Excerpts from “Unstuck”

“Working to step away from the role of our own harshest critics is pivotal to overcoming writing blocks. The role is one we learn from those around us; we take to heart our lines, originally provided by those in authority, and eventually we perform as if these lines were our own.”

“To write you have to take writing seriously. And to take writing seriously, you have to take yourself seriously.”

“Think small. From a single, finely rendered plant, an entire garden will spread before you.”

“No matter what else you do, clear away the emotional and material time and space—to write. Then no matter what else you do, show up for yourself. Even if it’s just a tiny corner or a quarter of an hour, I hope that you will meet up with yourself there and begin to listen to your voice, making it possible for your own words to find their way onto the page.”

“If you sit down each day and write, no matter how little, you are a real writer.”

“Write for eyes that approve of you. Eyes that you respect, but that also look upon you kindly, lovingly. Eyes that have not spoken to you harshly. That have not disapproved of you. Eyes that encourage you. Eyes that want for you what is best.”

“To write, you need to practice deep compassion for yourself.”

“For us to be fully fluent as writers, to access all parts of ourselves and all of ourselves, we need to make our writing world safe. To do all within our power to help us feel completely at ease, protected from interruptions, insults, distractions, demands, and unhappiness. To work with ourselves, our family and friends, our environment so that nothing comes between us and our ability to express ourselves on the page.”