A Writer’s Counsel

By: Noelle Sterne


A Writer's Counsel Two Drops of Ink Marilyn L Davis Noelle Sterne Editor’s Note:

St. Francis de Sales is known as the Patron Saint of Writers and Journalists.

His most acclaimed book, An Introduction to the Devout Life began as letters of advice to his cousin, Madame Marie de Charmoisy, the wife of an ambassador of the Duke of Savoy.

As with all writing, we never know what will inspire, encourage, or energize a reader to be all that they can be. 

Hats off to Noelle Sterne for her leap of faith and leaving her comfort zone. Sometimes, these brave acts give us another type of excellent writing. In this case, Noelle’s prayerful poems. 




What the writer prays for

is the strength to surrender,

to jump into the pool

of the fearsome unknown,

knowing only the bed ever recedes.


But once or a thousand times

the writer approaches the bank,

sways at the brink of unconscious,

tolerates not knowing.


Creativity can’t yield to control.

It shrinks from trim fields of logic

and chokes in forced dams of achievement.


It demands one condition:



And once or a thousand times

the writer discovers

the fall after all is of joy

the moment after

the first icy splash.




The Word is my shepherd.

I shall not block.


He maketh me to write down on blank pages.

He leadeth me beside my still journals.


He restoreth my flow.

He leadeth me in the paths of fine metaphors  

for my name’s sake. 


Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Trite,

I will fear no revisions.

For Thou art with me–

Thy cutting and pasting they comfort me.


Thou preparest a desktop before me

in the presence of mine editors.

Thou anointest my head with ideas;

my files runneth over.


Surely good checks and assignments shall follow me

all the drafts of my life.

And I will dwell in the

Book of the Word



Bio: Dr. Noelle Sterne


Author, editor, writing coach, writing and meditation workshop leader, spiritual counselor, Noelle has published over 600 writing craft articles, spiritual pieces, essays, short stories, and occasional poems.

two drops of ink noelle sterne contributing writer


Author Magazine, Black Fox Literary Magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Children’s Book Insider, Coffeehouse For Writers, Funds for Writers, InnerSelf, Inside Higher Ed, Mused, New Age Journal, Pen & Prosper, Ruminate, Sasee, Story Monsters Ink, Thesis Whisperer, Transformation Coaching, The Write Place At the Write Time, Unity Magazine, Writer’s Journal, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, The Writer, and Writer’s Digest.

Academic mentor, editor and coach, with the Ph.D. from Columbia University, she helps doctoral students wrestling with their dissertations and publishes articles in several blogs for dissertation writers. Noelle has delivered requested presentations on academic writing at several universities and is a regular contributor to Abstract, the blog of the Textbook and Academic Authors Association (TAA).

She also contributes pieces to other national and international publications on dissertation issues and writing. In July and August 2018, she, was one of six webinar presenters for its “Writing Gym.” Her topic: “Get Started, Continue Your Draft, and Finish.”

Eons ago, she published a children’s book of original (groanworthy) dinosaur riddles, Tyrannosaurus Wrecks (What do you get when dinosaurs crash their cars?). Riddles from the book appear in several elementary school language arts texts, and the book was featured on PBS’s Reading Rainbow.

A Chicken Soup for the Soul podcast (May 16, 2017) featured her story “Time to Say Goodbye” from a 2013 volume: https://chickensoup.podbean.com/e/tip-tuesday-why-you-should-remove-toxic-people-from-your-life-and-how-to-do-it/_

Noelle’s book Trust Your Life: Forgive Yourself and Go After Your Dreams (Unity Books, 2011) contains examples from her practice, writing, and other aspects of life to help readers release regrets, relabel their past, and reach lifelong yearnings.

Her book Challenges in Writing Your Dissertation: Coping With the Emotional, Interpersonal, and Spiritual Struggles (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2015) is an invaluable resource for doctoral candidates.

As part of pursuing her writing dream, Noelle’s mission is to help other writers reach theirs and create the lives they truly desire. 

Taking her own advice (hard as it may be), she recently completed her first novel.

Noelle’s books:

Challenges in Writing Your Dissertation: Coping With the Emotional, Interpersonal, and Spiritual Struggles. Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2015.

Trust Your Life: Forgive Yourself and Go After Your Dreams

Website: www.trustyourlifenow.com 

Columnist, Two Drops of Ink


Dr. Sterne’s Published posts on Two Drops of Ink


Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing

 Ready to leave your comfort zone and find a new platform for your writing? Then consider a guest post today. 










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