Tag Archive for empowerment

Had Enough? Conquer Writer’s Block!

Conquering Writer’s Block, Winter dates TBD

Stuck? Fear-filled? Can’t write?


  • He read nightly about how to write from a stack of books at his bedside, sometimes realizing he never kept a pad and pen handy; maybe tomorrow…
  • She dreamed of writing for the movies but prided herself on being her own harshest critic; she overthought every creative choice and never finished the first screenplay.
  • His hero and muse was an 80-year old writer with a stellar career and a case full of awards; the young writer felt he could never measure up, foundering at 21.
  • She argued with anyone who dared read and comment on her work; her novel was never revised or published.
  • He had a hit with his first published book; he became paralyzed thinking lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice and never wrote again.

Every reason not to write has an opposite reason TO write. And you have a choice—choose to believe you can write, use your creativity to find the right path, and put action to your belief!

Conquering Writer’s Block is a 3-week workshop designed to crack the code to your block and get you writing. Through personal writing for clarity and group discussion for perspective, you will discover the limiting messages you feed yourself and gain the courage to stop your creative malnourishment and grow a healthy writer’s consciousness.

  • She had so many stories to tell that she didn’t know where to start; she wrote one story, received encouragement and quickly picked another story to write next.
  • He felt too emotionally distraught to write, trapped for weeks in the same loop; he wrote his fears on paper to witness and release them, clearing the space to persevere with his poetry.
  • She has 5 kids, ranging in age from elementary school to college; when they went to school, she “went to school” and finished her novel.
  • He has noise sensitivity to loud neighbors, TVs, and barking dogs that stole focus; he used his creativity and available resources to give himself the calm he needed to write.
  • She bogged down in personal issues while writing memoir; she discovered fiction, freely changing details and perspective in a way to share what had been impossible to consider sharing.

As you share your work with yourself, build upon the ability to share your writing with others. You will learn how to compassionately protect yourself from reviewers’ slings and arrows, transforming critiques into the gift of feedback…and continue writing.

Conquering Writer’s Block, Winter dates TBD

Change Adds Up

celebrate changeThirty-one million, five hundred and thirty-five thousand, nine-hundred and ninety seconds go by without much awareness, yet we make the final ten a collective concentrated countdown.  At the final tick, we instantly let go of all the seconds from the year before and enthusiastically kiss in another block of time.

When the clock strikes midnight, we celebrate change.

For many of us, that’s it.  The one-time only.  We get an idea about change, maybe make resolutions, then drop ‘em to the wayside as we journey along as if nothing happened.

But like the seconds ticking by, change persists.

This past year, there was change I didn’t choose, like the updating of my computer’s operating system.  Though the same company, command buttons moved and renamed. Others vanished. Additionally, Gmail went to a new look and filing system, and ITunes, which probably updated years ago, became new to me.

synapse firingDid these changes make my life better?  Not necessarily.  I moaned about it, but I learned it.  I strengthened my synapses a little through the exercise.  And I dropped resistance; the Internet and its technology are so young, they are bound to change.

Language changes with new words and altered meanings.  Remember when “bad” meant “bad,” then meant “good” and then later meant “bad” again?  This past year, if I were rich and did something really bad (and I mean “bad”), I could blame it on my “Affluenza.”  If I “twerked” without a major stretch before and a chiropractic adjustment after, that would be bad (I still don’t mean “good”).

Rather than relearning computer software or attempting to dance like a teenager again, I’d much rather make changes that give me the expression of creativity I desire.

Bottom line: change requires two actions – choice and effort.

So, if you’re a writer or want to be, choose and make the effort.  Affect change –

  • Hire an editor for that manuscript
  • Book some coaching time to rev up your pace
  • Take a class or seminar for new ideas
  • Attend a free writer’s event and build community
  • Make a coffee date with yourself, a macchiato and a writing prompt
  • Buy a cheap notebook and begin to fill it with whatever
  • Write down that resolution to write, then, gosh, write about it

Like coins tossed into a bowl, change adds up.  If done consciously, it adds up for good.  If consistently celebrated, you feel happy as time flies.

Please follow links to the right for info on current writing seminars and classes.  Editing and coaching services always available.

Holiday Present: Claim Your Good

Are you naughty or nice to your writer self?

present by Christine Wong Yap

As you explore and grow as a writer, you discover, like all of us, that writing involves much more than computers, ergonomic chairs and trendy standing desks, as well as many more skills than you learned in school.

Put those toys aside, and imagine what gift would help you feel good as a writer. Stretch, if necessary, to believe in its amazing arrival.

