When is it time to write?


My first book was publicly named “good” when it was shortlisted for a national literary prize, and that gave me a luxury experience as a debut author.

I knew this was an unusual experience for an author to have, and I realized early success might have a cost — I didn’t have a chance to strengthen certain muscles hiking up and down the rocky trail of my first book, because I was carried along that path in a cushy hovercraft. 

Despite my attempts to head it off, I felt the consequences anyway. I had an idea for my next book, but the fear of writing something new put me in a freeze state. It took me a long, long time to write it. I was stuck in the proverbial cocoon in that gooey and in-between state, confused about how to make my own transformation happen.

With help from my writing friends, the unconditional support of my agent Sam, and some extremely effective hypnotherapy in which I got to have an actual conversation with the aurora borealis, I metabolized the experience of writing and publishing my first book, and finally came out of my cocoon with some cool new wings.

The metaphor of the butterfly is a cliché for a good reason! Turning into caterpillar goo and then becoming something capable of pushing against the cocoon to break out is really hard. It feels impossible.

But all that tension is necessary — it strengthens the butterfly’s wings. Without the struggle, it wouldn’t be able to fly. I mean, come on! It’s the perfect design.

The metaphor is true, and it shows us something about our true nature. I couldn’t skip my own struggle. But I’m a human being, not a butterfly.

For people, help and support makes growth possible.

If you know you’re not gooey anymore but you’re stuck in a cocoon, it’s just going to take a bit of a push to get your wings out. And you don’t have to do it alone.

Check out the Story Course Intensive now. It is a live, guided semester of creative writing and mindset instruction.

As soon as you register, you get free membership to Centered, so you can join us right away for daily writing practice, conversation, and all the support you need this summer to get ready for the upcoming semester.

You aren’t required to start with Centered now, but why wouldn’t you? Lock the Story Course Intensive in your calendar so you can look forward to it, and then enjoy a fun and productive summer of creative writing, flow and connection. At the end of the semester, you will be equipped with a whole new way of seeing your life as a writer.

Start writing now.

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Photo credit (top): Calvin Mano on Unsplash.

How to write an ending.
Time is made out of rest.


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