Featuring a guest post from Bonnie Goldberg, author of writing advice book The Write Balance
In The Write Balance, the companion book to the beloved bestseller, Room to Write, Bonni Goldberg demonstrates how to find fulfillment as a writer by embracing three key aspects of writing: 1) Percolation: what takes place before a first draft is written; 2) Revision: the writer’s role after the initial draft; and 3) Going Public: the writer’s mission once the writing is done. Filled with tools, examples and exercises, Bonni’s guide offers motives, choices, and encouragement for writers to appreciate and to be creative in the phases before and beyond a first draft. Whether you’re new to writing or a pro, become more passionate and balanced in your writing life.
Excerpt from The Write Balance
I wrote my first writing book. Room to Write, to invite people to enter writing creatively, to trust their intuition and discover and use their tendencies, passions, and resistances as fodder for more writing. At that time people seemed to need to free up their innate creative juices and get the words flowing. Since then, at book appearances and during my workshops and writing courses, I’ve repeatedly had this experience: People thank me for helping them to trust themselves as writers and then ask me how to take the next step. What do you see as the next step? I ask.
Whether the answer had to do with getting an agent, writing longer works, feeling legitimate, or any of the many other facets of creative writing, the undertone was the same: a sense of longing or unrest about writing. It felt as if each person was saying to me, “Okay, I get the words out, I even trust them sometimes; now what?” This book is my answer…
The writers I know who are passionate and grounded, who truly love and respect their writing life, consciously attend to three aspects of writing that often get short shrift in the heat and excitement of raw creation: 1. Percolation—the process that takes place before a first draft takes shape 2. Revision—the writer’s role after the initial draft 3. Going Public—a writer’s mission once the writing is done.
Q. Other than writing, if you could tell authors to do one thing every day for their creative self, what would it be?
From Bonni Goldberg
The one thing I tell authors to do every day to nourish their creative self is be kind and loving to your Writing Self. Creatives spend way too much time beating themselves up. It makes it harder to be creative and even harder to enjoy it. Writing is hard work. It can be frustrating, even painful sometimes. We don’t need to add to what is already a challenge by judging ourselves harshly. We don’t have to toss in guilt for taking time away from other people or commitments.
It’s fine to set goals and deadlines. It’s not fine to berate yourself if you don’t meet them. Instead, reflect on what stopped you. Was it a goal you had control over? Was it realistic given your situation? Though you didn’t hit your goal, did you learn anything about writing or your process and expectations along the way? If you did, that is a success.
You don’t have to measure your worth or validity as a writer by anything external to your personal process and progress. It isn’t necessary to fit yourself into an idea about what being a writer looks like or means. Instead, thank your creativity every day for being a part of you and reflect on one gift it brings to your life.
One thing people who know me also know is that I don’t do well with choosing just one thing! Another thing I tell authors is to feed their creativity every day. I never prescribe how to do it. That’s personal. It could be reading, going outside, music, drawing, cooking, a hot bath, gardening, or something else. Creativity is a plant that needs daily water. If you skip a day, nothing awful will happen, but don’t skip too many. Some people can feed their creativity by doing the same thing every day for years. Other people need to mix it up to feel full. Do what works for you.
Always do what works for you.
About Bonnie Goldberg
Bonni Goldberg is the author of The Write Balance: How to Embrace Percolation, Revision & Going Public, the companion book to the best-seller Room to Write: Daily Invitations to a Writer’s Life. Bonni is an award-winning poet and writer. She is the creator of the 2 Minute Journals™ series. Both traditionally and indie published, her books include non-fiction for adults and fiction and non-fiction for young readers. Her essays and blog posts can be found in numerous print and online publications.
Bonni teaches creative writing at colleges and leads writing workshops internationally for all ages. She knows everyone is creative, and she supports people to discover and share their authentic, meaningful and imaginative experiences through words.
Whether through her writings or through teaching, her methods and perspectives continue to empower thousands of adults, families, and children.
Bonni is also a Jewish educator. She speaks, writes, and leads workshops on Jewish topics such as Jewish identity, rituals and antisemitism at Jewish women’s events, JCCs, and conferences.
Bonni Goldberg lives in Portland, Oregon with her partner in life, and some creative projects, artist Geo Kendall.
Find her online:
Bonni Goldberg will be awarding a prize to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, the winner can choose between a 30 minute coaching call, a Q&A Zoom with their group, or feedback on 3 double spaced pages of their work (via email). In addition, a free ebook about balancing writing & marketing will be given to everyone who enters the raffle. Bonni Goldberg will also award a prize to a randomly drawn host.