If only you knew (what it’s really like to write)

Over a dozen of you wrote to me last week to share how much the missive meant to you. Thank you. As I read message after message, I shook my head and thought, “Wow. If only they knew.” Then I realized that perhaps it’s right that you DO know. The morning I wrote that missive, I did not bounce out of bed with a smile. Like so many other parents in this COVID time, my husband and I have been caring for our baby for 2 months without outside help, while both running our businesses. We’re thankful to have that ...
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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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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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You Help Me Get Over Myself: The ThinkPiece Interview

Siblings, 2013. A touch blurry, but I do believe that Willie's smile makes up for that. Dear readers, Happy Monday! I have some fun news to share, so let's dive right in. First up is an interview I did with ThinkPiece Publishing's founder, Adam Wahlberg. As you may recall, ThinkPiece ("singular voices on social issues") published my Kindle Single, I Was a Stranger to Beauty, and I could not have asked for a better publishing experience. As such, it's my pleasure to share The ThinkPiece interview with you. It's a distillation of an hour-plus conversation, with snippets on ...
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Contentment is NOT a Foreign Land. (Plus, the Trailer!!!)

One morning, I sat down to write feeling crazy and desperate. I was deep in the midst of a waiting season, and -- much as I'd like to think otherwise -- I'm not the most patient person. (Maybe you can relate?) I wrote: “It's all hopeless. So many times I've put my heart out on the line – in a post, a proposal – and received no response. Hearing nothing is worse than hearing no. Ask any writer, any artist. You can move on from a 'no.' But a 'nothing' can eat you alive. I hate the uncertainty of it ...
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Beware the Laundry: A Guide to Writing & Relationships

"I sure need encouragement to write. Help." This photo always makes me smile, because, dude, where's the typing paper?! Credit: Kevin J. Fischer A dear friend recently wrote this to me, adding, "I hope you can shed some light on how I can get started." So I thought I'd, you know, write an answer. And I thought I'd publish it here because writing is about relationship. Writing is an interplay between what's in your mind and what's on the page, between the stories you tell and the stories you live. And so it's no surprise that the most ...
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Commitment Is (Not) For The Birds, Or, Show Up and See What Happens

Sometimes, it's all too much! I'm going to tell you a secret: I don't always feel like showing up to write posts every week. Much as I love to write, sometimes, I just don't feel the love. My mind kicks in with complaints: "Again? Can't I skip it?!" Often, I feel resistance because I'm scared to write about what's most alive in me, but other times, I just want to play hooky from the written word. And I have a feeling that it's true for you, too. It can be hard to summon the dedication it takes to ...
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Would You Dare To Go ‘All In’ On A Dream?

There's something magical about deciding to go all in. Photo Credit: Brian Taylor Photography In that moment when you make the heart-pounding decision to commit to doing whatever it is you most need to do, energy starts flowing through you. Things happen to make you feel as though you're not alone, as though Something or Someone is blessing your efforts. It's as though a mysterious force actually wants you to succeed. This is both unnerving and exciting. Just a year ago, I dreamed (and feared the dream) of becoming a full-time writer. I longed to work on projects ...
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