Monthly Archives: January 2014

What makes me a writer?

By guest blogger Camille Benson

What makes me a writer? Passion makes me a writer. The passion of hatred! I hate writing. It challenges me. Writing means I have to live up to my own expectations, which is not the way to live a contented life.

Writing means I have to be creative when I would rather be lazy. Writing means I have something nagging at me after a long week at work, especially when I’d rather just have a normal weekend like people who don’t write.

The passion of hatred turns to love and excitement once I get going with a story or even a complaint in my journal. I think, “What took me so long? Why didn’t I just bite the bullet and write this before?”

But it’s like that phenomenon new mothers report about their labor pains: When you’re in the delivery room you swear you’re NEVER gonna have sex again in your entire LIFE because of the pain you’re going through right that minute. But a few days after the birth you go into amnesia. You go home and do it all over again and you get yourself pregnant and you wind up in that delivery room screaming, “Never again!”

Except with writing it’s the other way around. I get amnesia about how much I enjoyed it the last time. All I know is what a chore it looms up as when I’m contemplating doing it. A weariness comes over me and I feel convinced I have nothing to say.

I’m a writer because I complain about writing.

I’m a writer because somebody gave me an assignment to begin two sentences with the words “I am” and I coughed up.

Camille Benson

Camille’s favorite


CAMILLE BENSON is an admin assistant in a non-profit organization. She is a cat lover and has a particular fondness for Siamese cats and orange tabbies. Camille has been a student of the Fear of Writing Online Course.

The Ways We Fraud Ourselves (Especially Writers?!)

By guest blogger Sandra Moore Williams

“It’s good to share the shameful secrets of our vast fears of inadequacies. Shared, outed shames aren’t nearly as powerful as secret ones.” — Sandra Moore Williams

I’VE FOUND THAT whatever I designate as my make-a-living occupation automatically becomes my paralysis factor. I procrastinate, worry about it, feel inadequate doing it and in general sabotage myself on it. I lock myself down and freeze up in that area. No wonder my hips and legs locked up so I couldn’t move! The body takes things so literally! I always feel like I’m on probation with my every output scrutinized by a crabby overseer who doesn’t like me.

I can find a million and one ways to distract myself. I enjoy working around the house and in the garden. If I decided landscape designer or home stager or interior design was my designated make-a-living work, I’d stop doing it. Argh!

I’m slowly learning to stop demanding absolute perfection of myself before I can do something. (How can we learn if we don’t make our mistakes and grow into proficiency? Tell my subconscious that. It thinks that wisdom applies to others only.) The myth that writers or artists are born, not educated into the field is one that I bought into long, long ago. I took a correspondence writing course in my early 20s. One of the founders on the board of the school was quoted as saying “Writers are born not made. Either you’ve got it or you don’t. No one can teach it to you.”

I was furious. I felt frauded and wrote a nasty letter to the school about her comment and quit. In truth, I was afraid she was right and I was wasting our money trying to learn something that couldn’t be taught. The school never replied. I ignored my real life, in-front-of-me teachers in high school and college who praised my writing and called me talented. What did they know?

The ways we fraud ourselves!

Sandra Moore Williams, writer, face reader, astrologist

Sandra Moore

Sandra Moore Williams is a popular face reader and author/illustrator of Faces: What You See is What You Get. She’s my friend and my favorite mother-in-law. Sandra is currently writing a novel; she’s also an illustrator, painter, book designer, astrologist and she cranks out a mean cranberry salad. (Whew! Talented lady.) She’s the author of an e-book created at my special request, entitled Face Reading for Writers, which is an enrollment gift for students of the Fear of Writing Online Course.