Pandemic productivity hack #2: Reconsider what matters

Sage CohenProductive writing4 Comments

These are challenging times. Many of us are living, working, and creating in unexpected, new ways. With a third of Americans now showing signs or clinical anxiety or depression according to the Census Bureau, it’s more important than ever to work and play and rest in ways that fill us up. Last week, I proposed lowering your standards. Today, I … Read More

Are you procrastinating enough?

Sage CohenUncategorizedLeave a Comment

As we face the blank page of a new year full of good intentions, I am wondering if you might set your procrastinating sights a little higher. Because, let’s face it, we all know you can do better. In fact, why not set a timer for 15 minutes each time you sit down to write—or a half-hour, even—and make sure … Read More

The Art of Asking for It

Sage CohenProductive writing, Study with SageLeave a Comment

There’s so much in life that’s out of our hands. One variable we are (mostly) in charge of is ourselves. If you want to turn what stalls you into what accelerates you, adjusting your attitude and approach can take you there. Let’s start with something you are likely to have plenty of: dissatisfaction. Most of us express our dissatisfaction by … Read More

Where did you put the baby?

Sage CohenUncategorized2 Comments

A few years ago, I attended a family science camp at Camp Westwind over a long weekend with my son, Theo, and then-boyfriend, Mark. The small cluster of families met up in the parking lot and together took a small boat across a small body of water where we disembarked and trudged together up a sandy hill into camp. Theo … Read More

How to tell the stories you want to live by

Sage CohenUncategorized8 Comments

At my Aunt Linda’s wedding about 25 years ago, my cousin Shari gave a toast that I will never forget. It went something like this. John, Linda’s new husband, was relentlessly positive and approving of Linda. To the point that Shari suspected he was a fake. After all, how could anyone be so universally satisfied by another person? No matter … Read More

The incantatory consolation of language

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When there is nothing to be done, there is language. More specifically, says poet Gregory Orr, we can turn to “the incantatory consolation of language” to help us navigate our deepest darknesses. In his expansive conversation with On Being’s Krista Tippett about Shaping Grief with Language, Orr speaks about how lyric poetry was his path of transformation through a tragic … Read More

Resilience poetics as life practice

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Do you ever write something down, reread it, and discover something about yourself that’s been there all along? This happened to me when I revisited today’s lesson in my Write a Poem a Day class featuring Jack Gilbert’s Failing and Flying, one of my favorite poems of all time. Like Gilbert, I believe anything worth doing is worth doing badly. … Read More

You can’t get it published if you don’t send it out

Sage CohenUncategorized2 Comments

At a recent writer’s conference, I was talking to a poet who mentioned wanting to be published for the first time. “How many poems have you sent out to literary journals so far?” I asked. “None,” he replied. “How many of the poems you never submitted do you think might get published?” I countered. He was stumped for a minute, … Read More

How poetry saved my apartment building

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I spent my late 20’s in a third-floor walk-up on Dolores Street in San Francisco. My desk (from which I conducted my newborn copywriting business) looked out over a high school football field from which the secondary sights and sounds of teen spirit mingled with my work and my life. Apartment living compresses community to a 360-degree sensory merger. The … Read More