A Writer’s Life


Do You Call Yourself a Writer? 8

WHEN PEOPLE ASK YOU WHAT YOU DO, do you reply that you are a writer? Chances are, if you have not yet published a book, you don’t — even though you may have had articles and essays published in online magazines or anthologies. (You don’t count those small victories because […]


How to Nurture (and Keep) the Writing Habit 5

WHEN ASKED about their greatest writing challenges, many writers tell me they struggle with making a regular habit of writing. Life gets in the way, they say. And it’s true. That’s because they are attempting to create a new habit, and, as pretty much everyone knows, changing or creating habits can be […]


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 […]

Uphill climb

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, […]


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 […]

Goal Setting - Yes, you can!

10 Scary-Good Productivity Tips for Writers 5

ON THE EVE of National Novel Writing Month or National NonFiction Writing Month (affectionately known as NaNoWriMo or NaNonFiWriMo, respectively), the issue of productivity becomes more than important than ever. After all, how will you meet the challenge of writing 50,000 words of fiction or completing a nonfiction piece in one […]


Writer with a Day Job — 100 Words a Day 21

MOST WRITERS have day jobs. That’s a fact. There are those who begin writing in earnest after retirement or who are fortunate enough to be supported by other means or who manage to carve out a writing career when they are young, but these are the minority. A quick web […]


Entanglements: Writing About Family 9

WHEN YOU SET OFF TO WRITE ABOUT YOUR LIFE, you will end up, at some point, wonder how much to include about your family members. Especially if you’re revealing family secrets, which memoirs tend to do. Even when journaling about family, you may worry that family members will some day […]