All posts filed under: Trending

The Benefits of Journaling

As best as I can remember, I’ve been writing on a journal since I was a teenager. The notebook and pen became two of my very best friends on the journey through the hormone-saturated teenage years. I lost touch with these two friends for a few years when I explored the corporate jungle. The hectic lifestyle simply did not support nor provide moments for quiet reflection. When I decided to retreat from the world after a few years of elbowing and jostling in the corporate arena, reconnecting with the journal and pen was a vital part of my healing process. I do not remember neither the first time I wrote on a journal, nor the reason why. But I am deeply grateful for the way this writing habit has enriched my life in all levels. According to psychologists at the University of Texas at Austin as well as  psychologist and researcher James Pennebaker, writing regularly on a journal has several beneficial effects on one’s health: journaling strengthens our T-lymphocytes, the cells of our immune system it decreases …

Discover Your Writing Self

Andi Cumbo-Floyd, author of Steele Secrets and The Slaves Have Names, is offering a free course for writers. “Join me on a journey to discover who you are as a writer in the world,” writes Andi. The free writing course will run from August 1-31, 2016. Participants will receive 31 email notes featuring questions that will prompt writers to discover their place in this world. Andi promises to explore “everything from motivation to goals to software, all with the aim of helping you know yourself better as a writing person.” Discussions and sharing will be conducted in an exlusive Facebook page.  To register, click here. 

Adventures in Journaling

My journal is my place to let go of formal constraints, to be crazy and creative, to take off my masks, to be me, to find me.  -Lynn G. Nelson I’ve been writing on journals since I was a teenager, and if anything, it is the one thing in my writing life that has remained constant. But after one has spent decades writing on journals, there’s a danger that it could become just another tedious chore. That’s why it’s important to have an arsenal of techniques and  various ways of writing on a notebook. Here are some that I’ve practiced through the years: The journal as a dumping ground: for rants during confusing times, and those moments when I just want to let it all out. “Use your journal as a garbage can. Discard your angers, your fears, your doubts, your frustrations by writing about them in your journal. This will lessen their power over you. You will feel better.”  – Lynn G. Nelson I use the journal as a lens through which I see the world from a different perspective. …

When Life Interrupts

Sitting down to write won’t just happen; you have to resolve to make it happen.                                                                                                                  -Nan Merrick Phifer What does one do when the flow of words suddenly stops, when life interrupts our regular writing practice with an illness? That happened to me a week ago, when I was debilitated by a bout with intestinal flu. Suddenly, my regular journaling practice and memoir writing hour did not happen – there was simply no interest on my part to get up from bed and write. And that went on for a week. All we can do at times like these is to stop, heal and know that all will be well again. Life interrupts us in various ways, depending on …

How’s Your Verisimilitude?

 I learned about verisimilitude during the 2-month memoir  writing course I attended last year.  What a long word, and what a big difference it makes in our writing. The scene’s message MEANS more when the reader can picture it happening. Here, memoirists use the same conjuring trick as fiction writers do – verisimilitude – the craft of making a scene feel authentic by incorporating real life detail.  This is crucial to the literary and emotional impact of your personal narrative. -Mark Matousek In an interview featured in the Paris Review, John Cheever explained: Verisimilitude is, by my lights, a technique one exploits in order to assure the reader of the truthfulness of what he’s being told. If he truly believes he is standing on a rug, you can pull it out from under him. Of course, verisimilitude is also a lie. What I’ve always wanted of verisimilitude is probability, which is very much the way I live. This table seems real, the fruit basket belonged to my grandmother, but a madwoman could come in the door …

Great Resources for Writers (All Free!)

I am still in the process of redesigning my writing life which is a natural offshoot of the process of digging deep to discover my authentic self.  Along the way, I’ve found some great and free resources for writers – treasures discovered during the search for the components of a renewed writing life: a new writing path, a new writing routine and a writing community. I’m sharing these great finds with all of you: In a few days, on October 14, tweetspeak will launch its next book club discussion, which will focus on Kroeker and Craig’s On Being a Writer. A sustainable writing life is built from more than the construction of sentences and paragraphs; it emerges from the slow accumulation of days and years lived intentionally through the habits of the writer. —Kroeker and Craig, On Being a Writer You can either buy the book from Amazon or download a free copy so you can join in the discussion. To find out more about this and join the book club, visit tweetspeak. Writer and editor Andi Cumbo-Floyd runs a free writing community …

Eric Maisel on Writing Spaces

“A writer’s space is wherever she lands; her treasure is the writing she gets done in these myriad spots.” “Naturally you want a room in which to write that is dedicated to your writing pursuits and not the center of family commotion, the place where the canned goods are stored, or home to the water heater and the washer-dryer. But maybe you can’t have such a dedicated room; maybe space is at a premium and all that’s available to you is the kitchen table or a desk in your bedroom.” “There is nowhere that you need to go in order to write, not even out of that bed. Right where you are is where your thoughts and feelings become available, if you are inclined to access them.” “If you have a bed, you have an office. Writing is about thinking, feeling, and scribbling and can be done perfectly well while reclining. Colette, Proust, Walker Percy, Edith Wharton, James Joyce, my good friend whose novel just sold, our younger daughter who is working on her first novel, …