Something Missing?

Something missing in your writing experience or writing project? Are you finding it difficult to stay with an idea or to follow-through on a project? Do you sense an internal divide? Are you experiencing a lack of intimacy with the world around you? I am. I fear our attachment to the web creates a bigger divide between us and the natural world, each other, and to our creative potential. The internet can be an impressive tool for research, communication, and getting news. For the writer the internet can be an optimal way to research books, ideas, find publishers, as well … Continue reading


Winter     Someone you trusted let you down. Someone broke your heart or forgot you. Winter has set in and we search for things to warm us. Why expect anything else? Your poem–or painting–superior to most, is overlooked. Now neglected by you. Or, that sharp edge of resistance won out so you gave up. Or, a tree fell on your roof before you had time to cut her down. She long shaded the kitchen window. Maybe bad-luck and missed opportunities seamed your days, while that ache in your side disabled you for weeks. You stared at the wall,­–wondered about what had gone … Continue reading

The Physics of Opportunity

When in life is there not opportunity? Of course we experience times when possibilities are not so abundant–or, is that our perception that limits us? Perhaps the way to frame this is: In every moment there is potentiality to perceive and create opportunity. An analogy for this is when we discuss feeling “disconnected to someone,” or feel alone and separate from others. When are we not connected? We may feel separated and isolated but in truth we are intimately connected and part of the activity of life, all the time. Inherent in each experience are a multitude of possibilities and potentialities. … Continue reading

Game Without Losers

“We have met the enemy and he is us.” Pogo A holiday tradition at our house is to bring out all the board games and play! Some favorites are Quiddler, Apples to Apples, Clue, Ruckus and Rumino. In every one of these games there are winners and losers. Just like writing a good story or article–readers expect tension, conflict, a protagonist they can identify with, and a villain. You know, bad news sells. We are set up in our stories and games to pick sides, to have winners and losers. What if, instead of the game or story being about … Continue reading

How Einstein Did It: Idea to Discovery

These two capacities—to analyze and to remain focused— are essential to seeing yourself as you really are. –His Holiness the Dalai Lama, “How to See Yourself as You Really Are” Einstein is often quoted when it comes to analytical meditation because this type of concentration is believed to have led to his theory of relativity and other discoveries. Inquiry meditation has the potentiality of transforming our minds and lives in truly profound and lasting ways. This is a core practice of a meaning maker as it helps us discover truth and meaning for ourself while still borrowing from the wisdom … Continue reading

Right Words, Thank You Claudia Schmidt

You can’t pray for light and curse the dark, they’ve been lovers for a long, long time. – “Bend In the River” by Claudia Schmidt The right words at the right time can change the course of a life. This has been true for me. But it is not just great teachers like His Holiness the Dalai Lama who helped me “turn my craft around” at times I needed a redirect. Lyrics, set to a melody, have been the tap on the shoulder (or whack to the head) that have made all the difference. When I lived in Minneapolis (1982 … Continue reading

Writing Lies that Tell the Truth

My first, and still a favorite book of mine on the writing craft is John Dufresne‘s book, The Lie That Tells The Truth: A Guide to Writing Fiction. It happens to be a resourceful “self-help” book for all writers as well. John, I am excited to say, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Writer’s Institute at the UW-Madison, where I will be teaching and offering critique for writers. “When a story is based on autobiographical material there is a tendency to be slavish to the facts. You write a scene because ‘that’s the way it happened.’ Well, we don’t care … Continue reading

How to Love The Writer’s Life

You probably know what I am going to say. If you want to love your life as a writer all you have to do is: write. Yup, you called me on it. But there’s more (hey, I’m a writer and a therapist, of course there’s more!) The more is this: When we stay with our writing we come to love it, warts and all. When we take the time to write, we discover so much about ourselves, the world we are in, and the worlds we create through our writing. Because writing benefits the body, mind and soul (check out … Continue reading

What Am I Going To Do?

What are you going to do with this one precious day? When you lay your head down tonight what will you be happy that you did or experienced today? As a writer, the joy likely comes in “having written.” Spending time in nature is a good idea too. Aldo Leopold said that there is nothing that a good walk outside won’t cure. The best ideas for our writing projects often come from a nice walk outdoors. And, a moment with the realization of your importance . . .

Here: What’s Truly Possible

Is what you want possible? In any given situation what is truly possible? I use to say that my therapist saved my life. Now I understand, he helped me to see life through the lens of possibility. Possibility is a powerful energy. When we experience something as possible, or see the possibilities inherent in a situation, doors open. And they open wide. It can be a bit of a chicken and egg thing – we explore something, experience some positive results and then witness what is possible for us. But to even explore something we have to know, if even … Continue reading