About Me

If you ask me what I love to do most, what brings me the greatest joy and satisfaction and feeling like a kid again with a world of possibility before me, it’s writing. When I’m creating, when I’m in the flow, there’s nothing like it.

You know what I hate most in the world? Those moments before I start writing. Oh, the horror of the blank page! Not to mention the suddenly blank mind. And, since nature abhors a vacuum, my thoughts instantly jump to the things I could be doing instead, like washing dishes. Sorting socks. Checking email. Don’t I have more episodes of Orange is the New Black to watch?

And if I don’t catch myself in the moment, and gently steer myself back to my intended writing task, I can easily (but not happily) get lost for hours, until – whoops! “No more time” for writing. Then a cycle of shame, depression, and resolving to “do it tomorrow” begins.

Does this sound like you? Are you hoping to start writing, but don’t know where to begin? Are you paralyzed by the blank page, or do you hear a snarky voice every time you sit down (or miraculously manage to get a few words on the page) that says, “This is terrible. Who do you think you are? You think anyone will want to read this?”

Or maybe you’re in the middle of a long project, and you’ve lost all your juice for it. It’s dry as an old bone, and you’re not sure you even want to finish. In fact, maybe you’re not a writer after all. Maybe you should take up something else… like macramé.

Maybe you used to write, way back when, and really liked it, and would like to try again – but worry that you have nothing to say, or at least, nothing anyone else would want to read. Right?

Or… maybe you’re thinking, “I have something, and I think it could really be Something, but I don’t know what that is. And I’m a creative person, but all that organizing, and editing, and rearranging – ugh.”

Or… maybe you’ve finished an MFA. And after all the stimulation, all the deadlines, all the support… you’re back in your “real life” with just you, and your writing. How do you maintain the writing habit? How do you keep the faith? How do you find the guts to keep putting your work out into the world?

Or even… maybe you’re a published writer. Success! Except… I have to do it again? I have no ideas. I have too many ideas. My last project was such a long slog I… just… can’t… Sigh.

It’s easy to get stalled, at whatever stage of the writing journey you’re at. It’s okay! No shame! Once you’ve acknowledged that running headfirst into the mountain of your Resistance isn’t going to get you anything but a sore head, you can work on finding other strategies. I can help with that!

That’s what this site is for. Writing is hard, but it doesn’t have to be torture. You can train your brain to remember that joy of cooking on the page, so you want to sit down and write, because your Muse is on Fire, baby!

Who Am I?

I’m a writer (well, duh) – but really, I’m down there in the trenches, doing writerly stuff. Writing, I can do. I’ve completed two novels and have a third on the way. I have an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and am a certified Creativity Coach. I’ve taught courses on fiction writing, grant writing, and nurturing your creativity. I’ve taught English in four countries. I’ve coached people through creative projects large and small. I’ve done a lot of research (and practice) into what works, and what doesn’t, to help people find and tame that magical beast, Motivation.

I also do lots of other stuff when I’m not writing. I travel every chance I get – sometimes on my own, sometimes with friends. I bake far more than is good for my waistline, but fortunately I also enjoy exercising – in fact, for many people there is often the same love/hate relationship with that as with writing. A lot of the tips and techniques you find here will help you in other areas of your life, not just writing!

Contact me at jana(dot)vanderveer(at)gmail(dot)com.

Find What You Love – Remember Why You Love It – Do More of It!