Saying yes to your best work means saying no to others, including your pesky inner critic

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If you’re someone who does creative work, unless it’s bringing in a reasonable paycheck, you probably treat it like a hobby. Is it really a big deal if you didn’t write today? Your family needed clean laundry. So what if you didn’t paint this afternoon? Your sister called to vent about another crisis at her corporate job. Sure, you wish you could have gone outside and shot some photographs while the light was fantastic, but your kids were fighting and you needed to intervene.

We hear a lot about setting boundaries — in families, in friendships, and in the workplace…

A Two-Second Mindfulness Trick To Battle Writer Overwhelm

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Like anyone who juggles multiple roles in a given day — author to coach to wife to teacher and back again — I’ve got a lot on, and it’d be pretty easy to feel overwhelmed.

Our super computer brains are revving and we think we can do all the things, all at once and then suddenly we wonder why we’re anxious, stressed, irritable, depressed.

People say meditate or do yoga, take a nap (or a hike). And that’s all fine and good except everything takes twenty minutes and you add up all…

This writer goes from Meditation Skeptic to Mindfulness Evangelist

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The writing life is hard.

(And beautiful, expansive, wondrous — all the good things, yes, but right now I want to talk about why it’s hard. Bahhumbug).

I’m a Californian by birth, a New Yorker by soul. Meaning, I’ve always been a Type-A hustler workaholic who has literally said the sentence, I don’t understand hobbies. And meant it. For so long, all I knew was striving. Working myself to the bone for my dream of being published. I wanted the gold star. I always want the gold star.

Fast-forward to my…

While the guest list is rigged, you still belong

A woman discusses her idea in a meeting with a male colleague.
A woman discusses her idea in a meeting with a male colleague.
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So you want to be in the room where it happens. Maybe that room is your firm’s conference suite, where you envision yourself sitting at the head of the table as the lead on a major project. Or perhaps it’s an Olympic soccer field, a stage at Lincoln Center, or that retreat in the woods that only the top movers and shakers in your organization are invited to. …

It comes down to how you manage your expectations

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“If I could publish just one book, I’ll die happy.”

This was my mantra for most of my adult life, and a good part of my adolescence, too. It’s what kept me going through years of rejection, failure, and those dark stretches when I considered throwing in the towel on the whole writing dream. Your “if” might be different: If I could just make partner by the time I’m 30. If I could just get tenure. If I could just get my business back in the black.

Whatever dream you’re holding dear, I bet you really, truly think you’ll be…

(But you probably have to ask.)

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I confess: I’m using my debut author husband as a guinea pig.

His first book just came out this summer: my eighth book comes out next April. Since I had to learn the publishing ropes myself — and made a lot of mistakes on the journey — we’ve decided to test drive some of the lessons I learned the hard way and see if we can get a bit more momentum for his career right out of the starting gate.

First Up: Promoting Your Book and Building an Author Brand

My husband asked his Big 5 publisher for help on both counts. I’d asked…

If you want to write the hard stuff, write for children.

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I want to talk about hurt.

How many of you write for children or teens (or both) because you were hurt as a kid? Because those wounds from so long ago still hurt? Or because you see the hurt so many teens and children endure, a hurt that is so often hidden, shamed, forced to be invisible — and you want to do something about it?

How many of you began to write with a cry for help on your lips, and now carry a torch in your hand?

It is no mistake that the streets of children’s literature are…

If you need permission to quit, consider it given.

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Whenever I encounter a student or client who needs me to hold their hand and walk them to the page, someone who views the act of writing as artistic waterboarding, I will at some point say these magic words to them:

You don’t have to be a writer.

The response is crickets, because it’s pretty much the last thing you expect your writing coach to tell you.

When I work with writers, my goal is to help them be the very best writers they can be. But, sometimes, my job is to show them that there is something better than writing out there for them.

The best…

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“Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.”

– Khalil Gibran, The Prophet

The sound and fury of our modern world can sometimes make writing impossible. As if our phones and the constant streaming music and just one more video to watch on YouTube isn’t distracting enough, our very minds seem to be running on a 24–7 talk radio cycle. …

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Coaching is the Wild West of the self-development industry, making it easier than ever for dreamers to get taken advantage of.

A friend of mine, meditation teacher Liza Kindred, threw a quote up on Twitter that got me thinking about many of the coaches I’ve been encountering these days:

“If they haven’t been there, don’t ask them for directions.”

I immediately pictured all the writing “coaches” — and coaches of all stripes — hanging up their signs when they have no business coaching in the first place. These are people who tell you they can help you get published —…

Heather Demetrios

Author, coach, editor, & mindfulness mentor. Newest: LITTLE UNIVERSES and CODE NAME BADASS.

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