Surviving The Waiting Game

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These days, so much of my life revolves around waiting. I spend hours, sometimes days, working on an essay, query, or cover letter before I send it out, excited and hopeful and scared all at the same time. I watch my inbox, eagerly awaiting some kind of response. Days go by, sometimes weeks, sometimes months. I want to hear something, some kind of news about whether my essay will be published, an agent wants to Continue Reading

My Only New Year’s Resolution

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2014 was a tough year. It was a year of loss for myself and many of my loved ones. It was the year that many celebrities we admired passed away. It was a year of cultural unrest, protests, and senseless tragedies. Thinking of all of this has gotten me down. Depressed. Especially since I've just reached a turning point in my own life: my graduation from graduate school. Being done with my MFA means that I no longer Continue Reading

Give the Gift of Memoir

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The holidays are upon us, which means that it's time to scramble to figure out what to get your loved ones for their celebration of choice. Here are five fantastic memoirs/essay collections that would make a thoughtful gift for someone who loves to read. All of these have come out in the past year or so and should be easy to find online or in your local bookstore.   The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer An Continue Reading

What NaNoWriMo Has Taught Me About the Writing Process

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Confession time: I've attempted to win National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) four times, and I've only met the 50,000 word goal once. The first year, I was still feeling NaNo out. About two weeks in, I got stuck on my project and decided not to finish it, or NaNo. The second year was the one that I won. The third year, I was busy with grad school and used it to get a little writing done on my memoir, but Continue Reading

How to be a NaNoWriMo Rebel

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November marks the beginning of another National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo). This is my fourth year taking up the challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days along with thousands of other writers around the world. But this year, I’m doing something a little different. I’m being a NaNo rebel. A NaNo rebel is someone who doesn’t follow the NaNoWriMo guidelines in some way. Whether it’s continuing a work in Continue Reading

Is There a Link Between Mental Illness and Creativity?

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Last week, I was invited to do an interview with Kerry K for her blog. Kerry asked me some interesting questions about the connection between artistic talent and mental illness. Brainpickings recently posted an article about Nancy Andreasen's The Creating Brain, in which Andreasen discusses her findings around the occurrence of mental illness in creative people. There have also been numerous studies Continue Reading

5 Awesome Sites to Help You Query Your Book

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I'm in the midst of querying a memoir about my experiences with anxiety disorder and depression as a young adult. It's been a bit of a whirlwind so far with tons of time spent on research and query letter writing. Since weeding through the the immense amount of information online can be overwhelming, I wanted to share a few resources that I've found to be immensely helpful during this process: 1. Chuck Continue Reading

Memoir 101: Finding Your Story (Starts October 1st)

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I'm excited to announce that I'll be teaching a four-week memoir writing course for Antioch University, Los Angeles' new online writing program, Inspiration to Publication! Have you considered writing a memoir but aren't sure where to start? Or, have you already tried to put something together but find yourself struggling to organize your story? This course will help you get a jump start on your project. Continue Reading

10 Must-Read Memoirs About Mental Illness, Addiction, and Disorders

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Memoirs give us the unique ability to enter the mind and experiences of someone suffering from a mental illness, addiction, or disorder. To truly be immersed in someone's story is invaluable and necessary in understanding what they're going through. Here are my top 10, must-read memoirs that deal with these struggles. 1. Loud in the House of Myself by Stacy Pershall A captivating and unflinchingly honest memoir Continue Reading

Robin Williams and The Never-Ending Battle Against Depression

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Hearing the news of Robin William's apparent suicide hit me the way I'm sure it hit many others who have suffered, or still suffer, from depression. It made me think about my own moments of darkness and hopelessness when I seriously considered taking the pills or slashing open my wrists to make it all end. I've spent the past five years writing a book about such moments, so I'm still glued into them like they Continue Reading