Welcome

This site is about writing with freedom, ease, and joy.

It’s about tapping into that transendent place we call the Zone, and letting our writing be what it truly is–a natural expresson of the thoughts, feelings, and inspirations that move within us.

My blog, WRITE IN THE ZONE, and editorial and consulting services are for writers who want to open up the channel, have more fun, be more productive, and let it rip.

Please pick up your free copy of my new ebook, Creativity on Demand: Write in the Zone, by clicking the image in the sidebar. I hope you enjoy it, and I look forward to being in touch.

Carol Costello

Creativity on Demand: Write in the Zone

Is your book still sitting in the computer, instead of thriving on Amazon or in a bookstore?

Creativity on Demand shows how even a naturally lazy, anxious person like myself learned to write in the Zone, on demand, even on a deadline. That skill—and it was a learned skill—changed everything. It helped me make my living as a freelance writer for 40 years without getting crazy. I just had to remember to take a deep breath, call on that transcendent spark, and be very grateful.

The Zone is that luscious place of focused, spontaneous, and relaxed concentration in which we feel imaginative, clear, energized, creative, and hugely productive. Words pour out of us. Thoughts and ideas bubble forth from somewhere within that we can’t clearly define.

WHAT YOU GET
This book is about developing and nurturing your unique relationship with the Zone, and your particular way of using it. It includes:

• How to tap into your natural creativity and create your personal Zone—and how to get it back when you lose it
• 3 Secret Strategies for finishing your book
• How to recognize Zone-Blockers like distractions, The Grey Fuzz, and Dark Fears—and how to bust them
• Practical tricks like using the organized, left brain to get your creative, right brain into gear

IT’S YOUR ZONE
The Zone is not for special people, or radically talented people, or even good people. It’s for all of us. It is our birthright, if we take a little time to master accessing it. All we need is a little self- knowledge, some gentle discipline, and some of the many tricks in this book.

I believe that each of us has something to give the world, something that comes from deep within us. When we don’t express ourselves with that art, we suffer. When we bring what we love into the world and share it with others, we are living as our highest selves.

That experience is available to anyone who reaches out for it.

Other Books

The Soul of Selling captures everything I learned in 30 years of producing record-breaking sales results; developing rich, productive relationships with clients and customers; and learning to love selling and do it in an easy, natural way! It guides you through 6 quick, easy steps that guarantee big sales numbers, service to others, and personal fulfillment. It’s all about doing good and doing well, feeding your soul as well as your bottom line. Read more here

Sell Yourself Without Feeling Pushy, Creepy, or Weird! offers guidelines for selling yourself in an easy, natural, and authentic way that serves everyone with whom you speak–and also get the precise sales results you want. Transform those queasy, uneasy feelings about selling yourself into a clear, open confidence so that you handle objections with ease and aplomb, and close the sale with skill and grace. See more here

 

Creativity on Demand: Write in the Zone shows how to find that focused, spontaneous, relaxed place where we feel clear, imaginative, energized and productive–even on a deadline! Words flow out of us, and we can feel that divine spark we call creativity moving within us.  This book is about developing your unique relationship with the Zone, and your particular way of using it. See more here

 

Chasing Grace: A Novel of Odd Redemption is a raw, funny look at spiritual coming of age, at unconventional ways to heal deep emotional wounds, and at finding greater purpose in surprising places despite desperate odds. Cathy Callahan runs away at age ten to escape her mother’s abuse and find God, whom she first met….(read more)

7 STEPS TO CREATIVITY ON DEMAND: HOW TO WRITE GREAT STUFF ON A DEADLINE

“When I’m on a deadline, my brain freezes and I can’t write,” my client Mary said.

It reminded me of all the times, both as a reporter and as a ghostwriter, that I despaired of making a deadline and decided I’d better apply to plumbing school.

We all get BFUD (Brain Freeze Under Deadline) occasionally, and it’s befuddling. Here’s how to fix it and be creative on demand:

1. UNDERSTAND BRAIN FREEZE. The negative chatter in our brains takes over. All the mean inner voices start yelling at the same time:

  •       “You’ll never think or write fast enough.”
  •       “Quick! Quick! What’s the perfect thing to say?”
  •       “C’mon! Out with it!”

The voices can be overwhelming and cumulative. They come from all directions, and they are all frightening. Our brains decide that maybe it’s best just to go unconscious. The creative spark within us sputters. We stare into space, horrified that we’re not producing anything. Meanwhile, time is flying by. We become paralyzed and can barely answer that 2 + 2 = 4.

Brain Freeze Under Deadline is nothing more than negative mental chatter gone wild. The solution is to take a deep breath, and to remember that they are just monkey mind and not reality. Stop the runaway monkeys. Clear your mind. Read an inspiring paragraph. Stand up and stretch. Say a prayer. Walk around the block. Break the pattern somehow.

2. GET CLEAR. When we have to drive somewhere quickly, it’s best to choose the fastest, most direct route. Take a minute before you start to plan the writing journey. What exactly do you want to say?  How long will the piece be? What is the best tone, style, or voice in which to tell this story? Who is the audience? What is the best way to organize the material?

3. FIND THE NEXT ACTION. What is the next best action? Do you need more research? Have all your questions from #2 been answered, or do you need to ask someone about length, style, or scope? Do you need statistics, pictures, or other resources? What is the next best action to take right now? Take it.

4. WRITE SOMETHING. ANYTHING! Get something down on paper. Then all you have to do is edit it. When I was writing Chasing Grace: A Novel of Odd Redemption, I sometimes spent days writing stuff I knew wasn’t great, but that I could edit later. It save me from paralysis, beating myself up, or stopping completely.

5. FIND YOUR WRITING ZONE. What puts you in that sparkling state of focused flow in which time disappears and you are complete absorbed in what you are doing? Take yourself there and let it rip!

6. MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE DEADLINE. It gives you a framework, certainty, and a definite time when the job will be over.  When is the deadline? How many hours can you realistically write each day? (It’s probably not 24, or even 12…or 8!) How much needs to be written? Divide the writing into small increments with small deadlines. How much do you need to get done each day (or hour) in order to complete the job on time? Let your deadline serve as a bookend, a guidepost for how much time and energy you can realistically put into the project, and a finish line where you will break the tape in triumph.

7. REMEMBER THAT NEITHER YOU NOR YOUR WRITING HAS TO BE PERFECT. Nothing is. Your job is only to do the best you can, in the time you have, while treating yourself in a kind, humane manner. Beating yourself up and/or going crazy only makes it worse.

Take a deep breath and begin. You can do it.