In his book “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft,” Stephen King has famously credited “the boys in the basement” for working on his story even when he isn’t. The term “boys in the basement” did not ring true for me. Therefore, I came up with my own name: “the girls in the attic.” 

Last night I invoked them, and they did not disappoint. 

This is an open letter of thank you:

Dear Girls in the Attic:

Last night, before falling asleep, I asked you to help me figure out what to do next in my story. This morning when I woke up and sat down to write, you gave me the answer. Thank you, thank you, thank you!



Have you ever called on your “boys in the basement” or your “girls in the attic”? Comment below.


This past week I got a bad case of “THE DOUBTS”. The first two days I was walking around in a fog that did not let me see where I was going or where I had been. It left me feeling completely paralyzed. Thankfully, by day three a little voice inside reminded me that this was not the first time I had felt like this, and, even better, I had cured myself of “THE DOUBTS” before. All I had to do was to implement some of my healing remedies. 

The first and most powerful of those remedies is tapping. If you have never heard of tapping, I urge you to look into it. Tapping, or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), was first created in the 90’s by Gary Craig. Nick Ortner, founder of www.tappingsolution.com describes it as “a combination of Ancient Chinese Acupressure and Modern Psychology that works to physically alter your brain, energy system, and body all at once.” It is worth the try. The hardest part is to remember to do it when you need it! Nick and his sister Jessica also have several books and an amazing app that I love.

After a few rounds of tapping, I felt HOPE again. And with HOPE, I could ACT again, because, as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe says, action defeats doubt. Because doubt is all about inaction. And inaction is all about fear. I was afraid I was never going to write a perfect novel. And I was right. I am never going to write the perfect novel. But, I can learn to write an imperfect one and that is what I am going to do. 

So, Bye-Bye for now DOUBTS. I don’t have time for you. I am busy learning how to write a very imperfect novel. 


The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.

Mark Twain

Why? It’s the first big question kids ask as they start to learn about the world. When you write a book, you are like a little kid learning about a new world. That is why, as I have learned from Lisa Cron and Jennie Nash, asking why is the most powerful question you can ask when writing a book. 

But why do you have to ask yourself why? You are about to spend hours and hours alone with words and imaginary people, and if you don’t know WHY you will lose your way or your interest somewhere around hour 5,000 (maybe earlier). This doesn’t only work at the macro why this book level. It also works at the micro why this word level.

When I get stuck in my story, I find that if I just sit down and ask myself WHY I can get unstuck and keep going. Go ahead and try it. It might just do the trick for you too!


I am sure you have heard about the plotters and pantsers debate. There’s a new debate in town plaguing writers. Should I fast draft or should I, write slow? I have been asking myself this lately. And, of course, as if often the case, the answer is somewhere in the middle.

A year ago, I read Rachel Aaron’s book from 2,000 to 10,000: How to write faster, write better, and write more of what you love. The idea is very appealing. Who doesn’t want to write faster and better and more? And, as a two time NANOWRIMO “winner”, I know it can be done. At least the faster part. The better part I’m not so sure of. But, isn’t that what we want, at least if we are talking about our first draft. Or what is sometimes referred to as the ZERO DRAFT. Fast drafting makes sense when you just want to get ideas and characters out of your brain and onto the page. This is also an excellent time to be a pantser.

However, if you ever want anyone to read your work, it will require several rewrites. And I have found that when rewriting, I can’t go fast. If I do, my chapter ends up mechanical and without heart. This is when Louise DeSalvo’s book on “The Art of Slow Writing” comes in handy. Because I need to slow down to make sure my character is making meaning of what is happening. As I have learned from @JennieNash and from Lisa Cron of “Story Genius” fame, that is what makes a story.

So, which is it, fast or slow? For me, it’s both.

What do you think? Comment below.