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What My Great-Grandmother's Diary Taught Me About Writing

Dec 26, 2019

Dear Writerly Woman,

My great-grandmother wrote in her diary every day for most of her life.

When she passed away she had hundreds of journals on display in a beautiful bookcase in her living room.

Every member of our family could go to that bookcase, open a journal to their birthday, and find a note about how they were born on that day.

When I was 14, my family went on a road trip from our Boston suburb to the tiny rural town in Michigan where my great-grandmother had...

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How Your Voice Could Change The World

Dec 24, 2019

Dear Writerly Woman,

One of the reasons I am so passionate about helping you become a woman who writes is that I wholeheartedly believe the world will be better when your voice is in it.

I don't know about you, but when I was growing up I was taught my voice was a nuisance.

I heard a lot about how I talked too much, laughed too loud, asked too many questions, needed too much help, cried too much....and on and on and on.

The basic message was - "Hey you, your voice is a big...

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Behind the Scenes of My Writing Process!

Dec 20, 2019

Dear Writerly Woman,

Today, I'm sitting at my desk and writing to you while looking out my window at the magnolia tree in front of the building next door.

The sky is bright blue above the wintery browning leaves that wave slightly in the breeze.

My writing desk is my favorite place in my apartment. It's cozy and sweet. I have just the right monitor, keyboard, table lamp, and view.

It's taken a while to get to this point with my space. I've tried all the other possibilities this...

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How to Become a Writer

Dec 11, 2019

Dear Writerly Woman,

You have truths inside of you that you want to express through writing, but you struggle because you're afraid of getting squashed by other people's criticism.

You have been shown your whole life that when you share your truth, you get squashed.

You get weird looks. You get shamed. You get shut down.

You have practiced, very diligently, hiding your voice, because it's just too damn vulnerable to put yourself out there.

But there's a problem. You...

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Your writing isn't frivolous. It's soul work, and that's never useless.

Nov 28, 2019

Dear Writerly Woman,

Do you ever feel like you want to write, but when it comes down to it, all the other things you have to do are just way more important than taking the solo time to nourish your soul by writing? Do you ever ask what the point of all of this is, anyway?

I recently read Blue Horses by Mary Oliver. If you don't know, Mary Oliver is a Pulitzer Prize winning American poet, who writes about beauty, nature, and witnessing all the wonders of life.

Her work is hugely...

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6 Steps to Unlock the Courage to Write

Nov 21, 2019

Dear Writerly Woman,

You want to write, not just to get published or make money. You want to write because there is something in your soul that calls you to this craft.

However, putting yourself out there in the world in such a concrete way feels extra hard and scary, because your life has taught you that whenever you share the vulnerable parts of who you are, you get squashed by other people's critical or judgmental reactions.

So, you avoid...

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The Unintended Consequences of NOT Writing

Nov 02, 2019

Dear Writerly Woman,

The women I am here to help have truths inside of them they want to share through writing (whether that's fiction, non-fiction, blogging, social media posts, poetry, private journaling, or something else), but they struggle because they are afraid of being squashed by other people's criticism.

This fear is deep and comes from a very real place - the place where other people actually did squash you after you shared a vulnerable truth.

Maybe you submitted a piece of...

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A Halloween Writing Challenge

Oct 29, 2019

Dear Writerly Woman,

As Halloween approaches and the days grow ever darker, I've been drawn more and more to the magical side of myself.

This is the part of me that loves picking oracle cards, engaging in magical meditation, and doing cacao ceremonies.

A couple years ago I wrote a piece on Samhein, which is the Celtic pagan festival that happens on October 31.

I just re-read the piece and had to share it here (below). It's a sweet invitation to experience the magic of the thinning veil...

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Sad Days

Oct 26, 2019

Dear Writerly Woman,

I feel sad today, and I don't know what I'm sad about.

Does that ever happen to you?

Some days I wake up and sadness is flowing through me.

I hardly ever know what I'm sad about.

But here's what I do know.

I learned from Karla McLaren in The Art of Empathy that the gift of sadness is it helps you release what no longer serves you.

I also learned from Martha Beck in Steering By Starlight that there are two types of pain: clean pain and dirty pain.

Clean pain is when...

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Doing This Can Change Your Writing Life

Oct 23, 2019

Dear Writerly Woman,

Do you wonder if you'll ever write?

Like, you probably wrote stories or poetry when you were young, and you always thought you would write when you were older, but it just hasn't happened?

And maybe you're starting to think it will never happen?

I want you to know that I know this particular pain, or, rather, I know it as a sense of dried up, withered numbness.

That's how it was for me.

A few years back, when I had a Dull Gray Cubicle job and I wasn't doing any creative work at...

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