Clarity after a long break, Part 3: Structure vs pantsing it out

In my second to last and last posts, I talked about harvesting the initial spark of enthusiasm when an idea strikes and how to preserve this spark during the marathon of completing a project. Now, I want to talk about balancing the willfulness of this initial energy with the structure and discipline one needs toContinue reading “Clarity after a long break, Part 3: Structure vs pantsing it out”

Clarity after a long break, Part 2: Preserving the initial spark of motivation

In my last post, I talked about the value of harnessing the innocent, flexible type of creativity that arises when doing something for the first time. In my opinion, it’s the afterglow of this initial fiery excitement—the condensed energy before the big bang of creating something—that gets us through a long project. Just like the universeContinue reading “Clarity after a long break, Part 2: Preserving the initial spark of motivation”

Clarity after a long break, Part 1: The beginner’s mindset

The good thing about long breaks (even if involuntary) from a regular routine is that they help us see the big picture of an activity, a life choice, a goal. They bring clarity. It’s been more than three months since I last posted here or worked on writing projects, and I have come to recognizeContinue reading “Clarity after a long break, Part 1: The beginner’s mindset”

Owning the baggage that trips us

A few weeks ago, I met Garth Greenwell at a reading of his book WHAT BELONGS TO YOU. I was completely taken aback by his eloquence and uplifting ideas. During the discussion, he said one thing (among many other wonderful things) that stayed with me: “[I’m paraphrasing] the wrong or hurtful things we hear andContinue reading “Owning the baggage that trips us”

Looking back on a year of full-time writing

Attending the Geneva Writers Conference (2-4 March 2018) coincided with a personal anniversary of mine: a year ago, the last day of February marked the last day at my science job before quitting to devote myself to writing. I couldn’t have celebrated this small milestone in a better way than going to Geneva: I metContinue reading “Looking back on a year of full-time writing”

Busy dreaming or busy living?

I have had the pleasure and honor to be longlisted for Novel Fair 2018 organized by the Irish Writers Centre. This means that my entry—the first 10 000 words of my fantasy trilogy Illumination—was among the top 10 % of nearly 250 submissions. And I’ll get my work critiqued. I won’t deny it, this feels good.Continue reading “Busy dreaming or busy living?”

Finding one’s voice in creating…and living

On the 30th of November this year, I reached a milestone: my short story Clara appeared in the November issue of Electric Spec magazine. This is the first time that a short story of mine got published. I can’t explain what this means to me. But then again, anybody who has decided to live theirContinue reading “Finding one’s voice in creating…and living”

Is it a weakness to chase a dream and the discipline of free choice

“The Offering […] requires discipline, not the discipline of slavery, but the discipline of free choice.” – Paulo Coelho, Manuscript Found in Accra. Let me put into context what Paulo Coelho means in the above quote. As I understand it, he talks about the discipline to freely take the choice to love our job evenContinue reading “Is it a weakness to chase a dream and the discipline of free choice”