New book by Philip Kenney

The Writer's Crucible Meditations on Emotion, Being and Creativity

Coffee Break 078: Philip Kenney

Published on Write Now with Sara Werner. Listen to the interview here:  https://www.sarahwerner.com/coffee-break-078-philip-kenney/

There’s a lot of emotional baggage to sort through when you’re a writer. Building an audience and facing criticism (and possible rejection) of your work are harrowing, to say the least. But as writers, our worst enemy is often ourselves. We focus on what we aren’t able to accomplish and bog ourselves down in the fear of failure. However, as writers, we can also rest assured that we are not alone in these daily struggles.

“On my 60th birthday, I wrote a list of things that I was sure I could not do and decided to challenge them.”

My guest today is psychotherapist and author Philip Kenney. His latest book, The Writer’s Crucible, offers guidance and encouragement in the daily psychological struggles of doubt, fear, and shame that all writers share.

“The confounding thing about the ‘not good enough’ narrative is how simple it is… how helpless many confident, proactive people feel when bombarded with it1.”

In today’s Coffee Break, Philip shares some helpful techniques to get out of your own way creatively, including meditation and appreciating the mysterious beauty of your craft. We talk about tempering overblown writing expectations, recognizing the connections between comparison and shame, taking time to stand back and observe your own creative legacy, and trusting in and nurturing that ever-elusive muse.

“That force, that ineffable something—that same thing that brings you ideas unbidden in the middle of the night—it takes over. And you’re kind of a facilitator.”

It was wonderful talking with Philip about the specters that haunt all writers. I sincerely hope our conversation was as reaffirming and freeing as it was for me! Be sure to stop by Philip’s website for more information on psychotherapy and creativity. Thank you so much for listening and remember—you may be your own worst obstacle, but you also have the power to break through it!

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