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January, 2008

Free Writing Resources!

Fear Of Writing (Excerpt)

By  Milli Thornton

Order this book from Amazon!
s writing supposed to be fun?

Surely, it’s better to suffer. It will make our writing real - give it depth and integrity.

If we’re not going to suffer, we should at least work hard. We should be disciplined. We should think in terms of productivity. A writer’s not going to have a career to speak of unless she’s producing at least 1,000 words per day, right? If you get right down to it, it’s really a number crunching game. Or so the rumor goes.

Every writer has a personal tale about the hardships of writing. And we all know that writing is a lonely business. Martin Myers made this kind of alienation adorably quotable when he said: “First you’re an unknown, then you write one book and you move up to obscurity.”

But this swallowing gulf is no laughing matter. As we chart our descent into the nether world of writing, honk if you know the story already.

Outside, the sun is shining and the robins are happily pulling up worms. Inside your snug little home, you’re staring into the abyss. The terror of facing that empty page is only surpassed by the numbness of your decomposing mind. 

Just moments ago you were a lively specimen of resourceful humanity. Moments ago you were finding ways to speed through your chores and commitments in order to allow yourself some precious writing time. But, now that you’re seated in front of your favorite writing implements, you uncover the bleak truth. You have nothing to say. You are less inspired than the lowliest drone sorting microchips on the assembly line. You are empty. Soulless. Mere space dust inhabiting a warm body. You have no right to aspire to that auspicious title: Writer. Where did you come up with the nerve to even think it?

OK, so you’ve managed to convince your primal brain stem these negative messages are melodramatic. You are not empty. You are not a zombie from the twilight zone. While waiting in line at the drive-up bank, you even had “an idea” and now you intend to write it down. You’re no lightweight.

In fact, you have some guts and you plan to use them. How can you not be a writer? It’s in your blood. It permeates every atom of your mortal being. It reaches all the way to your higher self. Even your past lives were spent as royal scribes in Egypt or poets in Atlantis.

Triumphantly, you break those chains of oppression. You commit some tentative words to paper. One line follows another and “Voila!” you have a paragraph.

You resist the urge to reread what you’ve managed to get down. You forge ahead: One paragraph becomes two, and then three, and then five. If the dog doesn’t throw up again or the phone doesn’t ring, you may even write two pages today. You are doing it! You’re writing. You have defied the laws of emptiness. You are a god of creation.

Read Milli Thornton's INside story on writing.IN Icon

Excerpted from Chapter One of Fear of Writing: for writers & closet writers by Milli Thornton, second edition, Copyright © 2003.

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IN This Issue
Part III: What Your Publisher Won't Tell You
Part II: What Your Publisher Won't Tell You
Part I: What Your Publisher Won't Tell You
The Delusional Is No Longer Marginal
Part II: Researching Nonfiction
Part I: Researching Nonfiction
Rediscover Your Passion
Pet Prose
Successful Influence
There's Money In That Junk Mail!

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Bald Ego
Mouse Over To Pause

Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s 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;
It’s 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
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s 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 “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s 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 you’ll 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 poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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