The Writer’s Rite of Passage

by Brenda on October 25, 2014

writers riteDeciding to pursue a creative passion—such as writing—for some is the most difficult decision they’ll ever make. For some it’s a calling thus eliminating the stress of selection. Yet for others it’s a folly, a spring fling, only played with until the next fancy delights and promises a momentary diversion. For the tormented artist there is only the passion and the decision they’ve made to chase the dream wherever it leads. There is no flirting or false commitment.

The road travelled to create is fraught with extremes–successes, failures, personal growth, and in some cases, lifestyle revamping. The peaks and valleys can rock, and in some cases even crack the foundation of the most dedicated and passionate artist. Ideally there would be an even keel in the creative process, with no explosions of energy or the draught of inactivity that is typically followed by wallowing and critical introspection of ability.

There are starts and stops, endless questioning of craft and sanity, and the dreaded, but expected failure, which accompanies the successes. Doubt becomes a constant companion, and can be intensely destructive if given free reign. However, if the writer (any artist, really) stays on top of his/her emotional swings, uncertainty can be turned on it’s head and used to push through the personal crisis allowing the writer to carry on until the darkness has passed.

All paths walked in the quest to understand and define a unique expressive technique, on through to the never-ending pursuit of mastering the craft, are the rites of passage that lead to a writer to becoming a word-wizard and master storyteller. As each stage of the learning process–through the trials and tribulations, achievements and grounding ah-ha moments—are overcome, knowledge and prowess accumulate, which inadvertently alters, and in many cases, redefines, the topography of a person, now writer.

Finally the writer is comfortable enough in their skin to proclaim to the world their passion and the commitment to write. The writer, now shiny and new, is eager to share her/his know-how, the shortcuts and secrets, and the hard won wisdoms, with the world. The right to write about the writer’s rite of passage for some is the reward for slogging through the muck and darkness, and not throwing in the towel. Yet for others it’s the desire to pay forward and share the benefit of their strife in the hope of saving another writer from the arduous and steep learning curve (honorable but this isn’t truly possible). And then there are those writers, of which I am one, who write about writing the sake of the their sanity.

Writing is the subject tackled by every writer, either in an essay or blog post, and in due course, the author interview. All writers are prone to dissecting their method in hopes of understanding the magic. A large percentage of what happens is good old mojo and will never be unraveled, at least not entirely. Not everything is definable nor can it be broken down into perfectly defined measurements and a dot-to-dot how-to. Writing, the verb, the noun, the art, and the practice, is a mystery, and to some extent as allusive as love. The desire and burning need to debunk the magic of something we can’t quite explain is human nature. It’s a folly for sure but it doesn’t stop us from trying.

To some extent I’ve accepted the daily rite at face value. It’s my daily call to action to spend as much available time alone with the page. I purge. I mess around. I create, and sometimes I get it right and make a little magic. I am intrigued by my voice, where it came from, why I write, and what motivates me to crawl inside the nucleus of an emotion. I question my ability constantly. I wallow in the tepid pool of tears if a rejection letter—regardless of how thoughtful it is—awaits me in my in box. But as intrigued as I am about my fragile eco system, I am more interested in hearing other writer’s stories. We learn from one another. We live vicariously through others. We are excited for our peer’s wins as well feel their pain when they lose. We’re a nerdy bunch. We have no excuses for our behavior and hope our families don’t move us out to the garage. We can’t help ourselves.


In the coming weeks I am hosting a variety of talented writers in a mixture of mediums. If you’re a writer with an adventurous spirit and willing to share your POV with The Writer’s Rite, on Wednesdays, email me at

What advice would you offer a novice or a person teetering on the edge of commitment?


Ten Tantalizing Tips to LIVING a Charmed Life

by Brenda on October 15, 2014



Anything else wouldn’t be worth the breath you are breathing, after all.

2. Kiss often. Where and when applicable give love freely, accepting love is not a currency and that there are no refunds, nor is there a promise or repayment for what is gifted and expended. Love was designed to be simple and spent freely. Don’t make it more complicated than it was designed to be.

ThReE: Fun, have it. Lots. OF. It. Laugh when tears would be more appropriate. Cry only after laughing too hard.

4. Accept what cannot be explained at face value. Once in a great while, life will make an investment in you or gift something too spectacular to understand. Regardless of how much you look for the meaning, sleuth for reasons, or dissect your life down to the bone, for a reasonable explanation, none will be found. Tis a gift to be embraced, embrace it.

FIVE: Mind your own business. Don’t covet what is not yours. Live YOUR life exclusively. Don’t grant envy full rein. Destiny isn’t designed to custom fit the skin you are in. It’s configurable if you’re inclined to roll up your sleeves and work to alter the trajectory of the course you are walking. Remember this: if you are coveting someone else life how do you know that same someone isn’t wishing for yours? It’s all about perspective. Keep yours focused.

siX. Sleep late, cook what you’re craving, take a walk on the wild side, wear plaid with stripes, make time for detours, and if you must plan, prepare for the best but hope for the worst. Don’t fret over the unexpected. Time is finite and the one currency that cannot be hoarded. Spend it as freely as you do love. Live in the moment.

