A Writer's Life

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Shakespeare didn’t have toilet paper

As I was thinking about how to frame this month’s post, I came across the following tweet from Roseanne Cash. 

Shakespeare also didn’t have laptops, central heating or electric lights. What he did have was free and easy access to his imagination. 

Kinda makes you think, doesn’t it?

Many writers will use this period of self-isolation as a reason to avoid doing their work. That’s not what a professional writer’s life is about. A pro is at her best regardless of what’s going on around her. She shows up to work and gives the best that she has to give that day. 

Some days it goes well, some days it doesn’t. 

Certainly, at the moment there may be a different routine with different challenges. The children may be home, social activities may be cancelled, there may be a heightened sense of anxiety in the air. 

In spite of all that, we still have free and easy access to our imaginations. And that, along with a pen and paper, is all a professional author needs to do her job. 

After all, there’ll always be something we can point to as a reason not to do our writing (or to exercise, or eat properly, or accomplish whatever goal we’ve set for ourselves.)

A professional writer’s life is about calmly observing the tempest and the things swirling around in it, and using it as inspiration for a story. It’s about tapping into the imagination. It’s about showing up and doing the best work possible in the moment, regardless of what’s happening in the outside world. 

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Valerie Francis

make good art

I’ve been working on this post for over a month. Many drafts have gone into the bin and it’s taken me thousands of words to find the three I needed, and the three words aren’t even my own. They’re Neil Gaiman’s and they’re simply this; make good art. During this

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Valerie Francis

good enough

I’m always pressed for time at Christmas, but this past season seemed worse than usual. I ended up with a very small window in which to get my tree up and decorated. That meant I had to skip steps in order to speed up the process. I dragged the tree into

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Valerie Francis

state of emergency

As I write this, my hometown is under a State of Emergency. Yesterday we got hit with a massive, 17-hour blizzard (a Category 2 hurricane that dropped three feet of snow, in addition to what was already on the ground) and right now, a second blizzard is raging. (If you

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