Digging for Words

One writer's quest to bring the past to life through imagination


The Cocoon of Creative Freedom

Writers should take courage from Elizabeth Gilbert’s candid revelation that she scraped an entire 500-page manuscript following the success of her bestselling “Eat, Pray, Love”. It’s not uncommon – the stifling anxiety that comes with any measure of success, and the palette cleansing that’s required to discover something new. If that doesn’t speak to the difficulty of writing, perhaps nothing can.

Writing is an emotional journey as well as an intellectual process. A good story, characters, technique and indomitable dedication aren’t enough. Writing requires clarity of mind and spirit. When creativity is distracted by outside voices – from the media, from our own egos or insecurities, or from the characters we’ve left behind – it takes time, patience and self-awareness to find the stillness to write well again.

Take heart, everyone who dreams of publishing. And be careful what you ask for. Every dream come true carries a price. So enjoy the cocoon of creative freedom that comes with anonymity.


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Old Story, New Spot – Another guest post from The Writers Circle on Backspace’s STET!

How lovely! As I’ve been taking a bit of time off from teaching and therefore from blogging, the virtual world nonetheless seems interested in what I have to say! My blog-post from late May, The Storyteller’s Fire, is today’s featured post on Backspace’s terrific new blog, STET!


Backspace is a vibrant online writing community that also holds great conferences like the one I was privileged to speak at this spring in NYC. If you’re not already a member, definitely check them out. The people I met at the conference were talented, committed and fascinating.

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Guest Blogging for Christina Baker Kline

I’m pleased and honored to be this week’s guest blogger on Christina Baker Kline‘s terrific blog, A Writing Year. Check out my piece about researching a historical novel: Judith Lindbergh on Raising the Dead.

And also be sure to check out Christina’s latest novel, Bird in Hand, coming out next week!