Remember when magic and make-believe were present every day?  I bet at one time you did.  Give it another whirl.  Pick up a pencil, pen or crayon, and write a letter of your heart’s wish.  Build your belief starting with words like I have–

I love to write!  I’m worthy of my best gifts,
and I gratefully receive a writer’s perseverance!

This year has whooshed by, and though I’ve written lots of blog posts, emails and hundreds of journal pages, my book isn’t complete.  I’ve enjoyed editing, contract and ghostwriting projects while my book patiently waits.  So for this holiday season, my gift to myself is intentional focus on my own book. For the new year, I’ll claim the time for my heart’s project alongside my work, and trust all is well.

As a writing coach, I know a young woman who wants the gift of delight to allow her writing to bring spontaneous laughter to her.  A gentleman desires an abundance of crackling creative ideas.  One writer seeks personal acceptance, forgiveness and healing through her words.

What about you?  Ask for what you really, really want.  Notice what you initially want may lead to something else.  Ask for that, too!

  • Authenticity, Enthusiasm, Release
  • Creativity, Play, Celebration
  • Intention, Support, Strength
  • Purpose, Communication, Collaboration
  • Exploration, Openness, Discernment

gift tagWrite your letter, and send it to yourself.  Read it with fresh, compassionate eyes.  Recognize the truth of the desire, and then, like an expert holiday shopper on a mission, find the way to give yourself the present of an enriched writing experience.

Here’s the holiday’s best kept secret – the gift is already yours.  Your desire birthed the intention; you simply have to claim and use it.

There’s no question of naughty or nice.  Simply know you are good.

artwork by Christine Wong Yap

Chart A Course To Write Your Memoir

Like clients Kirby and Jonathan, you can write and publish your memoir.
Consider the Memoir class as getting your feet wet, the Creative Writers Workshop as training, and personal writer’s coaching & editing as the swim toward the finish line.


Start Somewhere.

nyad.espncdn.com.1 - CopyDiana Nyad, 64, an American long distance swimmer, became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without using a shark cage in September 2013.  She attempted the 110-mile swim in 1978, then three more times during 2011-2012 without success.  Undaunted, she kept trying.

Some take to writing easily, while others need encouragement.  All could become successful writers.

I’ve seen those who keep dipping their toes rippling the surface ‘thinking’ about writing while others tread water.  These waste mental and physical efforts.  With practice and determination, others jump in to navigate their past and write their memoir.

Get in the Water.

SWIMMING-CUBA-US-NYADOn earlier tries, Nyad was stung by jellyfish, harassed by harsh currents and battered by storms forcing her to quit.  Still, her quest wasn’t over.  She changed tactics, updated equipment, and kept trying.  Obstacles were just lessons to examine and conquer.

Many hindrances can slow writers, but our self-doubts can sink us.  My greatest lesson in how to deal with doubt came from my swimming practice.

Whenever excuses weigh me down, and I really, really don’t want to swim, my motto is ‘get in the water.’  This never fails: I begin with the assurance I can stop whenever I want.  All the negative messages float into my mind like stinging jellyfish or attack my gut like sharks.  I endure and keep swimming.

Interestingly, whatever was blocking me – sinus issues, achey body, ornery mood – improves or dissipates.  Each time, I accomplish my goal of swimming my usual number of laps.

Jump headfirst into your writing.  Enjoy the weightlessness of freedom, the unburdened feeling of writing what comes from your pool of memories.  See what surfaces.

Swim with Friends.

diana-nyad-florida-to-cuba-swimNyad, like any seasoned athlete, dove to mental and emotional depths to acquire physical strength to complete her goal.  She didn’t swim alone; she had community onshore, as well as a boat load of folks for moral support and to watch her back.

In teaching memoir for years, I’ve seen group after group coalesce and support one another to dive deep into consciousness and bring up treasures.

Join the Memoir class, a guided group of no more than six participants. The expedition is more fun, even more enlightening, with others.

Go for the Goal!

nyad.cbsmiami - Copy“I have three messages,” Nyad said on the beach after her historic swim (Associated Press).  “One is, we should never, ever give up. Two is, you’re never too old to chase your dream. Three is, it looks like a solitary sport, but it is a team.”

Compassionate, honest fellow writers are crucial to your success; they want you to win! This happens with every Creative Writers Workshop I’ve led, a group of no more than 4 writers.

As your writing coach, I mentor you to chart your writing’s course and hold you accountable as you move from writing and revising to editing and publishing.

With friends and a dedicated coach on your team, you can more easily write and complete your memoir.

nyad.gmanewstv - Copy
Memoir Class

Creative Writers Workshop

Personal Writer’s Coaching & Editing, by appointment

References: Associated Press; Mike Smollins.
Photos:CBS/Miami; ESPN/CDN; GMA News TV; IlPostIt