Around the Writer's Block
by Rosanne Bane
Procrastination and a lack of inspiration are things many people encounter in their daily lives, regardless of background or trade. But those who write—whether for pleasure or for a living—can be especially plagued by the woes of writer’s block, excessive self-criticism, and self-sabotage.
Enter AROUND THE WRITER’S BLOCK (Tarcher/Penguin paperback, $15.95, on sale Aug 2). In this singular book, author Rosanne Bane—who has worked as a writer for two decades—approaches the problems writers face in a new and innovative way. She tracks writer’s resistance to the source: your brain.
Rosanne Bane is a creativity coach, teaching artist, speaker and author of Around the Writer’s Block: Using Brain Science to Solve Writer’s Resistance and Dancing in the Dragon’s Den: Rekindling the Creative Fire in Your Shadow.
A veteran teaching artist of more than 20 years at the Loft Literary Center, University of St. Thomas, University of Minnesota and elsewhere, Rosanne has helped thousands of writers, artists and creative people of all sorts achieve their professional goals and make their creative dreams reality. She specializes in helping creative people understand why it’s so hard (at times) to do the very thing they love to do and what to do about that resistance. Her books, coaching, classes and presentations show writers and artists how to stop feeling disappointed, frustrated and guilty.
Rosanne Bane lives in Minneapolis with her partner and their two agility dogs, Blue and Kelda.
Ask for Around the Writer’s Block at your local indie bookstore. It’s also available at Magers & Quinn, Common Good Books, Reading Frenzy (print and ebook versions), Powell’s, IndieBound, Barnes & Noble (print and Nook versions) and Amazon (print and Kindle versions)
OTHER PUBLISHED WORKS
Dancing in the Dragon’s Den: Rekindling the Creative Fire in Your Shadow (1999, RedWheel/Weiser)
QUESTIONS TO THE AUTHOR
In your book, you talk a lot about motivation. What inspired you?
The funny thing is that I learned a tremendous amount about motivation from a completely unexpected source: my dog, Blue. (If you’re wondering, our best guess on Blue’s mix is Border Collie and Labrador, maybe some Husky.)
For the fun and the physical and mental challenge for both of us, Blue and I play agility [Editor's note: agility is a dog sport in which a handler directs a dog through an obstacle course] together. Blue has been in training since she was four months old. We go to class once a week and compete in trials four or five times a year.
Over the years, Blue and I have worked with some amazing trainers who all added to my understanding of my dog and myself. I never anticipated that so much of the training would be about me learning to get it right; I thought I’d be training the dog to follow instructions. Instead, Blue teaches me, and she is the most consistently observant, forgiving and loving of all my teachers. We’re a pretty good team, (though I still need training of course). Blue has earned two scrapbooks full of ribbons and over ten agility titles. (In case you haven’t noticed: I’m besotted with this dog. I can talk about dogs for hours, so I’ll stop now.
Brain science sounds difficult. How do you make your examples accessible to your readers?
When I talk with clients and students about how to motivate yourself to write or create, I draw on my experiences in agility to explain concepts like “rewarding approximate behavior,” “learned industriousness” and “oppositional reflex.” To reassure my clients and students that I know the differences between motivating people and motivating dogs, I include the latest cool things I’ve found in my never-ending reading in human neurology and then connect the dots between the theory and how to keep writing and creating.