Monday, September 22, 2008


Although I call myself a writer, I am particularly good at not writing. Even when I have a big project due. (Okay. Especially when I have a big project due.)

You would not believe the things that capture my attention. Suddenly the coat closet has to be vacuumed, my car needs detailing and that darn silverware drawer has one too many toast crumbs in it. I can waste vast quantities of time reading about writing, reading what other people write and in general doing just about anything but writing. Over the years I've learned that the only way to get the big job done is to actually do it, but that doesn't stop me from trying not to.

In her book, Letters to a Young Therapist, author and psychologist Mary Pipher writes a fabulous essay called Therapy & Writing. Since I'm studying to become a therapist and am also a writer I find this essay to be particularly inspirational.

The gist of her message is that writing (and therapy) require hard work, persistence and patience. If you want to be a good writer, follow Rosellen Brown's and Mary Pipher's advice: show up, pay attention, tell the truth and don't be attached to results. Most importantly, sit down and write.

"There are three secrets to writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are."~Somerset Maugham