Curious about me and the sentences, lyrics, and music that I write and record? Scroll down.
GOT STUCK? You’re not alone. And feeling stuck doesn’t need to be permanent. In fact, the stuckness itself can be a key to discovering what to do next. Use FLOAT to draw on your own hidden resources, and find your way again. Including more than 80 tools, extensive introductory materials, inspiration from published authors, and multiple indexes for easy reference, FLOAT is a resource to keep handy. From Amazon and Bookshop
I finished reading FLOAT this morning and the joy was like experiencing the grand food halls in Copenhagen – each little stall offered another delicious morsel of beauty. I expect every reader will have their favorites – some of mine were “Eye On The Why,” “Fence Yourself In,” “Fire The Editor,” “Tell Me A Story,” etc. One can learn from your fine work even if one is not stuck.
~ Ed Hess, Professor Emeritus, Darden School of Business, University of Virginia
Preface to FLOAT • FREE download
We can probably each remember peak experiences that illuminated our connectedness with all the beings on the planet, and perhaps beyond. Yet, day by day, each of us navigates a continuum of need, between mistrustful isolation and immersive connection.
When you feel at a loss for words – or motivation – in your creative project, draw on your own inner resources, and the wisdom of many who’ve come before. Draw a card, consider its meaning, and re-balance. Any time you just need a boost, let FLOAT Cards for Writers provide thought-provoking, bite-sized sources of inspiration and intervention to get the creative juices flowing again. Pick a card! You’ll pick up your writing again with ease. An online guide with suggested ways to use the cards, alone, in groups, and in workshops and classrooms, is included with purchase.
Chapter: “Shaping Routines That Work” in The Coach’s Guide to Completing Creative Work: 40+ Tips for Working with Procrastination, Perfectionism and More (Eric Maisel and Lynda Monk, editors; Routledge, 2023)
Changing habits and routines is hard to do because unthinking behavior saves a lot of effort and energy and protects us from unexpected harm. I picture my brain’s brawny enforcers glaring at me, their thickly muscled forearms crossed belligerently, when I consider an alteration to my usual behavior. When is it worth it to struggle against those enforcers? What makes me dedicate myself to changing an unexamined, comfortable state?
Chapter: “The Becoming Unstuck Journal” in The Great Book Of Journaling: How Journal Writing can Support a Life of Wellness, Creativity, Meaning, and Purpose (Lynda Monk and Eric Maisel, editors; Conari Press, 2022)
The starting place for reconnecting to purpose and becoming unstuck is listening to your own wise self. And how better to do that than in an ongoing journaling practice? Stuckness comes and goes, and it lands more lightly and leaves more quickly when you have a steady journaling practice in hand.
Chapter: “How Journaling Benefits Your Coaching and Your Clients” in Transformational Journaling for Coaches, Therapists, and Clients: A Complete Guide to the Benefits of Personal Writing (Lynda Monk and Eric Maisel, editors; Routledge, 2021)
Slowing down enough to describe places, people, feelings, dreams, and experiences can take a while. When you make time for journaling, you find that you’re honing your ability to perceive, in a virtuous cycle that nurtures itself.
Chapter: “After #MeToo” in #MeToo: Essays About How and Why This Happened, What It Means and How to Make Sure It Never Happens Again (Lori Perkins, editor; Riverdale Avenue Books, 2017)
Anyone who says they had no idea that sexual harassment was happening has been studiously, astoundingly, willfully oblivious. We thought James Bond was cool, and, more recently, Don Draper. And in November 2016 we learned that the office of the President of the United States was going to be occupied by a thug and sexual predator. Tell me again about all that progress we have made; all those hearts and minds feminism has won over?
Your Journal as Time Machine
Often I find the best use of a sliver of time is to drop into an awareness of my breath and shift into a lower gear. One way to make that shift is to put pen to paper in my journal.
Not A Journal Person? Post-Pandemic Might Be the Perfect Time to Start
For all the things you’re thinking but not comfortable saying, your journal is a safe receptacle.
Is Journaling A Waste of Your Writing Time?
A private journal welcomes unselfconscious writing. In your journal, you are free to fire the editor.
Becoming Unstuck: Keeping the Creative Flow Going
We stay stuck when the stuck situation keeps looking the same. Seeing it differently is a key to getting out from under its influence. The stuckness loses its power over us when we shift perspective.
Creative Habits: Positive Energy from Shared Commitments
Even if writers need to isolate in order to make the time to create, I find time and again that we also treasure a sense of community. Following is an appreciation of my writer group and of silent zoom writing sessions, both of which have led me to cultivate and sustain positive writing habits.
Interview Your Inner Critic https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/rethinking-mental-health/202104/interview-your-inner-critic
It’s easy to hate the inner critic and to want to banish it permanently to a place far, far away. Here’s a thought exercise: What if we consider the possibility that the inner critic has something useful to offer?
