The Goodjelly Blog

On Going Generative (Or, How Not to Kneecap Yourself with Whole Brain Thinking)

Apr 05, 2021

By Christine Carron

Today is the midpoint of our Whole Brain adventure on the blog. Sweet! 

Two weeks ago, we introduced the Herrmann Whole Brain Model. Last week, we analyzed the Plotter versus Pantser dynamic from a Whole Brain perspective. With just those two reference points, you may be seeing familiar activities, relationships, individuals, or even yourself in a new way, thanks to this Whole Brain* lens. 

Last week, we also promised to show you a way to use Whole Brain Thinking to joyfully embody a task that perhaps you don’t generally like to do, or perhaps avoid...

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On Preferences, Plotting, and Pantsing

Mar 29, 2021

By Christine Carron

Last week, I introduced the Whole Brain Model. As part of the introduction, we looked at plotting through a whole brain lens, examining how the four thinking styles enrich the effectiveness of a plot. If you haven’t read that post yet, pop back and take a gander. It gives you all the background you need to dive in with us here.

This week, we’ll stick with plotting but use the Whole Brain Model in a different way: as a tool to diagnose a conflict. In this case the recurring writerly conundrum: Are you a Plotter or a Pantser? Which is really asking: Do you...

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On Whole Braining Your Writing Adventure

Mar 22, 2021

By Christine Carron

I once delivered a speech on the benefits of growing up with a mentally ill father. A main benefit I highlighted was that it spurred a lifelong curiosity about balance, health, and healing. I was (and am) a learning maven, churning through any idea for how it might help me create more equilibrium, possibility, and joy in my life. I actively search out new tools and methods, but sometimes cool approaches fall into my lap. Those always feel particularly delightful to me. Winks from the universe: We've got you covered, girlfriend.

One of those land-in-my-lap tools was...

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On Getting to Thrillsville

Mar 15, 2021

By Christine Carron

I couldn’t ride a bike until I was in my thirties. That’s not quite right. I could whiteknuckle ride a bike, but I didn’t know how to get a bike started or how to bring it to a stop without awkward hopping and massive inner panic that I might wipe out. Starting and stopping was Klunkytown all the way.  

Why this skill gap? When I was in the first grade, I was on the handlebars of my older sister’s bike.* We were racing our oldest sister down the street—a huge hill. One second my sister and I are in Tour de France speed mode. The...

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On a Teacher, True Voice, and Trusting It Will All Come Together

Mar 08, 2021

By Christine Carron

In a time long ago at Saint Pius X High School in Festus, Missouri, once you hit sophomore year, you got Mr. Janc for English. Calm and spare in body, kind and spare in temperament. That’s how I remember Mr. Janc.

One day, he assigned us the classic and classically boring How-To essay. Even then, I loved writing. I was also a depressingly good student, not prone to rebelliousness in any way, shape or shenanigans-inducing form. But that assignment was so tedious, it unleashed a demon inside me. A Christine-compatible demon, of course, so we’re not exactly...

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On Shredding the Shoulding

Mar 01, 2021

By Christine Carron

When I turned forty, which was not long after I officially started my writerly journey, I decided it was time to do something with all the diaries and journals I kept since I was ten. There were boxes of them. Over the years, I dragged those boxes from city to city; I even paid for storage for them when I lived abroad. The upkeep of those journals and diaries kind of stressed me out, but I had this firm notion that one should keep such things. Do something with them. Especially, if one wanted to be a real writer.

With dogged enthusiasm and expecting to be inspired, I...

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On Taming the Wire

Feb 22, 2021

By Christine Carron

In 2010, I got to attend Tightrope! A three-day workshop led by Philippe Petit. Yes, the same Philippe Petit who walked between the World Trade Center Towers in 1974. There were five of us in the class. No hiding in the back. I was getting on the wire. Slightly problematic as I have a not insignificant fear of heights. I can’t even watch some of the scenes in The Walk. All my limbs go to jelly if I try. To this day, I don’t know what even possessed me to apply for the workshop in the first place. 

Yet, in affirmation for anyone called to...

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On Story Music, Voice, and Redefining Writing Well

Feb 15, 2021

By Christine Carron

When I started as a writer, I set two intentions:

  • Write well.
  • Write to delight.

It took a couple of years for me to realize that the way I was defining writing well was messing with my ability to write to delight.

Writing to delight was all about creating a rollicking good yarn; a story that moves readers; socks it to ‘em emotionally. Joy! Despair! Terror! Triumph! Delight! The full symphony of human experience was (and is) my goal. I wanted to make story music with words.

Did I know exactly how to do that when I started? No. But I had some inklings. As does any...

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On Critiques, Conveyance, and Crystal Balls

Feb 08, 2021

By Christine Carron

One of the best ways to move your writing forward is to get it critiqued. Yet receiving feedback is a tricky business. Studies have shown that our bodies respond to feedback, especially critical feedback, as a threat. That kicks off a range of internal reactions—think fight, flight, freeze modes—that can get in the way of us calmly taking in and assessing the offered feedback.

If that weren’t enough, we humans can make receiving feedback even trickier. How? By redirecting our attention away from the actual critique comments and fixating on...

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On Caterpillars, Butterflies, and Defending First Drafts

Feb 01, 2021

By Christine Carron

Imagine the following:

Situation #1
A new dad brings his baby to a dad’s group. When it’s his turn to speak, he turns his baby so everyone can see the child’s face and says, “Here's my sh*tty baby.”

Reaction of the other group members: Horrified.

Situation #2
A world champion agility dog trainer posts a photo of her new puppy with the caption, “Here's my sh*tty puppy.”

Reaction of her followers: Confusion and concern.

Situation #3
A writer brings her first draft to her writing group and says, “Here's my sh*tty first...
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