How to Keep Writing When Life Throws You Curveballs

Whew! What a roller coaster 2016 has been. From the World Series to the presidential election, I’ve had my share of late nights, nail biting, close calls, celebration, and despair.

During Game 7, in the bottom of the third inning, Carlos Santana crushed a curveball to right for a single, bringing Coco Crisp home and tying the game for the Cubs. And millions of hearts pounded.


Why Plagiarism Makes You a Better Writer

Pssst. I’m going to urge you to steal the ideas in this blog. Because I did.

But before the blog police come busting in my door and drag me in front of the court of ideas where I’ll have my misused words thrown in my face and—

Wait, this is starting to sound like a dystopian novel when it’s supposed to be a blog.

Here’s the truth:


Writing Tip #14 : In Media Res

Unless you’re a witness being interrogated by a cop, it’s not always a good idea to start at the beginning. Hook the reader first and then worry about giving details.


Writing Tip #13 : A Unique Point!

This may be overly picky, but it never hurts to be precise. Are you using the word “unique” properly? It means “without like or equal,” so there can be no degrees of uniqueness.

Incorrect: It was the most unique dress I’d ever seen.
Correct: It was a unique dress.


Writing Tip #12: The Five-Step Blog Blueprint

Break it down!

Feeling overwhelmed by an idea that you can’t seem to wrangle onto the page? Try this 5-Step Blueprint when writing your blog:


Writing Tip #11: Video from South Park Creators

This is a great presentation from South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker on plotting using the key words “but” and “therefore.” It’s brilliant. Watch it.


Writing Tip #10: Make Your Message Like a Lifesaver Candy

Think of your blog message as a Lifesaver Candy!


Writing Tip #9: Write It As It Is

I’m often amazed how easy it is to tell a story to someone else, but the minute we switch into writing mode, the same story dies on the page. Writing too often equals overthinking. This morning I was coaching my client Katie and we were both caught in this trap. She had an interesting story to use for her blog. As we worked on it together we kept getting lost in “crafting” sentences


Writing Tip #8: Tell The Story You Don’t Want To Tell

Tell the story you don’t want to tell.
Not that one.
The real one. The one that makes you blush. Or cringe. Or quake.
Go for the jugular.
Write the moment you f**ked up.
Or the instant your life changed.


Call The Midwife! I’m Birthing a Blog.

When I was pregnant with my first child I was enamored of the idea of using a midwife. I hired a seasoned professional named Lorna. But my son was breech and arrived via a scheduled C-section, so Lorna was replaced by an anesthesiologist, a surgeon, and a floating sea of faceless, masked nurses. I was disappointed that our preparations had been for nothing. Until I awoke one morning, groggy from morphine, to hear her arguing in the hallway with the pediatrician. She was refusing to let him give my son a shot that we hadn’t discussed.