Big Debut: Announcing Our New Website & Logo

By Johannah | August 30, 2017

I’m thrilled to debut Heliograph’s new website and logo. After nearly two decades in the business, it was time to refresh our look and feel so that they better reflect who we’ve become. I refer to Heliograph as “we” because Heliograph is my partner, as…

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What You Need to Know About Working with a Writing Coach

By Johannah | June 22, 2017

New to the idea of a writing coach? Read on to learn how coaching can help you develop your writing skills, expand your body of work, and get in touch with your unique voice. Johannah provides answers to some key questions:   What is a…

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Writing Coach Insights: On Creativity, Hard Living, and Letting Go

By Johannah | December 24, 2014

It doesn’t have to take a disaster to write a good poem. If you cultivate mindful openness, humility, and surrender, you can sustain your creativity under any circumstance.

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Writing Coach Insights: Going Beyond

By Johannah | November 2, 2013

Try to catch yourself before you go into your usual reactions–and if you’re having trouble with that, try writing about it. Cry over the page. It can take whatever you have to give.

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Shock, Awe, Eros, and a Little Bit of Rock & Roll

By Johannah | January 11, 2012

It’s a new year, and there are lots of new events and services in the works. Around here, our motto for 2012 is, “Just start it!” That goes for you, too, and your writing or creative endeavors. No more thinking–GO! With that in mind, we’ve…

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Writing Coach Insights: Going Deeper

By Johannah | October 4, 2010

I’ve always been a little bit uncomfortable answering the question “What is good writing?” Sure, it’s easy to cite technique: freshness of language, specific sensory detail, and the like. But, of course, it’s more than that. My first college writing teacher called this “plumbing the…

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Writing Coach Insights: Worry and Other Creative Drains

By Johannah | August 17, 2010

Being creative means living richly and bravely, of feeling and experiencing and allowing instead of suppressing. Sure, maybe propelled by the energy of fear alone, you can force yourself to finish that report or project, but then, you are creating from the energy of constriction and resistance and suffering, whereas true creative energy is characterized by ease and joy.

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Writing Coach Insights: Turning Frustration Into Good Writing

By Johannah | October 11, 2009

“Annoyed” can be an interesting emotion to explore in writing. It is not a reflection of shallowness or immaturity, but perhaps an indication of significant needs and motivations. Notice what bothers your characters. Do they do something about it, or do they simply stay annoyed and put up with the bothersome situation? How does each option influence the story’s plot and the character’s responses to conflict?

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Writing Coach Insights: The Power of “Yes”

By Johannah | September 28, 2009

“No big whoop” and “yes” are attitudes of allowing, ones that free you to make mistakes, to be eccentric, to be imperfect and thus intriguing. This is what the use of specific detail in creative writing is about: capturing those unique traits that make something come alive on the page by distinguishing it from anything else of its kind, picking out one or two or more key features that tell something essential about a character or an interaction or an object.

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Writing Coach Insights: Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste

By Johannah | April 12, 2009

Did you ever notice that some of your most prolific times, writing-wise, have occurred when your life has been highly unpredictable, when circumstances you’d depended on for a long time–whether related to health, friendship, money, love, sex–are called into question? I don’t think this is because you have to be unhappy in order to write well. You just have to be open. You have to let go.

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