Crankiness + Growth

scott-bakula-star-trek_quantum-leapFor the last few weeks, I’ve been going through what my colleagues at the Berkeley Psychic Institute call “a growth period.”


A nondescript term for what I experienced as binge-watching Quantum Leap and Enterprise. Common thread: Scott Bakula, the actor, and his convincing portrayals of so many characters in Quantum Leap, and his leadership qualities in Enterprise.


Other experiences: Feeling like a two-year-old throwing a tantrum mixed with periods of enthusiasm and drive.


Friends have been reflecting back to me that I’m going through deep change.

Yes, I know, I said. Change even I can’t see.

You know how it is… That’s scary to be in a transformational state with no idea where you’re going.

The caterpillar becoming the butterfly comes to mind.


What I do know is I’m dedicated to being a novelist.

I love spending time with my characters. I love giving them life on the page.

I love giving their stories to my readers and enchanting them into my worlds.

It’s a gift for me to craft these stories, that are a gift to my readers. I love imagining my readers deep into my stories, transformed by the tale.


If you only remember one thing, remember where we parked.

No, that’s not it.

If you only remember one thing from today’s article, remember that you are a creative being, infinitely resourceful even in the darkest moments, and that you have a deep reason for being a novelist.

Hold onto that reason, even if you can’t articulate it.

But do attempt to put into words. Paste it on your wall, even in it’s messy, approximate state.



Words are approximations, after all, of experience.

That’s okay.


That’s the magic of what we do.

We novelists are magicians, crafting tales, people, experiences, out of these black squiggles marching across the page.

So comment below and tell me, “Why do you write? Why do you write fiction?”

Reach for the answer and see what you discover that’s bubbling up from your depths.

I want to know.



Congrats to the scholarship winners for the October 2016 Plan Your Novel course, Dive In level: Prinko H. and Edna H!

We still have spots in the class and registration closes Sept. 30th, so if you’re thinking of joining us, hop in. We start October 1st.

I look forward to having you in the course and supporting you in planning your novels.



Join us for the 30-Day Writing Challenge to plan your novel! Get ready for Nanowrimo!

And again. Registration is open for the October 2016 Plan Your Novel course and will close on Sept. 30.

(If you have a student coupon code, be sure to use it. Email me if you misplaced it. 🙂 )

PS. What kind of growth are you going through? Post in the comments!


In our Barany School of Fiction, I teach our annual Plan Your Novel course with my husband, Ezra Barany. A bit about us…


Beth and Ezra Barany, Co-Founders of the Barany School of Fiction, a school for genre fiction novelists

Beth and Ezra Barany, Co-Founders of the Barany School of Fiction, a school for genre fiction novelists

Beth Barany, an award-winning novelist and certified Creativity Coach for Writers, runs Barany Consulting, a coaching and consulting firm dedicated to helping novelists write, publish, and market their books. She’s the author of the award-winning young adult fantasy, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, and the romance collection, Touchstone Series.

Ezra Barany, an award-winning novelist and the bestselling author of The Torah Codes and its sequel 36 Righteous, is also a teacher and mentor.

Together they help authors get their books out into the world.

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  • Tami Kotylak says:

    This article really speaks to me! (Particularly the Change and Dedicated to sections). You have a beautiful, clear way with words. Clear-cutting, affirming and simplistic. Reading this feels like a yoga stretch for your eyes and your mind. Namaste!

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