A Writer’s Life


Allowing Yourself Time for Purposeful Non-Productivity 7

TODAY’S ARTICLE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE the latest in the Read Like a Writer series, in which I would write about how Sue Monk Kidd Structured her memoir, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter. But when Sunday, the day I write my blog posts, rolled around, I found myself procrastinating. […]


Why We Love Memoir 2

WHAT IS IT ABOUT MEMOIR that fascinates and draws us to it in a way that fiction, while entertaining and enlightening, does not? Why do we love reading such intimate, first-person stories of challenge, struggle, and triumph? Is it, as some would claim, a tabloid-style voyeuristic curiosity? Is is that […]


DIY: Why You Need a Personal Writing Retreat 7

IN JANUARY OF 2016, I made a commitment to myself—as part of my writing life and to meet my writing goals, I would go on a weekend-long writing retreat at least twice each year. As I searched for a retreat that would suit my needs, I began to realize that […]


Do You Call Yourself a Writer? 10

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!