Anxiety can be a gift in subtle ways.

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As a child, I struggled with insomnia because I 100% believed I would be kidnapped in the night.

A few years ago, I almost passed out while driving a car because I started to panic on the road.

I can’t relax in a crowd of strangers.

I have struggled with anxiety for so long that it has almost become a companion to me. I’ve fought against it. I’ve given in to it. I’ve turned a thousand levers and knobs in my life to try to tone it down.

Some things, like cutting caffeine and going to therapy, have worked to…

Your relationship will look different in different seasons.

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In March 2020, during the pandemic, my boyfriend and I decided to quarantine separately after three years of dating. I thought it might take a couple of months. In reality, we ended up long-distance dating for almost a full year.

Although it wasn’t what I would have chosen for myself, I am actually thankful that we got to date long-distance. It taught me some amazing lessons and it strengthened my relationship with my boyfriend.

If you have also found yourself in a long-distance relationship, I hope you can see it isn’t all bad. …

Imagine snow on daffodils.

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The other night, I woke up at 3:30 a.m. It was sudden, crashing to consciousness in such a way that I knew I’d be awake for a while.

This happens to me from time to time. For no apparent reason, I’ll wake up in the night. At first, I’m annoyed, but then I settle back into the quiet. Sometimes I grab my journal. Often my best thoughts and insights come through at this time.

This last time I woke up at 3:30 a.m., I got the distinct prompt to write in my journal so I rolled over and started writing.

No matter how much self-help you read, you will still have problems.

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Sometimes I wonder if writer’s block comes from over-saturation of the mind.

I haven’t written anything for weeks. It isn’t because I don’t want to. I simply lost the spark. I scrolled through too many “inspirational” headlines, read too many listicles, and I started to feel like the only way to make it as a writer was to talk about all my tricks or share all the ways I’ve figured out how to live the smartest, the most organized, or the most productive life.

I can’t do that. I can’t even pretend to do that. I don’t have anything totally…

Inspiring writing advice from five well-known authors

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Do you love reading about writing advice? I do. I am a sucker for any book, podcast or quote where a writer talks about their writing process. I have a small but well-read collection of books about writing on my bookshelf.

For those of you who love a great writing quote, I thought it would be fun to peruse my favourite (and well-known) books on writing and pull out some of the best advice. All of the books I chose have made me a better writer and a better person. …

Reconnecting with yourself when you feel like you are in the wrong place.

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In university I started running, even though I hate running, just to get away from the campus. I ran through the suburbs across the road from my dorm room, my white and purple shoes pounding over a changing ground: dry pavement, crunchy leaves and, sometimes, snow. I’d run all over the cracked sidewalk, imagining what kinds of people lived behind the doors of those houses. Then, I‘d run down a little dirt path and stop at the edge of a large pond to watch the ducks float free.

I dreamed of becoming elusive. I liked the thought of leaving my…

Or, what crying at the train station taught me about bottling up emotions.

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Back when “pandemic” was a word I only used in reference to a board game or history, I commuted to school and work via train. I’d squish into the train car with dozens of other mask-less people and shoot back and forth between my home city and Toronto.

I used to fantasize about having a short commute. I thought the pinnacle of a good life was either working from home or driving less than ten minutes to work. I didn’t want to listen to podcasts on the train anymore. I didn’t want to wait on the cold platform anymore. …

Includes writing prompts to get you unstuck.

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I’m going to start this article with a disclaimer: all of these things could be misused as distractions (other than maybe #3) from sitting down and doing the writing you know you have to do.

These exercises are meant to shake up your routine and give you ideas when you are really stuck and blanking. They aren’t a way to get out of the thing you should be writing.

With that out of the way, here are 10 ways you can get some fresh writing ideas for yourself.

1. Write a bunch of words and phrases on slips of paper and put them in a jar.

Pull one out when you are stuck on what to write about…

You might be suffering from too much input. Here is how to fix it.

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Have you ever been over-inspired?

I started thinking about this concept after I noticed myself falling into a terrible habit. Whenever I sat down to write something, I’d immediately open social media or start reading a thousand random articles instead. It was like a magnet pulling me over there.

I told myself I was just getting inspired. I was helping myself past the scary beginning part.

The unblinking blankness of the page has a way of sending ideas away to hide. I think this is because when you sit down, ready to create, you think that you have to put…

Take it from the girl who killed tomato worms for a summer job.

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I’ve worked at a pharmacy, a summer camp, a long-term care home, a greenhouse, a sign company, and in a field killing the tomato worms that ate the plants.

This is not your typical career trajectory.

And yet it is my greatest asset.

I’ve struggled with the ailment of not really knowing what job I want to do. I knew, from a young age, that I loved writing and working with people. It has taken a lot of trial and error to figure out how those two broad interests fit together in terms of a career. …

Christy Janssens

Writing my way through the questions of life.

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