Monthly Online eZine  
News And Views For Working Writers

 INside Scoop
 IN Her Own Write
 Pen IN Hand
 Write On!
 Screen & Stage
 Top 10 Resources
 Book Reviews
 Items Of INterest
 Global Offerings
 INside Services
 Bill The Bard
 The Writer At Work
 Games & Puzzles
 Classic eTexts
 Free Software
 IN Banners
 Who's IN
 What's IN
 Editorial Calendar
 Join IN's Team
 Contacting IN

IN Front Cover


Learn To Be A Better Journalist

Buy Classic Literature Collections

Acclaimed Screenplay Writing Software

Books On How To Write Fiction

Become A Well Paid Travel Writer

Vote daily and raise our ranking!

January, 2008

Cozy Read

A Plea To Readers: Help!
Tell me when to quit already!
By  Jennifer Edelson

have two big problems this month and Iím begging you to please, please help me.

Even as I sit on the street while I write this, trying to think while I converse with a very interesting homeless character who somehow just managed to read my mind and recite my favorite Dickenson poem (without being asked), my mind is spongy.

I tell this man how empty I feel, and he suggests, between feeding the sparrows and trying to rope people into playing chess on a worn cardboard sheet, that I write an article titled Let The Alcoholic Be.

Gosh, isnít life sweet?

Then, after overhearing this heartfelt suggestion, an eavesdropper chimes in and urges me to also write an angry article about a local house bill designed to tax cigarettes sales in the state of Minnesota, U S of A, oh so extravagantly -- from the perspective of a non-smoking writer who smokes when she writes and hates the idea of a heavily taxed, self-sustaining democracy.

So what, you may ask, does any of this have to do with a column about writing? Well, heck, writing about it filled three inches of this column already.

Which brings me to . . .

I have this horrible void in my brain. On most other days it bristles with exciting unspoken thoughts and ideas. And despite that fact that I am surrounded by sensory stimuli and fascinating people and others' creativity, I canít seem to reach mine.

It seems I am sandwiched between a bona fide mental crisis and a nasty bout of anxiety. That is, at this moment (as well as many others this week), I am completely unable to write one compelling thing.

Try as I might, not one witty, or interesting, or lovely semblance of words has volunteered to gush out of me. Iím up against this stupid IN deadline, which I have once again waited until the last minute to complete, sorry Daryl.

And yet for the life of me I can't get my neurons snapping. Truth be told, my only real focus in the last hour is this sensation in my butt as it spreads into the metalwork grooves and molds into the seat.

How very unworthy of IN, and even more uninteresting.

Iíve tried to reinvent my mind all week. I went to IN for inspiration, and after reading last month's Pen In Hand, pulled out my canvases and painted frenetic pictures worthy of Kandinskyís worst dream.

I bought glass beads and made earrings for every friend I know brave enough to wear them in public (or even just down the street). I walked on my treadmill until my legs went numb and my brain started to hemorrhage stupidity. And as truly great as Peggy Bechko's advice is, I still canít get it going.

Can it be that summer and all its grassy activities consumed every last bit of mental energy? I mean itís not just this column, folks. I find myself stumbling over legal briefs at work and struggling with my novel in ways that are just utterly disheartening.

I donít know when to stop, or start, or where to go with it, and itís driving me crazy. And I canít stop myself from finishing each sentence and paragraph with a ďyĒ or ďingĒ ending (see?!).

Which brings me to my second ďpoor me.Ē

I have no clue when enough is enough. When it comes to my own personal product, I seriously wish someone offered a class that gives writers how-not-to advice toward the end of a manuscript, as in how-not-to butcher your writing.

After committing three years and over 300 pages to my own novel, Iím stuck with what feels like the most gosh-awful piece of putrid wreckage Iíve ever seen. I have little ability at this point to view my writing objectively. And as a result, I'm sinking.

So hereís my plea. Iím taking a break. And because I donít want to drag you through my ice cream brain crises -- Iím going to toss it in and let you all write for me.

If you have any advice about how to objectively critique your own writing, or some experience with knowing when to put your manuscript down and call it quits, write me.

I promise to incorporate your ideas and suggestions into my next piece, and give you credit, especially, because Iím selfish, if it is actually motivating.

Please save me. Send your ideas, comments, thoughts, rants and convoluted opinions, creative, nihilistic or otherwise, to, and I promise to dedicate my next article to you all, the ever present, ever wonderful reader.

And props to you Chess guy (or as heís properly known Ė Michael McGovern from Henderson, Nevada), for semi-inspiring me!
IN Icon 

Jennifer Edelson is a Minnesota attorney and legal writing professor. Her writing has appeared on all the finest refrigerators in the Twin Cities. Jennifer can be emailed at:

Sign Up and Use Our New Forums! Voice Your Opinion! Discuss Our Content! Ask for Writing Assistance. Post Your Successes, Queries or Information Requests. Collaborate with Other Writers.

© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049

IN This Issue
Creative Karma
Rejected! Now What?
Seven Deadly Sins
Seven Virtues
Essential Ingredients
The Last Quill
Done At Last!
Part III: It's A Fact
Part II: It's A Fact
Part I: It's A Fact

Support IN
Receive Free Gifts
$20.00 Voluntary Contribution
$35.00 Voluntary Contribution
$50.00 Voluntary Contribution

New Novelist Software

Effectively Manage Your List

Writers Digest 101 Site Award

Your Ad Here

Traffic Swarm For Writers

Hottest Books This Month!

Whose Books Are Turning Into Movies?
Bald Ego
Mouse Over To Pause

Writerís Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails weíve known;
Each writerís block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
Itís how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Donít plant your poem on the page
As though youíre hanging drapes;
Itís shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their ďthemes.Ē

Double Vision
A writerís life is paradox,
Itís more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know youíll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poemís through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

Our Own Banner Rotator System
Any banner seen below is either our own or one of our members.
Support the cause - click a banner.

Want Your 468x60 Banner Above? It's FREE For Newly Published Books

© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049
All Rights Reserved. Copying in any way strictly forbidden.
Our Disclaimer Is Based Upon McIntyre's First Law: "Under the right circumstances, anything I tell you may be wrong."