How to Avoid Sabotaging Your Creative Process https://www.janefriedman.com/sabotage-creative-process/
If a writer sells a book, do all other writers suffer? Only if we’re in a zero-sum book-buying universe. And, like me, you probably know too many readers who’d rather buy books than new clothes (or dessert!) to believe that. If you focus on writing an excellent book, you’re doing all you need to do.
Are You Clear About Your Writer Persona? Going Public by Design https://www.janefriedman.com/clear-writer-persona-going-public-design/
As writers, we don’t always know how much of ourselves to share with the public. I believe it behooves each of us to create and curate an author persona—the public face for our work. Somewhere, the thought occurs: Who am I? Who do I want to be? What am I telling the world about myself and my writing?
How to Become Unstuck as a Writer with A M Carley
International branding professional Thuy Pham interviewed me about the process of being a writer.
Candle: A Radio Essay
My local NPR affiliate broadcast this 3-minute piece of mine, about living with the suicide of a loved one.
Zack Bonnie’s audiobook, Dead, Insane, or in Jail: A CEDU Memoir
I recorded the non-narrative interstitial portions of Zack’s wonderful, harrowing memoir, available here.
“Ones and Zeroes” – A love letter to the potential of the internet, written in 1999 • FREE download
All dollars are the same, and more of them is generally considered a good thing. On the other hand, not all information has the same value. With ones and zeroes, we are more selective. As digital junk, interchangeable with so much other digital junk, clogs the pipeline, isn’t it likely we will place increasingly higher value on non-interchangeable material, like opinion, point of view, imagination – things that often manifest as creative artforms?
“Back to the Archives” – Challenging assumptions about keeping information at the dawn of the digital age • FREE download
As you quickly breeze through one of the innumerable pages of possibly new information on a website, you may ask yourself: Do I want to keep it? If so, what does “keeping” mean? And, if I decide to keep it, what is the “it” I’m imagining I will want to access later?
“I Know It When I See It” – When creative art and courts of law meet up, it can get twisted and weird • FREE download
Years ago, a Justice of the United States Supreme Court was said to have explained, “I don’t know how to define it, but I know it when I see it.” He was talking about obscenity. He might as well have been talking about art.
Articles for publications include
ArtForum • Slant: Moral Right https://www.artforum.com/print/199105/moral-right-33788
No one is sure how The Visual Artists Rights Act will be applied in the courts to traditional artworks, or, in particular, how it will be understood to apply to Conceptual and Minimal art, or other nontraditional artworks that exist in the mind of the artist. To quote from the movies (which are not covered by the new law), “Hold on, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”
Estate Planning Magazine • When Art and Collectibles Are Assets of an Estate • FREE download
A collector’s actions and motivations may find little or no natural “fit” with tax rules and strategies. The professional advisor must attempt to build a bridge between the realm of the collector, whose assembled objects are imbued with years of memory and passion, and the realm of the IRS, which views collections as mere groupings of (appreciated) tangible personal property.
Virginia Educational Leadership • Educating Alll Students: Kid Pan Alley • FREE download
“We want to be able to demonstrate that our children can do well on tests, but that’s not all there is to teaching and learning. Just because it can’t be quantified doesn’t mean it’s not important.”
The NonProfit Times • Gift Horses: The offer that can be refused • FREE download
In a perfect world, every offered gift will be completely welcome and appropriate to the nonprofit’s purposes. In the perfect world, the donor will never ask for further attention from the nonprofit, promised gifts will always arrive on time, the IRS will find no fault, and the administration and development offices of the nonprofit organization will be telepathically linked. Failing these conditions, a thoughtful examination of the potential drawbacks of a proffered gift can be a nonprofit’s best friend.
Recorded Music Compositions
Click the title to listen in Bandcamp
A portrait of a man with lowered expectations
Inspired by a cross-country train ride from Seattle to NYC. I wrote those trumpet parts because I once had a crush on Charles Ives. And it was a blast the day John D’earth came to the studio.
First inspired by Laura R., whose mother would exclaim this when she discovered something had gone awry.
Charlie Murphy suggested this title as the germ of a song, years ago. This is what sprouted. Singing with Terri Allard on this one was a joy.
Therese Schwartz, a NYC painter, told me she threw out 20 paintings she had just made. She assured me, “Anne, it’s not lost.”
Girls and young women absorb a lot of wacky messages, growing up. This is an illustration of some of them. Also, thanks, Rosanne Cash, for believing in this song.
Inspired by life in NYC – a composite portrait of several people. I loved writing the cello part.
A song of love, betrayal, and the seasons of the year – dressed up, wearing a big hat. I pretended to be a real piano player on this one.
Dedicated to artists with day jobs, always juggling it all.
Inpired by women accommodating the passages of time.
Two friends walk into a bar. He tells her about summers in the Thousand Islands. She recalls her mother’s stories about a place called Gananoque. A song is begun.
Almost everyone has one of these somewhere. Admit it.