulfilling my own creative potential. I pushed away my desire to write when I began a new career. My sole focus was my job, and I didn’t see any way I could do both.
But my feelings changed when I realized creativity is deeply embedded in everything we do, from working out problems, building relationships, starting an entrepreneurial venture… or anything really.
Everyone is born with a creative destiny.
“Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”—Nelson Mandela
If there’s one common theme in life, it’s that resilience is the necessary life force that helps us stay flexible, buoyant, and strong.
Wikipedia defines resilience as “the ability to cope with change,” and “being able to withstand or recover quickly from difficulties.”
Resilience rears its head when change happens. One stage of life ends, and another begins. It can happen gently and predictably through natural stage-of-life occurrences, like an empty nest, aging, or retirement. Or, change happens unexpectedly from incidents like a loss, divorce, financial struggle, or health.
Life events, planned or unplanned, drive the cycles of change and contribute to the evolution of you. We can struggle and resist for a while,...
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
- Maya Angelou
No one arrives at this very moment in time without a past.
In story development, we call it a backstory.
I took acting classes for years in Los Angeles with two notable teachers, Stella Adler, and Jeff Corey. Both were great actors, and both had a remarkable gift to teach other actors how to develop characters that come alive on stage and film.
Jeff Corey was the first to introduce me to the idea of the backstory. He said you couldn’t develop a full character until you know who they are. If the script doesn’t tell you what happened from birth to how they became the character on the page, then you make it up. He also added this tidbit… every character needs to have a secret.
The audience may never know the secret exists, but the actor does. It’s the key to giving...
“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” ― Rumi
All was possible at the dawn of our lives. We popped into the world with a will to survive and the highest calling of the universe… to someday realize our fullest potential.
In the early weeks, we simply had needs. We learned how to convey those needs with a cry, a whimper, or a smile.
As our minds evolved, our creative capacity grew. Ask any child to improvise a story, and you’ll see imagination come alive.
We began projecting our fantasies into the future. We started saying, someday, I want to… As children, we had no doubts. We play-acted, we dreamed, and “someday” appeared as an achievable reality.
As real life sets in, we begin working at the job we trained for in school… or not. There are bills to pay, families started, and obligations that rob us of time to...
“When I go to sleep at night right now, I’m as financially nervous as I was 20 years ago.”- Will Smith, actor
Yep… that’s me, too. Foreboding finances. I know it well.
I first learned about the feelings of “foreboding” from Brené Brown when she said:
“Joy is the most vulnerable emotion we experience. And if you cannot tolerate joy, what you do is you start dress rehearsing tragedy.” –Brene Brown
The dictionary defines “foreboding” as a noun implying:
“fearful apprehension; a feeling that something bad will happen.”
Brown, describes the feeling as “terrifying.” And in the middle of the night, I can tell you, it is.
Foreboding joy for me manifests in my financial life. I rehearse financial disaster in the dark hours of the night. I see visions of my bank...