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The Writing Cycle explores how professional anxiety impacts creativity when the need for market value collides with personal motivations for making art. In this series, I explored ways American Cultural Mythologies Cause Writer’s Block. Next month, I’ll offer exercises to help you Write Accessibly in Everyday Life. Here, you will define your life purpose  . . . and how writing […]

Inspiration, The Creative Life, The Writing Process
October 1, 2021
Find Your Purpose: in Writing and in Life
purpose life writing
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Q: As far back as I can remember, I felt called to be a creative writer. But what do I do if the calling doesn’t pay the bills? Can I even call myself a real writer?  A: When it comes to writing of any type . . . it’s a dirty secret: nobody wants to talk […]

The Creative Life, The Writing Process
October 1, 2021
Do You Have Writer’s Block Because You Are Writing in America?
America writers block
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BOOK DEVELOPMENT: THE MINDSET PIECE  When we build your book together in #WRITTEN, The Writing Cycle’s 4-Month One-on-One Coaching Program, I first emphasize the importance of mindset work.  This is the piece many writers skip when they set out to go from concept to development. Of course, you need to be passionate about an idea. […]

Inspiration, Myers-Briggs and Writing, The Writing Process
August 6, 2021
Intuitive Writing: Mindset Secrets of Successful Writers
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As a young writer, I assumed everyone had a process similar to my own. It was only in an MFA that it dawned on me most writers do not work the way I do. This distinction increased starkly once outside an academic environment. Bestselling guides advocated following concrete rules, and, above all, chasing market trends. Community critique groups […]

Inspiration, Myers-Briggs and Writing, The Writing Process
June 16, 2018
An Intuitive Approach to The Writing Process
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For more than three decades, The Artist’s Way author Julia Cameron has been offering compassionate insight on the challenges of creativity. Her tools help writers overcome writer’s block by exploring how fear manifests as procrastination, the relationship between creativity and the unconscious, and by helping authors design not merely a “writing career”, but a creative life. The Writing Cycle has selected Cameron’s ten most resonant quotes […]

Inspiration, The Writing Process
January 11, 2018
Best Quotes: Julia Cameron on Writer’s Block
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Nowhere do the differences between Sensing and Intuitive personalities show up as clearly as in how each prefers to use language. Since style of communication is considered one of the most significant of human differences, it’s worth examining how this component of personality affects the way we write, and to learn how to write according […]

Craft and Revision, Myers-Briggs and Writing, The Writing Process
January 10, 2018
Sensing or Intuitive: How to Write According to Your Personality Type
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Making something from nothing is one of the most challenging endeavors humans engage in. After all, creative efforts are rife with uncertainty; outcomes can rarely be assured. So, how, then, do we sustain momentum on long, iffy projects? One answer is to look to those who have succeeded – and note how their advice reflects a reverence for purpose, […]

Inspiration, Publishing, The Writing Process
May 15, 2017
Encouraging Quotes for Writers
The Writing Cycle blog
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Carol Test presents to The Scottsdale Society of Women Writers at their Tenth Anniversary Celebration. All artists experience times when they yearn to create yet find themselves unable. But from a scientific standpoint, why might accessing creativity be harder for writers? Recent studies in neuroscience suggest the tools and rituals surrounding writing do not, in themselves, evoke the brain state […]

Local and Live, The Writing Process
September 1, 2015
Scottsdale Society of Women Writers Welcomes Carol Test
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On the hunt for the best books on writing? Enrich your craft mastery and writing process with six unconventional guides on the art of creativity. For more than a decade, I have been tasked with selecting guides for aspiring authors. I take this seriously: the ideal combination of insight and expertise, couched in compassion and borne […]

Inspiration, The Writing Process
March 31, 2015
A Portable MFA: The Best Books on Writing
best books on writing
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All artists experience times when they yearn to create yet find themselves unable. Writers, in particular, seem to struggle with this. They even have a term for it in the OED – and it isn’t called “Dancer’s Block”. From a scientific standpoint, why might accessing creativity be harder for writers? Recent studies in neuroscience posit […]

The Writing Process
March 1, 2015
It Isn’t Called Dancer’s Block: Neuroscience on Writer’s Block
writers block



Hi, I'm Carol,

a writing coach and editor who turns ideas into art with craft.


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