Gina Greenlee

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Born
in New York, The United States
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December 2011

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Hi! I've written 15 non-fiction books in the areas of travel, health and fitness, productivity, writing process and memoir. My first novel, Hush Life, is available on Amazon Kindle.

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Gina Greenlee I go to the work, vs. ruminating about the work.

Don’t Think, Ask

The primary reason why people who want to write struggle or don’t do it at all is bec…more
I go to the work, vs. ruminating about the work.

Don’t Think, Ask

The primary reason why people who want to write struggle or don’t do it at all is because they think too much. Thinking leads to anxiety. Though every person has their own brand of it, what creates anxiety in general is overwhelming ourselves with unproductive thoughts: we focus on the entire journey of writing a novel, script, memoir or dissertation rather than on one moment at a time; we ruminate on perceived limitations; we dread pitfalls ahead.

Basically, we scare the crap out of ourselves.

Instead, Ask the Work.

What do you mean, “Ask the Work”?

Simply go to the novel, script, poem, stage play. Toddlers do not stand outside a sandbox contemplating it and the number of buckets needed to build the castle of a lifetime. They plop in the sand and go to it. Your writing project is like the toddler’s sandbox.

Don’t think about your writing in an attempt to formulate a plan for next steps. Go to it. If the project is already underway, start reading. Three sentences in will tell you what needs to happen next – what to delete, revise, move.

That’s Asking the Work.

No Blank Pages…Ever!

Also, I never start with a blank page. I always have writing baking in folder or notebook – a spark, question, random thought – anything but white space. The next time I open a notebook or file for a project underway, writing is there to greet me. I dive right in and ask, “What’s next?”

Staring at a blank page is counterproductive; nothing to ground you. So I developed strategies for never looking at one.

Breakin’ It Down, Keepin’ It Real

Here’s how to start with a full, fluffy page of writing instead of a blank page:

• When you get an idea – even if only a title, image, dream snippet, a notion inspired by a line of a song or a smell that provokes a memory – grab it with your pen and notebook or mobile device. Get it down.
• Also, write down the catalyst for the idea. I’ve learned through practice that a writing idea with no connection to what sparked it presents as hieroglyphics 30 minutes later, let alone days or weeks afterward.
• Next, let a sentence or two organically flow from that idea. If you get on a roll and write for a paragraph or two or three – fabulous. Words beget more words – half-baked, quarter-baked, put something down, anything; keep the pen moving across the page, fingers cruising the keyboard or stylus skimming the screen. Transcribe what you see in your mind and what you feel in your heart.
• Close the file.
• The next time you revisit that idea, open your file and voila – you are starting with words on a page, not staring down a void.


Bullet-Train Productivity

Looking at a blank page or screen signals to the brain, “nothing is happening here.” That starts the anxiety snowball rolling. A few seconds of “nothing’s happening here” turns into minutes, then hours and then…nothing. The snowball you want is bullet-train productivity not towering anxiety. Filling the page with accumulated ideas is the way to do it. The next time you open that document you send this signal to the brain: “Sweet! I’ve already started!” With a Pavlovian cue to start writing, you’ve got momentum on your side.
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Gina Greenlee Playing with ideas and possibilities. Swimming in my imagination. That no-boundaries feeling that comes from asking “What if?” I’ve achieved this in m…morePlaying with ideas and possibilities. Swimming in my imagination. That no-boundaries feeling that comes from asking “What if?” I’ve achieved this in my writing practice by cultivating a relationship with the Muse: https://www.ginagreenlee.com/post/201...
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Average rating: 3.5 · 26 ratings · 11 reviews · 17 distinct works
Postcards and Pearls: Life ...

3.80 avg rating — 10 ratings — published 2008 — 3 editions
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Black and Blintzes: Growing...

4.75 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 2012 — 2 editions
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Postcards and Pearls: Life ...

3.33 avg rating — 3 ratings — published 2001 — 3 editions
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Belly Up: Surviving and Thr...

3.50 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 2012 — 2 editions
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The Whole Person Guide to Y...

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 2013
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Cheaper Than Therapy: How T...

