Category Archives: More Stuff for Writers

So You Think You Might Be Writing a Collage Memoir…

You’ve recently read Claire Dederer’s Love and Trouble and Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts AND the deeper-in-the-catalog Bluets. You love Abigail Thomas’ Safekeeping and Terese Marie Mailhot’s Heart Berries. You own multiple copies of Terry Tempest Williams’ Refuge. These are signs.Your manuscript is built of teeny tiny chapters. Can you even really call them chapters? Your book possesses multiple narratives. Some pages contain more white space than words. These too are signs. Continue reading

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Lessons from Success: Bet on Yourself

Like my students and clients who’ve sold their memoirs, Jill Soloway made a crucial decision to bet on herself and her writing. When her career was at its lowest point, she chose to “double down” on herself. Continue reading

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Lessons from Success: Take a Note (or Two!)

When I see my students being all adult about workshop notes, I can’t help but try to understand why I wasted so much time pushing away what I so needed to hear. The answer I come up with: I subscribed too heavily to the idea that talent reigns supreme. I believed that these critiques meant I didn’t have enough talent to BE A WRITER. Another issue: I then lacked the skill to take a comment and revise, so I found critiques overwhelming. How on earth was I suppose to use these comments? How could I pry open this formed thing and begin to rebuild? Continue reading

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Lessons from Success: Commit to Learning the Craft

Welcome to the second in a four-post series on the writing lessons garnered from student success. Today’s lesson: Writing Is a Craft. Commit to Learning it. You know when an ex wants to communicate with you, but they don’t really … Continue reading

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Why I’m Relaunching My Coaching Biz in 2019

My life slowed down, and in that slowing my commitment to teaching and coaching deepened. Client and student successes jolted me with pleasure. Witnessing their growth and accomplishment renewed my awe for the creative process. And, I began to realize that coaching had become central to my sense of purpose, that my best work these days often happened in collaboration with a client who was in the midst of a memoir or a personal essay. So why not move coaching to the middle of my life? Continue reading

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Lessons from Success: Achieve Your Writing Goals in 2019

A memory from my MFA program: The professor looking around the room at our small group of nine and proclaiming: “You’re all talented. It’s impossible to know which ones of you will make it into print. The ones who make … Continue reading

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What I Read this Summer

In no particular order: Orange, Tommy. There There (This book is exquisite). Kaling, Mindy. Why Not Me? (Not quite as good as her first book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? but that’s an awfully high bar). Albertine, Viv. Clothes, … Continue reading

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Book Giveaway!

I’m hosting a giveaway of California Calling: A Self-Interrogation this week to celebrate my friend Natalie Singer’s birthday. Yay! To enter for a chance to win, click on the link here and follow Natalie’s Amazon author page. The giveaway will … Continue reading

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How to Write a Personal Essay (That Stands a Chance)

How to Write a Personal Essay will cover the following:

How to generate material compelling to both you and your readers

How to build up that material step-by-step into a essay

How to revise your opening paragraph so it catches an editor’s attention

How to build a story and an argument

How to land the final paragraph 

How to find markets for your essay

How to write a zinger pitch  Continue reading

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Q: Do I need connections to find an agent?

Q: Do I need connections to find an agent? A: No, you can find an agent without connections, but you do need to be prepared before you initiate the search. Here are some guidelines: 1) You need to be at … Continue reading

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