7 Tips for Writing a Killer College Essay

I can honestly say that I’ve never been a helicopter mom. I’ve never stayed up later than my kid to put a few “finishing touches” on her science project. I don’t schedule meetings with teachers or principals or send carefully worded “concerned” texts to mothers of my kids’ friends. I don’t have tracking devices on their phones.

For years I’ve been cool. I’ve been laid back. Except when one of my kids puts a piece of writing in front of me. Before I know what I’m doing, I’m reaching for a red pen. The itch to edit or tease something sublime from each sentence is simply too great to resist. I MUST put my mark on it.


10 Indispensable Writing Tips From Famous Authors

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
–Ernest Hemingway

“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
–E.L. Doctorow

And more….!


The Creative Kick in the Pants You Need (You’re Welcome)

On a recent drive to Michigan, I passed the time by listening to author Elizabeth Gilbert being interviewed on the podcast “On Being.” She was talking about the creative process and said the same words that I’ve read on the back cover of her new book, Big Magic:

“The work wants to be made, and it wants to be made through you.”

I admit, I teared up.


2 Reasons Writing About Joy is Such a Drag

Do you ever wonder why asking “How are you?” continues to be such a common greeting? It’s like opening a door to a shadowy room. You never know what will come out. You’ll learn about aches and pains, work stress, annoying family members, or sometimes just get slimed with general ennui.

And being the one asked is just as fraught. You want to be positive, but the urge to trot out your woes is so strong. Attentive ears can be hard to come by, and if you’re being honest….


The Dirty Little Secret About Being a Writer

I’m not proud of the fact that there are unwashed dishes in my sink, a pile of unfolded laundry on my bed, or a family of dust bunnies under my dresser. But I’m writing. And when my writing time increases, my usually high cleaning standards take a dramatic fall.

My dirty little secret is that, in order to write the way I want to, I have to allow myself to be a little slovenly. I have to accept that the blocks of time spent staring out the window, taking meandering walks, even dumping clean clothes on the bed, becoming distracted, and wandering away are part of my creative process.


Are Writers Addicted to Suffering? 4 Chicago Pros Say Yes, But…

My teenage son and I were watching the movie La La Land and the ending made him sad. It brought up memories of his first heartbreak, which happened in the not-so-distant past. I wished I could comfort him or tell him that someday those feelings will be transformed into painless memories.

But the truth is I don’t believe heartbreaks ever completely leave us.


How to Write 3 Weekly Blogs in Just 30 Minutes

Do you work with clients? If you’re a service provider, or healthcare practitioner, therapist, real estate agent, or anyone who works one-on-one with a variety of people, this blog is for you.

You have an opportunity to powerfully connect with your clients by simply sharing your interactions.

Maybe you have a weekly newsletter or a blog already up and running. You likely have a website and an email database. So how often are you communicating with your fans or followers or potential clients?


The Most Important Hallmark of a Good Writer

Sometimes, like it or not, you have to practice what you preach.

In a writing class I’m teaching, we talk about finding inspiration. My advice to anyone struggling to find a story is always to tune into what’s happening right here, right now, in front of you. I like to say that we don’t find the story, the story finds us.

So when the time came to face the blank page today and decide on a topic, I had to take a mental inventory of my week. How have I spent my time? What have I been thinking or talking about?

Then came the groan. Oh no….not that.


The Dirty Little Secret About Being a Writer

I’m not proud of the fact that there are unwashed dishes in my sink, a pile of unfolded laundry on my bed, or a family of dust bunnies under my dresser. But I’m writing. And when my writing time increases, my usually high cleaning standards take a dramatic fall.


3 Common Blogging Myths That Are Hurting You

You’ve learned a thing or two in this lifetime. Maybe you know the secret to making the perfect souffle. Or how to be a stepparent to kids who refuse to say your name. Or maybe you want people to know how prayer has changed your life. Whatever it is, there is some message that you feel called to share in a blog.