What I Love About Teaching

I was interviewed by Jenn Louden for her Teach Now program about my teaching philosophy. In preparing for that interview, I sat down and made a list of all the things I’ve learned about teaching; step-by-step, what I do to create an inspirational learning environment for my students. This is what I do and why I do it:

  • Teach in groups. Although I do work with writers individually, my strong preference is to teach in a group environment—whether it be a weekly class, a weekend workshop, or a weeklong retreat. The synergy and power of a circle of writers creates a ... [Continue Reading]

What I Really Know

"Becoming a writer is about becoming conscious. When you're conscious and writing from a place of insight and simplicity and real caring about the truth, you have the ability to throw the lights on for your reader. He or she will recognize his or her life and truth in what you say, in the pictures you have painted, and this decreases the terrible sense of isolation that we have all had too much of."

Anne Lamott

Tell me what you really know, what you really, really know. What can you write about with complete authority—even if it’s how to change a diaper or a tire; or how to listen to a friend. Make a list of things you really know how to do. ... [Continue Reading]

Family Stories

“This packrat has learned that what the next generation will value most is not what we owned but the evidence of who we were and the tales of how we loved. In the end, it's the family stories that are worth the storage.”

--Ellen Goodman

Make a list of family stories you want to tell. Even the list itself turn into a poem about your family's history. Keep adding to this list over time. Then start writing. Feel free to share your list with us, here on the Writer's Journey Roadmap blog. Or a story...

... [Continue Reading]

Rolling in Ecstasy

You need not do anything

Remain sitting at your table and listen

You need not even listen, just wait

You need not even wait

Just become quiet and still and solitary

and the world will offer itself to you to be unmasked

It has no choice

It will roll in ecstasy at your feet

It has no choice.

--Franz Kafka

Tell me about a time you gave up and stopped trying to make things happen. What happened then?

Tell me about a time you gave up and stopped ... [Continue Reading]

The Questions I’m Living With

“It is a relief to know that I can hold a question and not be looking for answers. I can just hold the question, caress it, carry it, tuck it under my arm, slip it in my backpack, stick it inside my pillowcase, sleep on it, let it go, play table tennis with it, cook it for dinner, eat it sprinkled on my soup or salad, blend it in a smoothie, cream it between my toes, splash it behind my ears, stick it in my bathing cap, take it with me to the pool, stick it in the children’s bedtime stories, pet Tyson with it, send it off to be recycled, love it, hate it, ignore it, discard it, cherish it, let it whisper, let it roar. It is there in my life no matter what I do and I don’t have to DO anything about it. There is no rush, no hurry, no train to catch, no last ... [Continue Reading]