christie chisholm creative

copywriting & consulting

christie chisholm creative

copywriting & consulting

break writer's block

The 3 magic tricks that helped me break writer’s block

I discovered a magical combination of writing tricks that have changed everything. Well … changed my writing life. And sometimes that feels like everything. While all of these tips are clearly aimed at writers, and at breaking that thing we call writer’s block, the same principles can be applied to almost any craft.

break writer's block
break writer's block

The 3 magic tricks that helped me break writer’s block

I discovered a magical combination of writing tricks that have changed everything. Well … changed my writing life. And sometimes that feels like everything. While all of these tips are clearly aimed at writers, and at breaking that thing we call writer’s block, the same principles can be applied to almost any craft.

break writer's block
Notes from a pandemic

Notes from a pandemic

I remember one summer in New Mexico when so many forest fires ignited across the Southwest it was impossible to escape the scent, and the detritus, of burning land. I’d take my dog on our evening walk around the block, watch the sun blaze red as it sank to the earth against an ashy sky, and then return inside to wipe soot from my face.

Forest fires

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Like fireflies

Like fireflies

I don’t think I’ve ever told you about the fireflies. Now, here in the middle of a pandemic, seems like absolutely the right time. Before I tell you the story, I want to take a moment to repeat a truth that, while being said a lot these days, can never be said too much:

fireflies

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Quarantine

Quarantine

Tonight we moved our bodies and danced like teenage gypsies, with all of the self-consciousness and none of the rhythm, and because it was the first time we had really moved our bodies in days, it felt like freedom.

quarantine

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Steinbeck’s pencils

Steinbeck’s pencils

Steinbeck used pencils while they were long and slender, when they felt to him to provide the correct balance—a shape that could propel him forward, like good running shoes; a size to help him pick and prod the right forms, like chopsticks.

steinbeck, pencil

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One scar, seven years

One scar, seven years

I used to have a scar on my left hand that reminded me of my first Thanksgiving without my mother. I wonder now if I can even call it a scar, seeing as how it’s since faded past the point of detection—then again, we all know the most unassailable wounds are often those invisible to the eye. In any case, it was there and now it’s gone. Isn’t that the entire point?

thanksgiving, leaves, fall

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The meteorites

The meteorites

We imagined the day the meteor struck what was now my backyard, how the shrapnel must have blown through the air like dandelion seeds, how that day had been buried by time and dirt, only to be sifted back to the surface by a biblical flood.

meteor

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“My OCD”

“My OCD”

I don’t know how old I was the first time I had an obsessive-compulsive thought. I’m not even sure of my age in the earliest memory I have of such an event, although I’ve always assumed it was 6, the number we tend to attribute to all early childhood recollections.

ocd

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The girl and the giraffe

The girl and the giraffe

I chose to believe the story for as long as I did because it was the kind of story children want to believe, and, if we’re being honest, the kind of story grownups tell in the first place because some part of them wants to believe it, too.

giraffe, girl, eye

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Figments in the woods

Figments in the woods

Today I thought about you. And you. And you as well. I wonder what you think about me, when your memories are likewise unpacked and hooked about your head like a series of collected ornaments, out of season and shaking loose too much glitter and dust.

woods

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Let it burn

Let it burn

The thing about the act of burning is it destroys only a shape, impermanent to begin with. It disassembles. Not unlike a caterpillar in a cocoon, dissolved to paste only to be remolded. Not unlike a star, flung into disparate corners of the universe to make a planet, a foot, a piece of cake—stardust, all.

burn, burnout

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Dive in

Dive in

Pain is like a wave, she told me, although she almost certainly wouldn’t have used that word. “Pain” has no place in the universe that is childbirth, even though it is so often affixed to it. What is pain when it’s only currency for something miraculous? Pain as the gateway to life. Pain as mother.

pain, dive in

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Popular stories.

Steinbeck’s pencils

Steinbeck’s pencils

Steinbeck used pencils while they were long and slender, when they felt to him to provide the correct balance—a shape that could propel him forward, like good running shoes; a size to help him pick and prod the right forms, like chopsticks.

steinbeck, pencil

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That is the night that came for me

That is the night that came for me

Desert lights buzz like cicadas, the fluttery rumble of all those wings and photons shuffling against each other and stretching into an air so thin you wonder if it is even there. When all else is quiet, there is still that soft, eternal flickering. The night was hot. And quiet, for a time.

that is the night that came for me

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On cocoons

On cocoons

If you sliced open a caterpillar’s cocoon, you’d expect to find a tiny beast, a creature that would look new to you yet somehow familiar. Half caterpillar, half butterfly, perhaps a shiny and squiggly green grub just starting to sprout wings; wet, furled, squished into its soft, shrouding casing. But that is not what you would find.

cocoon

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The haunting

The haunting

There is something haunting about a rip in your skin. It reminds you that the whole thing could fall apart, turn to ribbons and dust. It reminds you, in fact, that one day it will. And then you are left with that to think about. 

ocd

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“The Media”

“The Media”

Journalists are a lot like scientists, really, seeking an objective truth, trying to put pieces together. No one does it for the money. It’s a longstanding joke in the industry that most of us make very little. Some might do it for the power, or a hopeful slice of fame, although both are unlikely. I do it because information matters, because while there are some relative truths in life, often the answer is strictly “true” or “false.” 

the media

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The voices

The voices

A letter isn’t a book. A letter is simple. A letter is something you can write throughout the week or in one great, long breath. And if a few people expected it at a certain time on a certain day—well, that I could do. And I have loved it. 

voices

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