Love writing, but having a hard time revving up your motor? Then relax: help is at hand!

The goal of Writing Dangerously is simple: motivation. Pushing myself and anyone who joins me to write more and keep going – to break through to the next level. Like the half life of an atom, many of my projects seem to divide into ever smaller pieces. Sound familiar? So actually finishing projects – and encouraging other writers do the same — is a big focus.

Every day, I’ll be sharing motivational tips, writing advice and lore I’ve gathered, helpful resources, ideas that work for me, and anything else I can think of to juice up my writing life – and yours as well. So slip on your hiking boots and let’s start climbing!

About Me

When I was about four, my father gave me a legal pad and a pencil. My first gig: taking down a letter to his imaginary editor, Mrs. Pumpernickel, asking for — what else? – more money! No matter that I couldn’t read or spell yet – I wrote the letter anyway! I’ve been hooked on writing ever since.

My most recent book, Birthing the Elephant: the woman’s go for it! guide to overcoming the big challenges of launching a business, is a how-to handbook for aspiring women entrepreneurs from Ten Speed Press. I’ve also written four other how-to books published by Warner, Henry Holt, Vanguard Press, and McGraw-Hill.

But this blog is aimed at fueling my fiction habit. I have a number of wildly diverse projects in progress: a play about Sojourner Truth; a screenplay about Oscar Wilde; a musical based on a Dreiser novel; a middle school-to-young adult series about a girl named Britomar set loosely in the Renaissance. Sometimes I think of all these unfinished works as colorful shirts hung out to dry on the laundry line of my mind, flapping in the breeze of my wayward imagination. Here comes the sun!


16 Responses to About

  1. Janice says:

    What a useful new Thought Stimulating Idea Generating Get Your Butt In the Seat and Write tool you have created for us. Way to go, Karin.

  2. While I don’t normally have problems with writer’s block, I do have issues with writer’s clock. When I lived in NJ and commuted 45 minutes each way to work, I found that the perfect time to write — no distracting options, no friend to chat up, just business. I loved it. But now that I live in VA and take a short commute to D.C. every day, it’s just not enough time. I’m still struggling with how to write at home because watching “True Blood”, cleaning up, and checking my email wins every time!

    Joel Schwartzberg
    Author, “The 40-Year-Old Version” (www.bookfordad.com)

    • Hi Joel,

      Love the writer’s block-writer’s clock comment! I know how you feel. It’s a noisy world out there and especially when you work at home, the distractions are endless. When I really need to concentrate, I find that going off site helps. There’s a great college library in my town of Montclair, complete with a cafe and Starbucks coffee. I find that putting in a few hours of work there can really move me forward. Hope you’ll keep checking in — and sharing your experience. Write on! Karin

  3. Steve says:

    Hi Karin:

    Wonderful job!

    I’ll be reading…



  4. Janis Q says:

    Thank you, Karin!
    Believe it or not, you are truly motivational! I’m not a Writer by any stretch of the word or works. The closest I have come is a journal I started in 2000 for my G-son, Brendan the year he was born. I call the it, “What I Remember While I Still Can.” I haven’t written in it for a long time. After I finish this note, I am going to dig it out and make an entry. It’s about time, I am probably forgetting things as I write this. Thanks to you I have received a spark of motivation!
    It was fun to be included “Why Not Mississippi”. I enjoy thinking up things like that and also naming things.
    Go ahead. Write Dangerously! The world will be better getting to know you as I do.

    • Hi Janis,

      Thanks so much for your wonderful note. I am so excited that you are
      going to begin adding to your journal — what a gift it will be for
      your grandson! It’s great to know that my new blog gave you a boost —
      that’s exactly why I’m writing it. Love your journal title, too. You
      definitely have a way with words. Write on! Karin

  5. Chris says:

    Do you have Mrs Pumpernickel’s address? I am going to have Hannah draft a letter to her asking if she can babysit… I hear she knows Mary Poppins!

    LOVE the site Karin! Perhaps my own back end will be whipped into literary shape. My own projects have a thick layer of dust on them and now have a few burp cloths and coffee ring stains too…

    You’re an inspiration!

    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks so much for your wonderful note — so glad to know that Mrs. Pumpernickel and Mary Poppins are pals!

      Believe me, I have plenty to writing projects back burnered — seems I have a very large stove somewhere. I try to do a little bit of work on some of them once in a while, just to keep the home fires burning.

      I hope you keep checking in when you can, since I am posting every day. Maybe you can start a baby journal for Hannah — surely a wonderful writing project to keep your creativity flowing.

      Thanks so much — you’ve inspired me to keep going. Write on! Karin

  6. Kim Galvani says:

    Wonderful website you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really love to be a part of online community where I can get suggestions from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Bless you!

    • Hi Kim,

      Thanks so much for your kind words! In answer to your question, here are a few sites
      you might check out: Authonomy, Book Country, WritersCafe.org, BlogHer, and Protagonize.
      Your question inspired me to write a post about these sites called “Writing Communities” —
      I hope you’ll take a look at it and find it helpful.

      Write on!

  7. Pingback: Self-Education Business Books for Start-Ups | Kersten Anderson

    • Hi Kersten,

      Thanks so much for checking into my action start-up guide, Birthing the Elephant.
      I was so happy to see that you listed it as a “Best Business Book” — thank you!
      I look forward to having you review it for your readers — would you let me know
      when it comes out?

      Many thanks,

  8. Tara Moyle says:

    Wow. Besides being one of the nicest people in the world, Karin Abarbanel is an exceptional editorial wizard. She took the structural nightmare that was my poetry chapbook draft, and Indexed carded it into order, after careful thought and consideration. I’m sitting here stunned that there just might be hope for my chaos, and humbled to know people like Karin!

    • Hi Tara,

      Thanks so much for your kind words. I really enjoyed our brainstorming
      session and I’m so excited about your chapbook — can’t wait to see it!
      And thanks for the “editorial wizard” title — I love it!

      Write on,

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