walking shoes

by Judith Couchman

Writing is one way of making the world our own, and . . . walking is another.

—Geoff Nicholson

Long before doctors claimed physical movement as heart healthy, walking and writing joined hands. Writers have traipsed miles to stretch their legs, clear their brains, and feed their creativity. Walking enhanced their ability to form ideas and solve dilemmas.

The poets William Blake and Henry Wadsworth walked to explore their imaginations. Charles Henry Miller explained, “Most writing is done away from the typewriter, away from the desk. I’d say it occurs in the quiet, silent moments, while you’re walking.” Charles Dickens claimed, “The sum of the whole is this: walk and be happy; walk and be healthy.”

More recently, the prolific author Julia Cameron heartily recommends walking for informing her work. She walks to listen to her soul. “All large change is made through many small steps. Notice that word in there: ‘steps.’ Walking leads us a step at a time. Walking gives us a gentle path,” she says. “We are talked to as we walk. We hear guidance. It comes from within us and from the world around us.”

If you’re tired but need to write, pause to walk. It will revive you, body and soul.

Judith Couchman is an author, speaker, writing coach, and adjunct professor. She’s traditionally published more than 42 works. Learn more about her at www.judithcouchman.com. Write to her at judith@judithcouchman.com.

Judith Couchman

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ship with red flag

by Judith Couchman

You’re sailing along with a writing project, but something within gently nags you.

It’s probably your gut, your inner writer, raising a red flag about your manuscript. You could need to check a fact, strike a sentence, reconsider an opinion, edit a paragraph, or research more information. Or you might need to change direction, throw out pages, and rewrite. Whatever the case, it’s time to listen.

One author describes this process: “I genuinely liked everything I’d written. That’s what made it so hard, that subtle, sickening feeling that somewhere, somehow, the book was just fundamentally not right.” She took a few days off to read and meditate, and “finally, a doorway opened, a ray of light broke through, and I could look through and see my story . . . the real story I wanted to tell.”

Even if it’s “just a feeling,” listen to inner nudges until you decipher what they’re trying to say. They’re usually telling the truth. If you ignore intuition, most likely an editor or reader will pinpoint what you overlooked. And that’s embarrassing.

Heart from water splash with bubbles isolated on white

When in doubt, choose the heart. This does not mean to deny your own

experiences and that which you have empirically learned through the years.

It means to trust yourself to integrate intuition and experience.

—Brian L. Weiss

Judith Couchman

Judith Couchman is an author, speaker, writing coach, and adjunct professor. She’s traditionally published more than 42 works. Learn more about her at www.judithcouchman.com. Write to her at judith@judithcouchman.com.

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Hi Everyone, it’s Judith Couchman. My assignment for this year focuses on blogging about writing: technique, practical pointers,encouragement, and such. I hope this helps you.

 

If you want to improve your prayer life, try writing.

If you want to improve your writing life, try praying.

—Ed Cyzewski

prayer 1

If any profession produces anxiety, it’s writing. Writers fret about deadlines, the quality of their work, if they’ll publish, whether readers will buy their books, or if they’ll earn income. Potentially, the anxiety can paralyze getting the work done.

Two thousand years ago a writer working under duress suggested an antidote for these worries. To Philippi, the first Christian church in Europe, the Apostle Paul wrote,Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:6-7). To another church at Thessaloniki, he advised, “pray continually” (Thess. 5:17).

Instead of perpetually worrying, you can constantly pray.

Paul’s advice translates to praying generally for a project, but also praying through it as you work: chapter by chapter, section by section. Praying through absent ideas, titles, beginnings and endings, anecdotes and transitions, and anything else.

The result? God’s peace, and most likely, breakthroughs in your work.

Judith Couchman

 

Judith Couchman is an author, speaker, writing coach, and adjunct professor. She’s traditionally published more than 42 works. Learn more about her at www.judithcouchman.com. Write to her at judith@judithcouchman.com.

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pen and paper

Hi Everyone, it’s Judith Couchman. My assignment for this year focuses on blogging about writing: technique; practical pointers, encouragement, and such. I hope this helps you.

If it’s hard to just plop into a chair and start writing—and many of us can’t—a morning ritual could effectively and meaningfully initiate your work day.

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blues faces

Hi Everyone, it’s Judith Couchman. My assignment for this year focuses on blogging about writing: technique; practical pointers, encouragement, and such. I hope this helps you on the writing journey.

Some people call it writer’s block. I call it writer blues. You just can’t face that writing project today, or tomorrow, or next week.  Or you can’t think of a stunning idea. But a deadline looms, and you need a boost. A host of suggestions can help you get unstuck. But rather than overload your brain and schedule, I’m offering a few that work for me.

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