A M Carley Media Kit

FLOAT • Becoming Unstuck for Writers

Shorter Book Description

FLOAT • Becoming Unstuck for Writers is a desk reference and guidebook for writers who’d like to improve their experience of writing. Its epigraph is:


Trust yourself

Use simple tools

Honor your wisdom

Connect with the clan of writers

Find your strength


Longer Book Description

FLOAT • Becoming Unstuck for Writers is a desk reference and guidebook for writers who’d like to improve their experience of writing.

In FLOAT, A M Carley has curated best practices for overcoming challenges in writing, and arranged her observations and insights into the framework she calls the FLOAT Approach: a gentle, stepwise invitation to mindful problem-solving and brainstorming.

Useful as a quick fix, or as a longer practice in writerly awareness, FLOAT provides your own wisdom the space and support to speak up and be heard. Help is here! Use FLOAT to draw on your own hidden resources, and find your way again. Including more than 80 tools, extensive introductory materials, inspiration from published authors, and multiple indexes for easy reference, FLOAT is a resource to keep handy.

There’s more! Included with purchase is an online FLOAT Toolkit, with tools preview, quizzes, two audio tours, and a matrix of all the tools. The FLOAT Resources, also online, link to the wisdom of authors and thinkers, as well as extensive troves of writing prompts.

As a writer, you know stuckness when you see it. And feel it. And, possibly, fear it. You may feel shame. The sense that you’re alone with this struggle. Maybe the worst part is not knowing what to do now. Especially after you’ve tried so many fixes that didn’t work. You’re not alone. And feeling stuck doesn’t need to be permanent. In fact, the stuckness itself can be a key to discovering what to do next.

Suitable for writers from woo-woo to pragmatic, introverted to extroverted, quiet to exuberant, contemplative to active, FLOAT offers mindful interventions to help writers become unstuck.

Shorter Bio

A M (Anne) Carley helps authors to become unstuck, to write more freely, and to complete their manuscripts with less angst and more confidence.

Longer Bio

Anne M Carley coaches authors to become unstuck, complete, and polish their narrative nonfiction, memoir, investigative, instructional, and other nonfiction manuscripts. Anne also guides writers along the sometimes baffling journey from final manuscript to independently published book. From her office in Charlottesville, Virginia, Anne works with regional authors and, via phone and web, with writers everywhere. Her writer’s handbook, FLOAT: Becoming Unstuck for Writers, and the FLOAT Cards for Writers deck share her fresh approach with writers and creative people worldwide. Visit to learn more about how she works with writers.

Anne is a published essayist on topics in the arts, public policy, intellectual property, and arts education for publications from ArtForum to Estate Planning magazine. She contributed an essay to the bestselling 2017 book, #MeToo: Essays About How and Why This Happened, What It Means and How to Make Sure it Never Happens Again.

She edited a pioneering web-based arts, education, and technology magazine, The Arts4All Newsletter, for five years starting in 1999. Anne has been a Fellow at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts (VCCA) as a composer and as a writer. FLOAT was completed there.

The Book

Front cover

Full cover

A M Carley’s handbook and desk reference


A M Carley

The Good Word

A writer’s best friend — besides a cat! Anne Carley provides valuable tools for helping boost a writer’d creativity as well as getting one out of that dreaded writer’s block. FLOAT is an acronym and a clever method for writers to help them be the best at what they do! An easy to read format, it is much more than a “how to” book, it has a complementary workbook. Anne is a talented writer and writing coach; this book provides an insight to those talents. — Amazon reviewer

More zen and self-accepting than the typical “unblock yourself” titles (which usually rely on a “rah-rah, you can do it if you try harder” attitude.)

The FLOAT process leads you quickly to and through an analysis of what you might need in a given stuck/blocked moment. Once that personal, internal, clarification is complete, you then choose a tool to work with, in an effort to break through the kind of resistance you are experiencing.

A tool is one of many wide-ranging actions or writing/thinking exercises. (These tools are well-indexed.) — Goodreads reviewer

A must have for authors of all varieties. Actually for all artists, as well. Practical yet fun with real world steps to figuring out the next step in your project. Whether you are feeling overwhelmed by obligations (can you tell I am writing this review a few weeks before Christmas!) Or whether you feel abandoned in your efforts to bring your words to life, the FLOAT method has something for you. I hope the author eventually offers seminars on the FLOAT process. I would like to attend. — Carolyn O’Neal

Love, love, LOVED this book. It’s a great coach to have hanging around your writing desk, especially when the muses are playing hide and seek. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever felt stuck in their writing. — Goodreads reviewer

A practical, inspiring keeper of a writing book. Carley’s exercises and encouragements are a must-have for the writers’ shelf. If you’ve ever felt stuck with your work, this book will help you break free and write the words the world needs. — Andi Cumbo-Floyd

