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In yoga there’s a concept called Beginner’s Mind based on the view that yoga is a “practice” not a destination. We’re always learning, even when we already know the steps and movements. How many times has the average person done a downward dog or child’s pose? Lots. But each time will feel slightly different depending on our fitness level or mood or any number of factors. When we have a beginner’s mind, we appreciate each pose as an experience, not a final goal.

When we think we know everything, we stop listening to others or noticing the nuances and small…

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Being a writer is a wonderful rollercoaster of tremendous highs and terrible lows. It’s thrilling to imagine new worlds and find the best way to articulate the perfect sentence. It’s pure magic when a reader connects with the story you’re trying to tell. But it’s also incredibly hard when someone doesn’t love what you write. It’s depressing when it feels like everyone else is succeeding in the ways you are not.

I’ve been in the publishing industry in various capacities for the past decade, and if there is one thing I’ve learned that makes all the difference in whether a…

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There’s nothing that makes a good story like a good villain. There’s nothing that drives a plot or builds great protagonists like a bad guy that we love to hate. Think of your favorite heroes in any book or film, and more than likely, they have an equally awesome antagonist working against them. The heroes become better heroes because of great villains.

The best villains aren’t pure evil. They are realistic and complex, and we identify with them at some level even though they also instill fear and conflict. …

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One night several years ago, I attended a yoga class I’d been to many times before. Only this time a substitute had replaced the regular teacher. She moved around the room in the darkness, silently correcting body postures and giving encouragement. She seemed calm and constrained — less like she was leading a workout class, and more like she was involved in something spiritual. At the end of class, she told us she was a yoga therapist and had a small practice in town. I’d never heard of yoga therapy, but because I’d liked her as a teacher, I looked…

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Lately, I’ve seen a lot of articles encouraging writers not to finish posts they’re not excited about, ditching their crappy NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) novels, and writing only when they feel the joy of it. I agree that sometimes you have to know when to cut your losses and move on to a new project. Or when to take a break and give yourself space to walk away.

However, with writing — and most other creative endeavors — more important than not “wasting your time” on something that won’t go anywhere, is the power of finishing what you start…

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Writing, both as a newbie and as a seasoned author — or anything else in life — is all about finding ways to be just a little better each day.

I’m a huge fan of James Clear’s Atomic Habits because he recommends starting at the smallest possible step in order to make progress because habits — both big and small — compound over time, giving us bigger results than we could have imagined with our sometimes minimal efforts in any direction.

He says: “All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision…

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Many writers spend countless hours researching their stories or studying how to be a good writer. Both of those are important, but in moderation. The only way to become good at something is to do it. Period. Confidence comes from doing the work and watching yourself make progress. It doesn’t come from watching other people succeed.

On the other hand, it seems like many people believe they can become a writer without any practice. That because they’re capable of putting sentences together, they should be able to bang out the world’s next great novel on their first try. We live…

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I often hear productivity experts talk about the importance of giving up TV and gaming and other frivolous time wasters in order to create more content and use time more effectively. I understand the value of data and real-life experience via non-fiction and podcasts and self-help. I actually enjoy reading biographies and history and productivity books more than almost anything else. And sure, I believe everything should be consumed in moderation.

However, swearing off fiction in pursuit of something “higher” is missing half of the human experience, as if it’s somehow beneath anyone who wants to be cerebral or productive.

Why to be grateful when it feels like there’s nothing to be thankful for

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Since this week is Thanksgiving in the U.S., I’ve been seeing a lot of social media posts with people expressing gratitude. And I’ve seen almost as many talking about how being blindly optimistic right now isn’t helping anyone and is actually discouraging during a pandemic when people are dying and losing jobs and are generally miserable.

I’ve found myself frustrated by the negativity…in response to people trying to share positivity.

Yes, there’s a lot that’s discouraging right now, but anyone who has spent any amount of…

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1. Do the job consistently: I can’t tell you how much difference it has made for me just to go from the mindset of writing when I feel like it to writing on a predetermined schedule. I write first thing in the morning, every day but Sunday, and it gets me in a mode where it’s easier to start each time, the ideas come more freely because they’re always percolating in the back of my mind, and even if it’s only a tiny bit each day, it adds up quickly to make me feel like I’ve accomplished something substantial.


Emma Boone

Publisher and indie author sharing thoughts about writing, wellness, and productivity. MA in Literature and lover of pop culture.

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