Earlier this month I had the privilege of spending some time with Mark Nepo, the man Oprah Winfrey has called one of the greatest spiritual teachers of our time. In reflecting on his personal journey over the past three years, which, due to the support of Oprah, has been pretty meteoric in nature, he told me, “I’m just so glad…

I’m often asked this question when I speak to groups of writers, as if there’s a magic formula aspiring authors can follow to get an editor to rally behind their book and champion them right into the doors of the publishing house and all the way through publication and beyond. Unfortunately, there’s not a formula. But there is an art…

Here’s some of what I hear from writers around platform: —“Do I really have to do all of that?” —“It sounds like a fulltime job.” —“What you’re describing sounds great, but it doesn’t pertain to my genre [fiction/memoir/poetry].” —“But so-and-so [Stephen King, Annie Lamott, Isabelle Allende, other famous person of choice] probably didn’t have to do this before they got…

As Linda Joy Myers and I gear up to host some new fall classes and prepare for our next six-month course, I've been fully immersed in memoir land---one of my favorite places to be. If you can hold this list in your mind as you write your memoir, you'll have a leg up at least, and maybe even experience what…

This past weekend I attended a conference in San Diego. It was a much-needed opportunity to get of my environment, and off of autopilot. I went away to work on my business (as opposed to in my business), a perspective shift that gave me space to think about the big picture—where I’m going, what I want, and where I could…

Follow my blog with Bloglovin I almost never write grammar posts because I’m not much of a grammarian. I know good writing from having read and edited countless books, but I was not an English major, and the last grammar class I took was in seventh grade. I also have to confess that I sometimes experience brain static—more commonly known…

Every time I go to a book reading for memoir, the question of what’s “true” invariably surfaces in one form or another. It’s generally posed by another aspiring memoirist in the audience who wants to know how to handle their own struggle with memory, or desire or need to protect someone in their family, or fear of getting sued. Due…

Last year, before I finally wrote What’s Your Book?, all I knew was that I wanted to publish a book someday. I knew I had a book in me, but there were barriers. Time. A big one for me since I had a one-year-old and a full-time job at the time. The messages in my head (in my case remnants…

I had the great privilege to be at AWP this month, showcasing what Kamy Wicoff and I are doing at She Writes Press. And because we had another great privilege of being in what we nicknamed the “Woman Hood”—because our table neighbors were Hedgebrook, ARHO, VIDA, and Women’s Review of Books—we ended up talking a lot about women and publishing,…

I’m in beautiful San Miguel de Allende this week at the San Miguel Writers’ Conference. We kicked off last night with a keynote by Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild. Read more here. This morning I presented one of the first workshops, whose focus was—surprise—outlining. Outlining is not only for left-brain thinkers, and it doesn't have to be something right-brain thinkers…

Close