Editor Central

Weekly Inspiration for Writers

How can I write if I can't find clean socks?

If I was given a quarter every time I wished for a magic wand to bibbidi bobbidi boo a problem away, both of us could retire, rich and fabulous. From calendars that have a life of their own, to toddlers who won’t nap, to dinner that rejects our silent pleas to magically appear on the table, if life doesn’t run smoothly, it hinders our creativity and focus. While everyone has their own ways to be productive, stepping back and creating a plan to manage all aspects of our life is an easy way to unleash our creativity.

Our brains can only juggle so many thoughts at a time. After my brain injury, my almost photographic memory vanished. As someone who could remember every calendar appointment six-months on either side of today, in the space of moments, I didn’t know what day it was. Productivity and creativity changed radically for me.

Many, many months after the accident, when I wasn’t sleeping fourteen-plus hours a day, I tried to complete ordinary tasks the...

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How can I find new readers without being pushy or feeling gross?

“Look away! If you don’t make eye contact, they’ll leave you alone.”

I hope I’m not the only one irritated by pushy salespeople at mall kiosks. People running at me with open bottles of hand cream and free samples ruffle my sensibilities. One, I have allergies and some of those “wonderful” elixirs will blister my skin with just a drop. Two, do these people have no respect for boundaries and personal space? After two and a half decades of watching salespeople as an adult, clearly, many do not.

My first job was tending shop for a family friend who sold nutritional supplements. I was immersed in my naturopathic studies at the time, so it was a great fit. I remember her instructions: “Answer questions and offer suggestions, but never get pushy with products. I don’t care if other managers are only selling programs. We live in an economically depressed area. People may need what we have, but they won’t buy if they don’t...

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I am a writer. Now what?

“I don’t understand. Did you not read this before you turned it in? It is completely unacceptable. Go back and fix it.”

That was the nicest thing the teacher said to me in front of the class. Several students looked up to stare. As an honor roll student who gave 200% and never missed an assignment, her reaction stunned me. I was humiliated and ashamed because I hadn’t done better.

Not only had I read and reread my first book report, I had gone to her for help three times. That was unusual for me, but I couldn’t wrap my mind around what she wanted. Each time she dismissed me with vague answers. In 1987, there was no Google to show me how to write a book report. I did the best I could and that was her response.

As creatives, it’s easy for us to be overly critical of our work. While we want to share our best efforts, sometimes we are our own worst enemy. When someone we respect reacts negatively to our work, it can really knock our confidence....

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I Am A Writer

“You’re a what?”

Naturopathic medicine in the 1990s was a peculiar occupation. Few people knew what I did unless I explained. With the rise of alternative healthcare in the last decade, more people are aware of it and have strong opinions regarding the science. Back then, I spent more time writing and educating than I did meeting with clients.

After I left the health field to be a full-time mom, like many working women who give up their careers, I lost what little identity I possessed. When I started my magazine in 1998, it was easy to say, “I am an editor.” I never had to explain.

Perhaps it was the authority or prestige that comes with the title of editor that made me comfortable. Or maybe if I called myself a writer, my seventh-grade teacher would show up and publicly remind me I still didn’t know what I was doing. In any case, it would be almost a decade before I finally acknowledged I’m a writer.

As a lover of words and blank pages,...

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