Why you need a writing process more than a writing ritual (and a 12-step writing process to slay your writing demons)

Live to Write - Write to Live

I wish I could recall which of the masters painted this piece. If anyone knows, please let me know in the comments. I wish I could recall which of the masters painted this piece. If anyone knows, please let me know in the comments.

Are you fascinated by other people’s writing habits and routines? I am. There’s a great series on Copyblogger called The Writer Files that profiles the writing lives of different business writers and authors. I hardly ever miss an installment.

I’m a sucker for the allure of the writerly way.

Though I love knowing who uses Scrivener vs. who uses a yellow legal pad and a blue felt-tip pen, I think as writers we have a penchant for getting overly caught up in the romance of the craft. We are, most of us, confessed addicts when it comes to new notebooks and writing utensils. We each of us crave a room of our own and aren’t shy about drooling (metaphorically or literally) over another writer’s creative space. We believe…

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Authoritarian v. Authoritative: “With great power comes great responsibility”

radical eyes for equity

The Peter Parker/Spider-Man myth—like most in the ever-reshaping and rebooting world of comic book superheroes—has spun a slightly inaccurate but powerful catch-phrase around Peter’s Uncle Ben: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

The original wording—“AND A LEAN, SILENT FIGURE SLOWLY FADES INTO THE GATHERING DARKNESS, AWARE AT LAST THAT IN THIS WORLD, WITH GREAT POWER THERE MUST ALSO COME —  GREAT RESPONSIBILITY!”—was not spoken by Uncle Ben, in fact, but by the narrative’s omniscient narrator penned by Stan Lee:

August 1962, Vol. 1, #15 Amazing Fantasy, Marvel Comics

And for Peter Parker, this truism, however phrased, reveals his ongoing battle with the responsibility inherent in his acquiring super powers, complicated by that occurring without his choice. The world of Peter Parker/Spider-Man has been manipulated in the Marvel Universe (even literally) as an internal battle between that responsibility and Parker’s own personal desires (personified often as love interests such as Gwen…

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Five Fights: Tip Jar


He’d already been in a few times that day: First to use the bathroom, later for a cup of water with just a little ice. “What time do you close?” he asked over the water cup.

“We close up at 10 p.m.,” I said.

“And whatcha do with everything left over from here?” He pointed to the pastry case, grubby with fingerprints on the outside, where people had touched it to point at this muffin, that scone. There were a few congealed cheese croissants left, a bagel sandwich getting soggy with hummus and roasted peppers, a few two-day-old brownies.

“Normally we just chuck most of it,” I said. “Come back around about 10:15, though, and I’ll bag up what I got for ya, if you want it.”

“Nah,” he answered with a wave of his hand. “I’m good.” He crushed the plastic water cup in his hand. “See ya,” he…

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Every Bomb Dropped Is A Failure Of The Imagination


An injured child during Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012.

Israel has, for the third time in just five years, commenced a major bombing operation on the Gaza strip. Over a hundred and fifty Palestinians have been killed, most of them civilians. As it was the last three times, my response is sorrow and anger — a strangely physical sensation of anger as a burning in my chest.

It’s easy, even for someone such as myself, who has been following the conflict for years with resignation, to look first at the political significance of the conflict and the strategic policy goals of the war and how it affects the broader conflict.

That’s not what we should be thinking about right now. We should remember instead what war means: it means destruction and death. It means homes destroyed, lives snuffed out; children crushed to death by falling buildings; amputations, hearing loss, perforated…

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“You Know I Love You A Lot Too Even If I Sometimes Get Impatient”

The Belle Jar

I am a person who needs constant reassurance that other people love and value me.

And when I say constant, I mean fucking constant.

Like, in a perfect world, every morning and evening all of my friends would fill out a survey detailing how they felt about me. In this document they would remind me of the fact that they loved me, and let me know what my areas of improvement were, so that I could fix any little issues before they blew up. Or if, for whatever reason, I couldn’t fix them, I would, at the very least, not feel blindsided by any big conflict that they might bloom into. I could plan ahead how I would react, the pithy things I would say and the brilliant retorts I would make. I wouldn’t melt into a sobbing, gibbering mess, the way I usually do.

The way I always do.

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What Happened To Jennifer Lawrence Was Sexual Assault

The Belle Jar

TW for talk of sexual assault, victim blaming, misogyny

You’ve probably heard about the nude photographs of Jennifer Lawrence that were leaked online yesterday. The leak also included nude pictures of Kirsten Dunst, Ariana Grande, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and several other women, but, naturally, it’s Lawrence who’s drawing most of the heat because she’s super-famous right now. She’s also known for being charmingly awkward and honestly if I had to place any bets I would guess that most people were hoping that she would respond to this with some kind of hilariously crass Real Talk about sex and her body and being naked. I keep seeing comments by people who want her to provide the punchline to this joke; what they don’t seem to understand is that this is not a joke, this is a form of sexual assault.

Jennifer Lawrence and the other women involved in this leak were photographed…

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Media researcher wanted

We’re looking for a media researcher that can bring their skills to our company.

Ideally we need somebody who has:
– Excellent researching skills (of course)
– Great organisation skills
– A high degree of attention to detail and accuracy
– Creativity
– Initiative
– Determination
– Patience
– The ability to work under pressure
– Someone who’ll meet our strict deadlines

With varying, long working hours, we’re looking for someone flexible that knows what they’re doing.
If you’re interested please email us (listed below) with a CV and we’ll get back to you with more information if we feel you’re the right person for the job.

Halifax man sentenced to only five years in prison after years of rape and abuse of young girl

The Belle Jar

TW for rape, child abuse, victim-blaming

There is a story in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald today about a woman who was sexually abused by her mother and her mother’s common-law boyfriend from the age of eleven. It started with the man coming into the girl’s bedroom at night and reaching up under her nightie to fondle her; she screamed for her mother, but her mother was too drunk to respond. When the girl was twelve, her mother – her own mother – coached her on giving blow jobs to this man. The abuse continued until the girl was fifteen, often taking the form of, in her words, a “sick threesome” with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend.

When the girl was fifteen she told her mother’s boyfriend that she would report him to the police. He told her that she couldn’t, because her mother was too deeply implicated. “How could you do this to your own…

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The Cold, Gaping Maw Of Winter, Etc.

The Belle Jar

The winter my mother was pregnant with me was one of the coldest and longest on record. And this was in Montreal, mind you, which should give you an indication of just how deeply the temperatures must have plunged. My mother, who spent her days slogging across the snowy city to work, to doctor’s appointments, to the university where my father was a law student, and finally back home again, used to joke that I would be born with frostbite. When she told me this I pictured myself as a fetus, bobbing along inside of her, my toes and fingers turning blue in spite of the many layers of flesh and fabric that swaddled me. Even then, I imagine, I must have hated the cold.

My memories of Quebec in winter are mostly of the childhood-wonder variety; I was only three when we moved to Ontario, so they really only exist in imperfect…

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