Foreword ix Acknowledgments xiii Introduction 1 Part One THE WRITING LIFE Writer's Block 15 Your "Baby" 19 Inspiration 23 The Buddy System 26 It's Alive! 29 Your "Precious Darlings" 32 Writing Begets Writing 35 Part Two YOU ARE ENOUGH Simple, but Not Easy 45 What Really Happened. . . . 49 "For I Have Done Good Work" 53 On the Couch 57 "You're No John Updike!" 61 Part Three GRIST FOR THE MILL Envy 69 Faith and Doubt 72 Fear 75 The Judge 79 Double-Barreled Blues 82 Myths, Fairy Tales, and Woody Allen 86 The Long View 91 Part Four THE REAL WORLD The Pitch 101 Rejection 105 That Sinking Feeling 108 Reinventing Yourself 112 Deadline Dread 115 Three Hard Truths 119 Part Five PAGE FRIGHT Gumption Traps 127 Procrastination 130 Patience 134 Perspective 138 In Praise of Goofing Off 141 Writing about Dogs 145 Going the Distance 148 Part Six THE REAL WORLD, PART II Agents 159 Home of the Heart 163 The Unknown 167 Lately, I Don't Like the Things I Love 171 Ageism 175 Part Seven HANGING ON Commitment 185 News Flash: Writing Is Hard! 189 Burnout: A Modest Proposal 193 A Writer's Library 197 A Stillness That Characterizes Prayer 201 Part Eight DISPATCHES FROM THE FRONT Phone Call from Paradise 211 The Idea Man 216 I've Come a Long Way on Paper 220 Loneliness 223 Larry: A True Story 226 Conclusion 239
DENNIS PALUMBO, MA, MFT, is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice, specializing in creative issues. He cowrote the screenplay for the award-winning My Favorite Year and other films, numerous TV episodes and pilots, and the novel City Wars. Palumbo writes the highly popular "The Writer's Life" column in Written By, the magazine of the Writer's Guild of America, and his work helping writers has been profiled in Premiere magazine, the LA Times, and on CNN.