A while ago I had the honor and delight of interviewing Nicole Criona co-founder and owner of The LA Writers Group, as part of the 2016 Storytellers Summit. Here’s a link to the thirty minute interview.

Nicole is one of those people who had an inborn fealty to writing. Her own writing group – who joined forces for mutual accountability and audience – eventually became a thriving LA Writing Group and full-time business for Nicole. She just kept making time for her fellow writers and their copy, and kept making the effort it would require to stay connected and stay growing. Her dedication was organic, and her resulting business is vital.

She has some great advice about inspiration, expectation and productivity

  1. Write first and inspiration comes. We all long for that feeling that what we’re writing is being “downloaded” from somewhere outside ourselves. Write daily and inspiration might come monthly. But like the lottery – you have to be in it to win it. Once you’re writing, you’re in the lottery, and you just might win that inspiration one day.
  2. Be careful of your expectations. Sometimes what we expect can utterly destroy what we have, without regard for the value of what we happen to have (a poor first draft for example.)
  3. Productivity is just a decision to give yourself the time and focus it takes to write each day.

Nicole and I touched on many ideas about the relationship between writer and writing.

There’s a real relationship between a writer and their work. It has hot days and and cool days. There are days when either can disappoint the other. There’s sabotage and surprises, love and hate. How is that different from any relationship in your life. Nicole tells me that many of her clients get the “creative jitters” if they’re not writing. They miss it. I can attest to that feeling. I miss writing, when for some reason, we are separated. Most often it is because I’m “away for business.” I think, erroneously, that I can go months without writing, because my work is compelling.  But just as we all need family and friends time to feel balanced and whole in our lives, I need writing. I need creativity. And  need permission to ignore my work long enough to slip into the creative space where I’m spinning new worlds in my imagination.

Nicole posited writing is a necessity, not a luxury. You don’t need permission to breathe, eat or sleep. Or to take care of your children or parents. Take care of your writing with the same entitlement.

I asked Nicole how to get yourself back to the writing desk. She recommends that when you’re in the midst of a productive writing month, you write yourself a letter about why you write and how it changes your daily life.

I’m totally going to do this if I ever get back to my writing desk! (NaNoWriMo coming right up!!! Squee.)