ejb writing studio, erin j bernard, old books, novels

Ten Million Unwritten Novels: How To Keep Creating Stuff When There Just Isn’t Time

Driving home tonight, I found myself feeling almost unbearably creatively suppressed.

Dramatic, right? But it’s true. I’m terribly busy with family obligations, plus the task of wrapping a large editing project with a tighter-than-tight deadline, and it’s felt lately like all I do with the miniscule shred of free time that’s left is sit in the damned car. Traffic has become unbearable in my city these past few years, but there is a bright spot: I have also discovered that my mind does some of its best wandering when I’m spacing out at the wheel.

Continue reading

black and white, urban, fire hydrant, shadows, erin j bernard, terrible creative blog, ejb writing studio

Unimaginable Unthings: Telling the Story You’re too Afraid to Tell

If you’ve ever had something really shitty happen to you, then you’ve probably noticed the same thing I’ve noticed.

Well intentioned friends and family, in the course of offering you their condolences, will often default to the same, tired three-word phrase: “I couldn’t imagine.”

I had two miscarriages a few years back, and folks lobbed this platitude (or some variation of it) at me quite a lot. Sometimes they couldn’t even imagine, or couldn’t begin to imagine. The braver among them could scarcely or hardly imagine. But always, there was a whole lot of not-imagining stuff going on.

Continue reading

erin j bernard, terrible creative blog, ejb writing studio, newspaper clip, black and white print, clipping

Writer’s Challenge: Stop Clip-Shaming Yourself!

I can still recall the thrill of my very first newspaper byline—it imparted a buzz far better than drugs (some of them, at least), and the memory of it still gives me a posthumous kick of heady glee.

I was living in Missouri, and it was my first week of grad school, and I’d been asked to write a one-page arts feature for the local newspaper’s weekend insert.

My assignment: to cover a mini-concert headlined by three teenaged rock and hip-hop bands and staged atop a parking garage at sunset. Small peanuts, but that didn’t stop me from my nerves.

Continue reading

ejb writing studio, terrible creative blog, black and white park, golden gate park, moody park, san francisco fog

Writing Closer, Writing Harder: Two Quick Lessons from Humble Creatives

I’ve been working this week on listening—far deeper and far more carefully to all the noise that’s happening around me, but most particularly to the thoughts and observations of other creative folks.

Fellow writers, musicians, fine artists: they’ve each got lessons to impart about the call to creativity and all the wonderful and terrible things that come from choosing to heed it in a meaningful or authentic way.

Continue reading

erin j bernard, ejb writing studio, grass, light, oregon coast, backlighting, terrible creative blog

New Season, New Blog

Don’t you hate it how at the end of every summer, we’re barraged with a zillion print and television ads trumpeting the arrival of fall and not-so-subtly intimating that purchasing new wardrobe and ditching our hideous, out-of-date haircuts is the only fitting way to properly welcome in the new season?

“New look, new you!” Right?

That phrase drives me nuts. What is wrong with the old me? (Aside from the fact that I sometimes wear slippers in public and didn’t own a hairbrush until last year. Give me a break; I’m a freelance writer.) But I do appreciate the sentiment: change can feel really, really good.

Continue reading

terrible creative blog, erin j bernard, ejbwritingstudio, content writing, blog for writers

Erin J Bernard, ejb writing studio, copywriterWelcome, and let me guess: You’re a creative human, and you like to make stuff. But you struggle with: time management, motivation, grammar, character development, bad moods, slow progress, no progress, crap metaphors, reader engagement, metrics, technology, group critique, originality, self critique, laziness, branding, publishing, starting things, and finishing things.

Me, too. I’m Erin, and I’ve been making the writing life work (and pay) for a decade. Like you, I wage constant battle with assorted writing bugaboos. Some days, I think I’m terribly brilliant. And other days, I suspect I am just plain terrible. But always, I take damned good notes.