Article by Kate Colby

Have you ever felt super-motivated to write, learn a new recipe, clean out your closet, etc. at the most inconvenient time, only to completely lose all motivation when you finally have a free moment?

Yeah, me too. So, how do you reclaim that burst of inspiration when you have free time? And better yet, how do you hang onto motivation and avoid losing it altogether?

Well, there’s no magic formula (obviously), but here are a few tricks you can try. (Read more)

The longhand and short of it


Joe: Good afternoon Calliope.

Calliope: Good afternoon Joe. I haven’t heard from you in a while.

Joe: I admit it. I have been very busy with summer socializing and also with my book in progress on violence and peace. It is not an easy book and gets more complicated with the events of each week. News articles and broadcasts seem to emphasize the sensationalism of the events but offer little understanding of why they happen or what to do about them. I wish I had my book ready now, but I am working on patience.

Calliope: I’m glad you are still working on your book. How is it going?

Joe: I must admit I have become easily bogged down. In the past I was able to writ on the computer without my mind wandering to other sites. But not lately.

Calliope: What are you going to do about it?

Joe: I got to thinking about my past books. I recalled my friend Gerry’s comment that my book about my seminary and monastery years, Young Man of the Cloth, was my best book. I got to thinking about why and what was different about that book.

Calliope: What did you discover?

Joe: I thought about it and recalled that this was the only book I wrote entirely in longhand. The rest were all done on the computer. I decided to try writing the next section of my current book longhand. Lo and behold, the writing appeared more coherent and personally expressive than what I had previously written. I decided to continue writing longhand.

Calliope: Quite a discovery! I hope your new approach continues to enhance your writing.

Joe: I think it will but time will tell. Time to get back to work. Talk with you later.

Surprising health benefits of writing in a journal or diary regularly



In today’s digital world, it is easy to feel lost and disconnected while trying to navigate through the common stressors that you encounter every day. However, if you’re willing to put aside just 15-20 minutes a day to write about your thoughts and feelings, you will realize how it can be an effective (and cheap) way of tackling your problems and gaining a better insight into your past. Here are the four ways writing in a journal or diary can benefit your emotional well-being in the long run:

(Excerpt from Arunadha Varanasi’s article on The Health Site- read more)

The ‘best living American novelist’ on her mid-life crisis

What sensible person has not fantasised about spending three years of her life reading 100 novels? It’s an imagining of almost unbearable beauty, that sinking, waking dream of leaving this world and entering it again and again through other minds, re-emerging at the end of it all as a better person, or at least a person with a broader view of the world.

It’s also a project of almost incomprehensible self-indulgence for anybody with a serious job, to which they are enslaved by that most modern of masters, productivity. Few proper novelists alive today are more serious and more productive than Jane Smiley, who has written nearly 30 books and who won the Pulitzer Prize for her astonishing King Lear-inspired 1991 novel A Thousand Acres, and who has been described variously as “America’s Tolstoy” and as having “started to look like the best living American novelist”.

Escerpt from Greg Bruce’s article in the NZ Herald- read more

I Need Coffee: Schedule Your Writing Life



Do you remember that song “Respect Yourself” by The Staple Singers? No?

Good gracious go listen to it right now. That song is like the writer’s anthem. Here’s a link to it on Youtube. Starting at 2:21, your life will be changed forever.

Writers have a hard time respecting themselves. We give away our work for free. We fumble when people ask us what we do, worrying if it’s okay to call ourselves “writers.” (Answer: Yes, it is.) We’re basically the most neurotic group of people this side of a Woody Allen character.

WSJ Book Club: Adam Hochschild Shares His Writing and Reading Habits

Portrait of author Adam Hochschild at his home in Berkeley, CA. on February 29, 2016. Published Credit: Winni Wintermeyer for The Wall Street Journal

Adam Hochschild, historical nonfiction author and the most recent host of the WSJ Book Club, takes a special interest in stories of struggle against evil, tackling fascism, slavery and apartheid, among other complex topics. But he steers clear of black and white judgements. “You have to be careful, as a writer, that you don’t divide people too simply into good guys and bad guys,” he writes.

Excerpt from Wall Street Journal Staff- read more-