1.67 avg rating — 3 ratings2 editions
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Hush Life

liked it 3.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 2015 — 2 editions
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The Writer's Toy Chest: Don...

it was ok 2.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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Cheaper Than Therapy: How t...

it was ok 2.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 2005
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Overfunctioner's Revolution...

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More books by Gina Greenlee…

The Energy of Completion

Writing books takes time.

It needn’t take years but it will take months.

You are making progress but it will appear subtle.

Until you achieve a readable draft, the multiple iterations required to get there can discourage and frustrate you.

That’s when you need a simpler, more tangible project to complete in a day or even an hour or two. The energy of seeing it come to life, from inspiration to com Read more of this blog post »
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Published on October 01, 2019 14:54 Tags: energy-of-completion, finish-something, getting-things-done, small-wins

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Gina’s Recent Updates

Gina Greenlee rated a book really liked it
The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish by Katya Apekina
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Loved the structure. Usually don't love it when all the characters are damaged. Well most of them. It seems forced. Somehow not here. It all works. Particularly liked the exploration of artist and muse and how artists use pain to create. The only rea ...more
The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish by Katya Apekina
I just finished reading this last night. LOVED it. BUT, what happened at the end? I have not a clue. Thank you.
Gina Greenlee is currently reading
Saturday, the Twelfth of October by Norma Fox Mazer
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Gina Greenlee answered Goodreads's question: Gina Greenlee
Inspiration is everywhere. The challenge for me has been to manage the torrent of ideas and still function in other areas of life. I practiced how to relate to writing as a way of being, not as a compartmentalized act. After five years of practice I See Full Answer
Gina Greenlee has read
Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey
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Enjoyed. Writing style very different from Million Little Pieces. I liked both styles. Liked that Frey mixes it up.
Gina Greenlee rated a book really liked it
My Friend Leonard by James Frey
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Enjoyed this. I love Frey's writing style. Loved the mystery around Leonard and his life, which was nicely resolved at the book's' conclusion. Leonard was funny as were many elements of his life despite the violence that underscored it.
Gina Greenlee is currently reading
Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey
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Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
" Read Gawande's first two, which were fabulous. Couldn't get into this one. "
Gina Greenlee shared a quote
Postcards and Pearls by Gina Greenlee
“Endings are the embryos of new beginnings.”
Gina Greenlee
Gina Greenlee shared a quote
Postcards and Pearls by Gina Greenlee
“Our lives follow the stories we tell ourselves.”
Gina Greenlee
More of Gina's books…
“What we seek when we wander usually leads us back home.”
Gina Greenlee, Postcards and Pearls: Life Lessons from Solo Moments on the Road

“What would happen if you gave yourself permission to do something
you’ve never done before? There’s only one way to find out.”
Gina Greenlee, Postcards and Pearls: Life Lessons from Solo Moments on the Road

“Honoring your own boundaries is the clearest message to others to honor them, too.”
Gina Greenlee, Postcards and Pearls: Life Lessons from Solo Moments on the Road

Topics Mentioning This Author

topics posts views last activity  
Grab a Book & Pla...: June 2018 Scavenger Hunt 43 29 Apr 23, 2019 12:47PM  
“Do your fears warn of external dangers? Or, are they the kind that keep you from becoming more of your true self?”
Gina Greenlee, Postcards and Pearls: Life Lessons from Solo Moments on the Road

“Honoring your own boundaries is the clearest message to others to honor them, too.”
Gina Greenlee, Postcards and Pearls: Life Lessons from Solo Moments on the Road

“What do you believe about who you are? About your capabilities? When was the last time you trusted yourself enough to test them?”
Gina Greenlee, Postcards and Pearls: Life Lessons from Solo Moments on the Road

“If we never challenge our shortcomings, we ensure that they remain our Achilles' heel.”
Gina Greenlee, Postcards and Pearls: Life Lessons from Solo Moments on the Road

“Name the fears that are holding you back. It's the equivalent of flooding the boogeyman with light.”
Gina Greenlee, Postcards and Pearls: Life Lessons from Solo Moments on the Road




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