It’s Me Who Decides.

Real talk: Are you getting where you want to go in life? Are you putting your foot on the gas pedal, or are you idling? These are hard questions to ask – I get that. But they’re also really important. You’re the one in the driver’s seat. Falling asleep at the wheel is dangerous, both literally and metaphorically. But being awake, alert, and active? That can save a life. …
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What To Do When A Blizzard Hits Your Life

Dear Caroline*, One minute I had a good life. I was happy, and my family was happy too. The next minute, we received some terrible and unexpected news. Without going into detail, I can say that it has been devastating … a slow-motion train wreck with no end in sight. Surviving the present takes everything I have. I was in shock for a while. In a way I still am, but I’m getting through the days at least. Even though I still have a lot to be thankful for – a steady job, a safe place to live – it ...
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What to Do When You Feel Not Good Enough

Don’t you love how every epic saga starts with the main character going through their usual routine for the millionth time? Cinderella sweeps the hearth and endures the same familial abuse. Katniss goes to the Reaping and faces the same brutal injustice. Lyra prowls Oxford and hides from the same protective grownups. (If you haven’t read the His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman, please cancel your plans and remedy this oversight immediately.) And then something bizarre happens. A fairy godmother shows up, a familiar name is called, someone slips poison into a glass. In a moment, the journey begins. ...
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Perfectionism Doesn’t Protect Us: The TEDx Video!

Friends, today is the day! The video of my 4-minute TEDxBirminghamSalon talk, Perfectionism Doesn’t Protect Us, is now live on the TEDx Talks Youtube channel. I must admit, I’m nervous about sending it out. It was one thing to get up in front of a hundred people and give this talk; it’s another thing to email it to all of you. But then I remember: you were the ones who helped me to find the courage to give this talk in the first place. You were the ones who encouraged me to tell the truth about my struggles with perfectionism ...
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How to Persevere When Rejections Knock You Down

It’s the moment every writer knows and dreads. When I finally open the email, it’s just as I feared. My essay wasn’t chosen; try again next time. No matter how many times this happens – and for writers and artists, it happens a lot – I still feel a swirl of emotion. Depending on how much I wanted an acceptance, I’m by turns frustrated, disappointed, or angry. If you’ve received such a rejection, then you know the feeling. It’s as though you’ve offered your best wine to an honored guest, only to see them sniff the glass and turn away. ...
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To the Writer Who is Just Starting Out

To the writer who is just starting out: before we talk about blogging or book deals, let me tell you a story about Maroon 5. One of my closest friends from Vassar once told me about how he saw Maroon 5 play before they hit the big-time. It was at a bar in Boston, as I recall. I was quite impressed, because at the time, “Songs About Jane” was everywhere. It played at parties, at my on-campus job, on my roommate’s computer. Maroon 5 was a big deal then, and they’ve become a bigger deal since. But the people in ...
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