Writing is by its nature a lonely business. We spend our time organizing ideas and fighting back self-doubt, so getting feedback from others can be helpful. Unfortunately, friends and family are not good candidates for this. They mean well, but we need help from other writers who understand the creative struggle. But where do you start your search for an online writers group?

Brooke McIntyre of Inked Voices got it right in the introduction of her guest post on Jane Friedman’s blog.

Finding a writing group or partner is a lot like dating. There’s an element of searching and an…

A person contemplating life sitting by a large lake
A person contemplating life sitting by a large lake
Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

When we think of stories, we often flash back to the ones we read as children that began “Once upon a time…” Or we admire the movies we grew up on. We often do not realize that we all have our own stories just as colorful, engaging, and amazing, if only we’d share them, especially with our families and loved ones.

Think your life story is boring?

“There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy.” ~Mark Twain

Too many of us die with our stories inside us (to…

Did you thoughtfully list your 2020 New Year’s resolutions and set big goals at the end of 2019?

If you’re someone who plans ahead, you paid your final deposit on that cruise to the Panama Canal, or set the date for your March birthday party, booked your flight to attend your friend’s June wedding in Spain, or bought your tickets to see Hamilton. Perhaps you met with your church committee to plan the Easter Egg Hunt or registered to attend that motivational retreat in Vermont.

But the unbelievable happened, and…

All.Your.Plans.Changed.

No matter where you were in the world in…

I celebrated 2020 Black History Month each day by looking for changemakers and trailblazers.

DAY 7

William and Ellen Craft, owned by two different slave masters in Macon, Georgia, pulled off one of the most ingenious escapes from slavery to freedom.

At age 16 William was sold to a local bank cashier and because he was a skilled cabinetmaker was allowed to keep working at the same shop where he had apprenticed. His new owner collected most of William’s wages, but I suspect William saved what he could.

Ellen’s father was her slave master, and her mother was one of his biracial slaves. Her skin was so fair that she was often mistaken for a child of the white family. …

Madam C.J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove in poverty-stricken Louisiana in 1867, went from picking cotton to become the first self-made American woman millionaire. But it was not a straight line.

Madam C.J. Walker

How she began

“There is no royal flower-strewn path to success,” she once observed. “And if there is, I have not found it — for if I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard.”

She married at age 14, gave birth to her only daughter in 1885, and two years later became a widow. Upon her husband’s death, she moved to St. Louis where her…

Photo by Pablo Merchán Montes on Unsplash

On the surface it seems writing your life story should be easy. After all, you’re the main character and all the experiences that make up your story are filed in your memory. And yet, most of us struggle with where and how to start.

There are many reasons for that, but two primary ones stand out.

1. You think your life is boring and unlikely to be of interest to anyone else, perhaps not even to your family. I was having lunch with a few retirees when one of them, upon learning I help people write their life stories, said…

Students share memories in Guided Autobiography workshop

One day when my oldest daughter was a toddler, she was reflecting on how much she loved her dad. “When I grow up, I’m going to marry Daddy.”

“But he’s already married,” I quickly pointed out.

Disappointed and shocked, she said, “To who?”

“To me!” I blurted too quickly.

“Oh!” surprised and sad, her head slowly drooped.

If I hadn’t written that story in my journal all those decades ago, I might have forgotten it. …

NaNoWriMo logo

Every year as trick-or-treaters trail home on Halloween to tally their loot, writers around the world flex their fingers in readiness for National Novel Writing Month, better known as Nanowrimo, that begins on November 1st.

This is the month when would-be novelists churn out thousands of words a day with the goal of creating the rough draft of a 50,000-word novel.

National Novel Writing Month was started in July 1999 in San Francisco by Chris Baty and 20 of his friends. Although it began as a half-literary fest and half-block party, it has grown into a worldwide explosion of the…

By Flora

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

Every year as trick-or-treaters trail home on Halloween to tally their loot, writers around the world flex their fingers in readiness for National Novel Writing Month, better known as Nanowrimo, that begins on November 1st.

This is the month when would-be novelists churn out thousands of words a day with the goal of creating the rough draft of a 50,000-word novel.

National Novel Writing Month was started in July 1999 in SanFrancisco by Chris Baty and 20 of his friends. Although it began as a half-literary fest and half-block party, it has grown into a worldwide explosion of…

Flora M Brown, Ph.D.

Author, life story facilitator, mom, and reformed coffee snob.

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