by Lisa Ebert
1. Hang on to every scrap of paper that you write on, a la Emily Dickenson. If you don’t put your ideas down — be it on paper, a napkin, or the back of a menu — they will be lost, like the fragments of an elusive dream. If you can’t transcribe them right away, throw them in a shoe box. You’ll use them. Really. Maybe not for years, but those ideas will be waiting like gifts for those times when your creativity has run dry.
2. It’s a constant mantra, of course, but realize that writing is a job like everything else. You have to schedule time and choose to do it. You have to convince your loved ones that you’re holed up in whatever you call your office not because you hate them and wish to avoid them, but because your writing matters and requires attention.
Lisa Ebert resides in St. Louis with four sons and one rock-and-roll husband; she teaches college, writes, and studies belly dancing. Her poetry, fiction and non-fiction have appeared in River Styx, The Riverfront Times, St. Louis Magazine, Literal Chaos, bad shoe, and Flood Stage: An Anthology of St. Louis Poets. She is currently writing a novel.