Articles


Strengthen Your Writing – Kill Your Thought Verbs 1

WHEN LEARNING THE CRAFT OF WRITING — which, as far as I am concerned, is a never-ending state of being — we often hear the refrain that we should “show, not tell.” “Showing” means writing in scene, using physical actions, sense-based details, and dialogue to create the story, rather than explaining […]


10 Inspiring Journaling Prompts for Challenging Times 3

IN CHALLENGING TIMES, it is easy to get lost in the dark or negative aspects of what is going on around us and forget to look for the good—especially when newspapers and online media sensationalize the negative in order to take advantage of our natural, though morbid, sense of curiosity. […]

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Uphill climb

How to Keep Writing When the Going Gets Rough 5

ANYONE WHO HAS WRITTEN A MEMOIR KNOWS that it’s hard work. Not at the beginning, necessarily, but when you’re part way through, and that nice, round idea you had of your story has become fragmented by scenes and summaries of scenes, and reflections about those scenes The memories aren’t clear […]


My Takeaways from the San Miguel Writers’ Conference 8

“[The plot] of personal essay, its drama, its suspense, consists in watching how far the essayist can drop past his or her psychic defenses toward deeper levels of honesty.” – Phillip Lopate LAST WEEK, I had the privilege of attending the twelfth annual San Miguel de Allende Writers’ Conference. I confess, […]


8 Life-Writing and Memoir Blogs You’ll Want to Follow 7

IN ADDITION TO WRITING AND TEACHING about journaling and memoir writing, I enjoy visiting other journaling and memoir writing sites for additional inspiration, new approaches, and different perspectives on writing about and through life. What I have discovered in doing so, is that there are really very few blogs out […]


Composite image of core values message

Writing Prompt: The 5 Values That Shape Your Work 1

What are the core values that shape your work? I pose this question today as a multi-purpose writing prompt that can help you more fully understand the underlying beliefs that sustain your worldview and drive your life’s work. Why “multi-purpose”? I’ll get to that in a moment. First, let’s use […]


Introducing the Read Like a Writer Memoir Series 5

BACK IN NOVEMBER, I asked if you’d like to see a Reading for Writers series focused on memoir, in which we would analyze one book each quarter together. You responded with a resounding “Yes!” and with many, many excellent title suggestions, ranging from classic to contemporary memoir. In making the […]

Book and Glasses

Goal Setting - Yes, you can!

How to Set – And Rock – Your Writing Goals 3

WE’RE ALREADY more than halfway through the second week of January, so you may be wondering why I am writing about goals. After the hundreds of articles about New Year’s resolutions and goals all over the Internet, aren’t we over this thing already? Isn’t it time to move on? If you’re the […]