When Shonda Speaks

When Shonda Rhimes Speaks, the World (Dartmouth Included) Listens.

Super successful television writer Shonda Rhimes gave the 2014 commencement speech at her alma mater Dartmouth College.  She had some harsh but true words for the graduating class and anyone else who dared to listen to her speak.

View Shonda Rhimes at Dartmouth College as she talks about dreaming, doing and pooping.  Enjoy!

Writing Exercise – Put Pen to Paper and Write!

Freewriting Frees the Mind

Stuck?  Freewriting is a great way to free up your mind so creativity can start to flow.

Taught in classrooms and seminar halls all over the world, freewriting releases your thoughts from all the rules, clutter, and self-critique that can paralyze the most prolific writer.

What does freewriting entail?  It’s simple.  Put pen to paper and write!

For five minutes, DO NOT

  • lift your pen from the paper
  • think about spelling or rules of grammar
  • attempt to control what you are thinking – freely release everything in your head onto the page
  • pause for any reason – continuous writing is key!

Commit to freewriting and you will see a dramatic change in what you write and how much you write each day.

Write freely.

Making Commitments – Not Resolutions

Make Commitments To Your Writing That Last

Most writers make New Year’s resolutions every year.  Write a novel.  Finish the blockbuster screenplay.  Submit the $1M grant proposal. We’re good at making resolutions, but, like most people, writers aren’t very good at keeping them.

A resolution – a firm decision to do or not to do something –  isn’t lasting.  A firm decision simply doesn’t have the legs to carry us through our very demanding lives as writers.

In fact, evidence shows that New Year’s resolutions across the board do not work.  By January 15 of the new year, the majority of resolutions have been broken or completely forgotten. 

New Year’s resolutions do not last.

As a writer, we need to make commitments to our writing.

A commitment is the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause or activity.  A commitment runs much deeper under the surface than a mere resolution.  Commitments impact every aspect of the cause or activity you hold near and dear to your heart.

Commitments compel you to get up and face that blank page every morning.  They also allow you to pat yourself on the back and smile in peace and confidence before you go to sleep at night.

A lifetime commitment made to your writing will manifest into a rewarding lifestyle of creativity and endless possibilities.

Tony Robbins’ short video below addresses the power of commitments.  Watch it and then get to writing.

Procrastinating? Science is Partly to Blame.

Procrastination: Learn the Science.  Then, Get to Work.

When it comes to writing, procrastination is always somewhere lurking in the shadows and subtext.

There appears to be some science behind our procrastinating minds.  Since more than 20% of the world procrastinates, we shouldn’t be surprised science has a hand in our ability to do ANYTHING  but put pen to paper.

This short video describes the science of procrastination and discusses how to stop it before it stops you.

Forget What You Learned in School

The Rules No Longer Apply

Most of us remember at least some of the rules of the road we learned in writing and English classes we suffered through in high school and college.   However, what we quickly realize in the real world of writing is that many of the primary rules – the basics – simply do not apply.

In part 1 of Ira Glass on Storytelling, the radio personality, writer, and producer discusses some of the updated rules that apply to the real world of storytelling.


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