Lucky 7: Kick back, bark if you must, but never in anger. Make or take a stand to protect your authentic self, and if/when necessary walk away remembering that there is usually no one around to hear the last word, anyway. Standing tall in silence communicates a powerful and memorable message.

No woman or man, regardless of their size, 2 or 24, is happy with body she/he is slipping into a pair of jeans. Be presently perfect and accepting of your foibles, even the flaws, which no doubt could fill a book if you were so inclined to broadcast. Perfection is defined and redesigned every season by someone who lives in a tower atop a mountain with no window into your soul. Write your own charter, remembering your authentic self.

niNe. Say what you feel. Even if the words never break the sound barrier, find a safe harbor for your emotions in a journal. Say or write it. Let go. Purge the hurt. Trapped emotions hinder personal expansion, and generally skew perspective and can damage a relationship irrevocably.

TEN: Respect yourself, and every persona you harbor within. Take care of you, all of your flavors.

10.5:  HUG LIFE with all your might

Finally look at the world as a writer does: with a microscopic lens. Take notice of the world you walk through, see the people around you, and listen with your ears, but fine tune with your heart. Be compassionate in your assessment, with your word choices, and if you are so inclined, imagine a less tragic ending to another’s story.

…And every so often share a story from your life with someone who matters. Leave a behind a legacy in words for your children, a lover, and/or a loved one. Show, not tell, them how you lived your life. Better yet, keep a living journal.

What is your secret to living a charmed life?



Ten Tips to Recharge Your Creativity Batteries

by Brenda on October 8, 2014

  1. Stop making to-do lists that confine and measure achievement. Instead, grant yourself 15 minutes every day to unplug from the demands of life and all of your gadgets—now appendages—and imagine yourself floating in a multi-colored hot air balloon free of restraints. The only objective is to declutter your mind and allow it to soar without inhibitions or constraints.Creative Recharge
  2. Make a play date with your imagination.
  3. Drive to the town or city next to yours. Find a non-commercial Barista, walk in, and order something you’ve never tried before. Take a seat and observe.
    • Is music playing? Does it inspire you?
    • Look around. Do you notice any standout characters sitting at the tables alongside you? What are they talking about? Can you see yourself writing, painting, or being poetic, about these people?
    • Are there any unusual accents? Can you place it? Create a scenario in which you and this person engage in conversation and discover you shared a lover. What do you learn about the lover and yourself? How do you leave the situation?
  1. Quick as a wink—no deliberation allowed—list your five favorite love songs. Once the list is complete, pick the fav of the fav, and listen to the song a few times. And then… write a fan letter to the songwriter. Tell him or her what the song means to you and why.
  2. Answer the questions: Why is being creative important to you? What stands between you and your artistic canvas? What will you do this instant the obstacle is removed? And finally, make these questions your daily mantra.
  3. Take a walk on the wild side. Let go of your rules. Give yourself permission to write what you feel and say what your think.
  4. Locate a buried secret you’ve carry within your soul for almost forever. It has to be one that causes some sort of discomfort, fear, or hurt. Open the box it is buried in, take it out, and peel back the layers of scar tissue covering it. Face it. Cry one more time if you must. After, put it back into the box and release the negative energy out into the void. The memory will remain, but the hold it had over you is gone making room for artist innovation.
  5. Take a mental staycation.
  6. Take a restricted or progressive sensory stroll
    • Restricted: stroll with only one of the senses engaged; if scent is the sense of choice, use your eyes for navigation only but breathe in your surroundings taking note of both the common and unexpected. If so inclined, take a moment to jot down what comes to mind each time a new scent is found.
    • Progressive: there are several options in a progressive stroll; start your walk with only one sense turned on, then flip the switch on the second sense. Take care to notice the nuances. Is your awareness heightened? Continue this process until all five senses are switched on. Remember to monitor your connection to the surroundings and how the added senses impacts your perspective. Another option is to start the walk with all five senses switched on, and gradually turn each of them off one by one. Or focus only on two. At the end of your walk do you feel the creative charge of energy? Is the weight of the world gone? Do you even remember where you walked or how you arrived home?
  7. Feed your mind (art, music, books, theater, arts and crafts) and fuel your body (greens, grains, protein, carbs and proteins, chocolate and wine or rye). Laugh and cry. Love. Live. Believe. Fall down. Give yourself permission to fail and remember, from the ashes your artist self is reborn and recharged.


What do you do when your creative battery is sputtering?


10 Steps to Becoming A Damn Good Writer

September 30, 2014

Write Write often Writing well will follow one and two Don’t follow the rules, if you know the them, break ‘em–take a chance Be original – what’s good for the goose isn’t good for the gander Stay focused Don’t wallow in self-pity if your words are rejected Wallow in the edits, and then cut, cut, […]

Read the full article →

How to be a Writer

September 12, 2014

WRITER WANTED JOB DESCRIPTION Previous Experience None is required except a burning desire to weave a tale, confess a secret, and live forever on the page (even if that page is a diary you leave behind for your children).  A pinch of madness and determination goes a hell of a long way. Desired Skills Possess […]

Read the full article →