Encouragement in pain

During a recent sermon on encouraging each other in our faith, the minister said something that really landed with me. When we comfort others who are going through difficult times, rather than using platitudes or our own words, why not use the words of our Lord? He has experienced everything that we are experiencing, and He understands what we are going through.

Read more

Integrated elements

A few months back I explored the “setup” and “payoff” elements that create a satisfying story. As you can read back in that article, it’s non-optional. Integrated elements however, work at a high level to make the story three dimensional. They’re not mandatory, but they make your story pop.

Read more

ChatGPT and simile

I’ve been hearing a lot about ChatGPT, and when I complained to a (non-writer) friend I was struggling with a chapter, he said “just get ChatGPT to write it”. Ha! Normally I’m a bit of a luddite, but I figured if it’s what the kids are doing, I should give it a go. While ChatGPT is definitely hit and miss, you can use it as a tool similar to a thesaurus.

Read more

The art of patience

Patience. What does that word mean to you? To me, it is taking a deep breath and persisting—often uphill—with faith that I will get there in the end. It’s a habit and a state of mind, and it requires a lot of practice. Fortunately, as writers, the practice comes whether we want it or not.

Read more

The science of creativity

I came across an article in the journal of Urban Forestry & Urban Greening that got me thinking about how we can enhance our creativity. This particular article interviewed seventeen Danish creative professionals in an effort to determine whether nature has the capacity to enhance creativity. Spoiler: it does. But in my experience, so does standing in the shower.

Read more

The warm embrace of rejection

Most of us have been regularly rejected since we were young children. Even if only temporarily, I’ve been rejected by friends, family, co-workers, bosses, pets (why does that hurt the most?), strangers, peers, acquaintances, intimate partners, kids. It’s part of life. Some times hurt more than others, and some feel more personal than others. But we move on—unless we’re hoping for that second-chance romance HEA, right?

Read more

Taking the cliché out of Pavlov

The writer’s competitor is no longer other writers. It is social media. The poorly written opinions on Reddit can hook a reader quicker than the first five sentences of your carefully written literary fiction.

Read more

Finding inspiration from nothing

What happens when inspiration is MIA? I’m not talking about traditional writer’s block. It’s more the sense of ennui that can lead you to an unhealthy relationship with Netflix. You’ve written the first draft, and then you get stuck. Or maybe your new project has lost its lustre halfway through.

Read more