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Two things that stink.


(c) 2013 Windy Johansen

One, migraines. Head pain, nausea, light sensitivity, and sound sensitivity are some of the symptoms I experience.

Two, grief. I didn’t walk through any darkened alleyways, but I did get attacked by grief. I’m in thousand-yard-stare mode.

As a result, today’s post is late, and will be posted by tomorrow. There will be an extra post this week to compensate.

I’m sorry, This isn’t supposed to happen. :(


Writing Prompt: Understanding


(c) 2013 Windy Johansen

We all need understanding. We crave the warmth that understanding brings us. Love without judgement.

Can you remember a time when someone understood you and it made you brighter, if only for a few moments?

What does this inspire you to write? It might be rage that the person you understands has gone away. It might be elation that somebody gets it. (I’m not sure which one I’d choose, really. I’ve felt both ways.)

Trust you. Know that there is good in the world, and that it doesn’t go away just because we rage at it. Know too, that knowing your own truth, messy though it might be, is a very free place to be. Know that love can and will find you there.

Giving yourself this kind of understanding is very powerful, because you learn to love you while carrying on through caustic locales. Then you can be that carrier of saving grace for others, as well as yourself.

What would you like to say?

<3 I'll listen.

5 Ways to Find a Good Time and Place to Write


(c) 2013 Windy Johansen

To me, I need a certain kind of sameness in my writing environment. Maybe you do too. But you need to know how to create that space. Hopefully this will help you.

When are you most alert?

For me, I’m most alert a few hours after getting up, as well as whenever it’s dark outside (sunshine hurts me, as I’m a migraineur). It used to be about midday. For many, it’s early morning. For a lot of people, it’s somewhat late night to really late night.

You might also notice that your alertness doesn’t have a lot of bearing on how well you write. It doesn’t for me. Even so, knowing whether I’m alert or not helps me know what kind of expectations to place on myself, so it does help to know.

When is your thoughtful/meditative part of the day?

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5 Ways to Get Past Writer’s Block


(c) 2013 Windy Johansen

Writers block is a tough wall to have dropped in your way. I think writer’ s block has kept me from producing as much as I could. It happens in one of it’s smallest forms when we stare at a paper or blank computer page and wonder what to write.

I hope this helps you.

Learn About the Bricks in Your Wall

In order to take apart what is keeping you from writing, you need to see what you can see about the components of this wall between you and your writing.

Everything later on in this list, I’ve noticed, really just helps you learn about those bricks and yourself, while giving you new tools to take care of your writing-self, if not your whole self. (Or that’s how this works for me.)

So, here’s a few bricks that I’ve seen.

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5 Ways Writers Discourage Themselves


(c) 2013 Windy Johansen

As writers, we embark on an adventure every time we write. Why is that? It isn’t only the kind of emotional hurdles built by certain subject matter. It is also the kind of hurdles our own minds can build against this form of self-expression.

What are those hurdles? There are probably more than just these, but here are the five I thought of.

Assigning a Monetary Value Before A Project Begins
Creative pursuits are some of the most valuable things we can do. And that is before money enters into it. Writing is my favorite. I try not to think of money myself. It’s hard; I don’t have much. It would be very easy to fret about money, but it harms the quality of my work.

Money cannot be your first focus in your first steps of writing elements of a given project. Create first. You can assign a monetary value to it later if you want, but if you worry about money before the first word is written, you will likely crush something that could be both awesome and lucrative.

Let your mind be swimming in your writing (as much as you can). It’s a great place to be. :)

Telling Ourselves that Writing Is Only Fun (So We Can’t Spend Time On It)
As I said earlier, I know creative pursuits are very valuable. And I know our lives have so so much going on. There isn’t much you can cut away without everything falling apart.

And yet, I know that writing is just as important as all those other things. It has saved my life (in with God, loving loved ones, and other things I and others did). I cannot tell you how important it is to me. It is the only journal I have and the only one I can keep going. Hundreds of poems, all snapshots of my mental state and evidence of my growing skill.

I need to write just as much as I need to breathe. Along with that, I get to discover (all over again) how much my writing will tell me about how I really feel.

If you feel like you need to write for you to feel whole, then that is a good sign that you might very well need it. And I know you can find time.

Because it is so valuable, and it can be that thing that saves you.

Comparisons to Others
So you’re reading Longfellow on a cold night, with your favorite cocoa in the mug beside you. You think, “Oh I wish I could write like him!” (Substitute your favorite writer in for Longfellow if you like, he’s just one of my favorites.)

It doesn’t matter how rad Longfellow is (and he is!), he is not you, and you are not him. You need to be you. It’s okay if your results are awful and don’t measure up to whomever you’re thinking they should. Your writer’s voice is worthy of the time you need to spend building it and finding it, because you are worth that time.

It will likely be hard. Or really easy sometimes. Which leads into…

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