I just wish I’d had this book two years ago when I was writing my own book! I was getting ‘stuck’ all the time and couldn’t see my way forward! I’m glad I did it, but it was not an easy project. But even just glancing through FLOAT I see fun and inviting chapter headings…most of which would have been so helpful to me when I was stumbling my way through the writing process. I bought FLOAT because I’m thinking about writing again, but this time I’ll have it nearby as a calming, guiding and encouraging companion. — Amazon reviewer

I was attracted to this book because as a published author of 13 books, FLOAT is exactly what I do when facing blankness on the page, being stuck or feeling that the warm cocoon of being alone and creating is not going to going to get you to the end of the book, or even the end of the chapter. So it was with surprise and delight that I discovered that FLOAT in Anne Carley’s hands is a wonderful key to a whole system of helpful tools, insights and strategies to get you over that initial (and often repeating) hump. It was great to read inspiration from published authors, and use the multiple indexes for easy navigation and reference. Highly recommended for budding, unpublished and published authors alike! — David Clive Price

FLOAT teaches you to be gentle with yourself and learn where you set your limits, boundaries, fears. Then it helps you to push beyond all these blockages and improve your writing process, and with it your writing. — Amazon reviewer

Are you a writer? If so, then you know that there are times when the ideas dry up, and the writing stops. The good news is that A.M. Carley, the author of FLOAT, challenges her audience with ideas, tools, and methods. — Charlie Van Hecke

Sample Interview Questions

  • How did you come up with the idea for FLOAT?
  • Where is your favorite place to write?
  • Do you write every single day?
  • How did you come up with the title of your book?
  • What motivated you to become an indie author?
  • Why do you write? What keeps you motivated?
  • What is the main thing you want readers to take away from your book?
  • What one author would you choose if you were to write their biography?
  • Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
  • How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?
  • Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
  • Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

Sample (from the Preface)

Hey, this could be big!

Do you say and think that about your project? When you do, does it feel exhilarating? Depressing?

Why is it that sometimes everything seems possible, and other times, we’re stuck and see nothing but obstacles? Is it that the stuckness comes from our inborn needs to connect with others – and to distrust them too?

The Paradox of Connectedness

Do you write for yourself, or with a carefully defined target reader in mind? Doubt you’ll ever get published, or have multiple best-sellers under your belt? Whatever your situation, it’s likely that part of your writing energy derives from an urge to connect with others – excluding your journals and other purposefully private writing.

We want to connect. Yet none of us can avoid the self-protective suspicion that eventually got humans to our position at the top of the food chain. Our species wouldn’t have emerged, let alone survived, without an inborn alert system. We learned, before we had become humans, not to trust.

We also are born with a need for closeness, not just to reproduce the species, but to bond with and care for others. Maybe we’re capable of connecting to a shared universal energy or awareness that some call the divine.

We can probably each remember peak experiences that illuminated our connectedness with all the beings on the planet, and perhaps beyond. Yet, day by day, each of us navigates a continuum of need, between mistrustful iso- lation and immersive connection. In fact, the Buddhists say it’s the illusion of separateness that creates human suffering.

It’s a paradox.

We empathize with our fellow humans who are invested in a creative project. We surge toward the joy of making something new and fine to enrich the lives of others – and scramble self-protectively for the back of the cave, as far away as possible from sharing, trusting, or seeking an audience. It’s not always easy to negotiate a middle way, when we’re in the grip of these powerful – opposed – impulses!

Inevitable tensions accompany the paradox of connectedness. Aware of them or not, we must live with those tensions.

The Timeless Clan of Writers

Language can connect us, inspire us to action, restore faith, support us in grief, induce nail-biting attention, elicit belly laughs, and much more.

Do you remember the first time you found yourself on the receiving end of a writer’s offering that was perfect in the moment? The experience linked you together, whether you were face to face, or centuries and continents apart.

Then, one day, as a writer you express yourself well, offering your work as an invitation. A reader accepts and appreciates it. How wonderfully, even cosmically, connected is that?

And yet separateness beckons from the back of the cave.

The FLOAT Approach

Why not acknowledge the paradox and gently connect with our own inner guidance? Why not discover a middle way? Why not practice becoming unstuck?

Suitable for writers “woo-woo” as well as pragmatic, introverted as well as extroverted, quiet as well as exuberant, meditative as well as expressive, this book offers brief interventions to help you become unstuck.

Clients, friends, and colleagues have shared their struggles with me. Wonderful authors and commentators have published their observations on the challenges facing writers. My task here was to collect, clarify, and arrange these materials in a framework. I call it the FLOAT Approach.

I invite you to use it whenever you want to become unstuck.

Hey, this could be big!



The writer’s handbook and desk reference. Click image for Amazon link.


Email amcarley at amcarley dot com

Mail PO Box 386 Charlottesville, VA 22902

Tel 1.434.480.4398


Twitter @amcarley

FLOAT • Becoming Unstuck for Writers

FLOAT Cards for Writers