Category Archives: survival

Quitting Social Media

On September 10, 2017, a Sunday, I deleted my Facebook account. I did not do this impulsively. I did it consciously. I even “gave notice”, as if I were leaving a job and wanted to make sure I received a … Continue reading

Posted in comfort, Completing a novel, creativity, Day by day, Decisions, Energy, failure, fiction, marketing, Pain, Passion, Philosophy, silence, Social Media, spaciousness, spirit, Starting a new work, Stillness, Story, survival, The market, The Writer's Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

The Myth of the Published Writer

When you disclose to a stranger that you’re a writer, the first question you will be asked is, “Are you published?” It feels good to say yes, to have a small list you can name off as validation of your … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Comparison, Competition, Completing a novel, Consumerism, creativity, Elitism, failure, marketing, Process, Public appearances, Self-worth, Society, Strength, success, survival, The market, Uncategorized, what artists need, Writing career | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

The Shame I Feel

I’m stupid. I’m inadequate. I am a failure. This is what I grew up believing about myself, and there was no place that proved these points more often, more relentlessly, and more consistently than school. All day long, five days … Continue reading

Posted in Book tour, Completing a novel, creativity, Day by day, Decisions, depression, economics, education, emotion, Energy, failure, fiction, History, Listening, Magic, Maintenance, marketing, Pain, Play, privacy, Process, Public appearances, Publishing, research, silence, Society, spaciousness, spirit, Starting a new work, Stillness, Story, Strength, success, survival, The market, the world, Uncategorized, Visibilty, what artists need | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Making Art in the Age of Trump

Writing takes spaciousness. It requires managing time and psychic space. It requires holding part of yourself away from things: reality, jobs, bills, money, even marriage and partnership and family. It requires keeping a large part of your heart and mind … Continue reading

Posted in Book tour, comfort, Community; Genorosity, Completing a novel, creativity, Day by day, Decisions, depression, economics, emotion, Energy, failure, fiction, Grief, Listening, marketing, privacy, Process, Public appearances, Publishing, research, silence, Society, spaciousness, Starting a new work, Stillness, Story, Strength, survival, Uncategorized, Visibilty, what artists need | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Alchemy

Years ago, when I first started teaching, a woman signed up for my class at the John C. Campbell Folk School in the N.C. mountains because her doctor had told her that if she didn’t do something for herself soon, … Continue reading

Posted in creativity, depression, emotion, Energy, Magic, Process, Prompts, Self-worth, soul, spirit, Story, survival, Telling our stories, Transformation, Uncategorized, Visibilty, voice, women | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Walls, Doors and Windows

I am thinking about walls, doors and windows, and the rooms that many writers feel they are kept out of. The feeling is real. I have a lot of experience with walls, doors and windows. Besides the fact that I … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, class, Community; Genorosity, Comparison, Competition, creativity, economics, Elitism, emotion, Energy, failure, Gratitude, happiness, Magic, Maintenance, privacy, Process, Public appearances, research, Self-worth, silence, soul, spaciousness, spirit, success, survival, The Writer's Life, Uncategorized, Visibilty, work, Writing career | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Free Advice

When you’re a writer, you receive a lot of free advice. A good deal of it (most, I’d say) comes from people who do not write. I’ve been told I have to learn Latin (which I have nothing against, but … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Community; Genorosity, creativity, Day by day, Decisions, Elitism, Energy, fiction, happiness, Magic, Play, Process, spirit, success, survival, The Writer's Life, Uncategorized, Wildness | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Letter to Self

Dear Nancy, What can I tell you that, deep inside, you already know? The world is a rough place. Find the beauty. It is what will save you. The fear you feel at the publication of a new book is … Continue reading

Posted in comfort, Community; Genorosity, Day by day, Decisions, depression, emotion, Energy, Gratitude, Grief, Journaling, Magic, Pain, positivity; grace; light, privacy, Publishing, silence, Society, soul, spaciousness, spirit, Strength, survival, the world, Uncategorized, Wildness, women, work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Confidence Necessary?

I am at an age where I look back on my younger self with great tenderness. I wonder what happened so early in my childhood that my confidence was completely wiped out. There are of course institutions and people to … Continue reading

Posted in comfort, Comparison, creativity, critique, emotion, failure, fantasy, privacy, Self-worth, silence, Society, survival, Telling our stories, Uncategorized, Visibilty, Wounds | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Taking it Off

Sometimes. Sometimes I want to take it all off, give it all back. The skin, the hair, the eyes, the fingernails. I want to return it. The bones, the liver, the lungs, the vagina, the clitoris. Has it really been … Continue reading

Posted in Grief, home, Prompts, soul, spirit, survival, the world, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments