A Writer’s Cure for Insomnia

Sometimes it is not the opposite of the thing but the thing itself that is the solution.

I’ve had my fair share of bouts of insomnia. In some ways it marked the end of childhood for me, knowing I could no longer just fall asleep wherever, whenever.  Insomnia is the writer’s curse. It is a situation common to people who spend their waking hours imagining what-if’s and following their thoughts on long […]

That time I took 15 years to write an essay

The reason for memoir is the space between who you were and what you are now.

So here’s a story that basically encapsulates what it means to write memoir. My family has this zany ritual of visiting open houses but never actually moving. It emerged a lot from our love of spaces and more than a little from our long-held belief that life would be better if yada yada [insert your […]

The unexpected benefits of forgetting to save your work

I wrote. It disappeared. I wrote again.

The other day someone sent me one of those stories where a writer ran back into a flooding building to retrieve his laptop because it had something like a 200,000-word novel stored on it. The first thing I did was shake my little finger and say to myself: “Come on, man, Google Docs!” But even […]

In praise of the 100% Real Fake Book Cover

A little inspirational wall art never hurt anyone.

Things are getting real over at the Emily Grosvenor studio, ahem, in the corner room where I pound out my words every morning. So real, in fact, that I’ve made a real fake book cover for my current writing project. Why? I believe firmly in the power of visual dreaming. It’s been a bit of […]

The one big thing I do to restart my writing practice

After a hiatus of non-writing, the struggle is real.

You might recognize this feeling I’ve been having. The summer is ending and I am completely unmoored from my writing routine. My own reason is specific to the work-at-home mom whose kids are there all summer and who gets hammered with freelance work, but really, all of our reasons are the same. Life gets in […]

What pink hair taught me about branding yourself as a creative

I didn't do it for a response, but what happened next changed how I view creative brands.

A couple of months ago I finally bit the bullet and dyed my hair pink. The flood of Pinterest images with awesome pink hairstyles, a lingering Barbie fetish from my youth, and the realization that everything I love came into my life when I was in fourth grade made me decide to just go for […]

Feeling stuck creatively? 6 steps to get unstuck.

Counterintuitive advice for creatives who work from home.

If there’s one thing I hear most from people who work from home, it’s the challenge of ignoring household duties to focus on your work. The struggle is real. In my decade of professional creative work I’ve developed a lot of jedi mind tricks for getting in the zone. But today I’m going to offer […]

Putting together a book proposal? Map it out!

Amidst the agony and the thrill of starting new projects, make a plan.

I’m waist-deep in a new memoir book proposal. The juices are flowing, the words seem to be flying off my fingers (my mom, a typing teacher, would be so proud!) and I’ve got that thrilling new project feeling. But I know myself. I am very good at starting projects. There’s little at stake in starting, […]

The conversation that changed everything for me

Why creatives need an entrance strategy, not an exit strategy.

I was sitting next to a Hood River winemaker on a press tour last summer. He and his wife were serial entrepreneurs, the kind of people who spin off businesses like other people eat potato chips. We were talking about businesses — how they start, how they thrive — when I asked him what his […]