Blog2019-04-08T16:04:03-06:00

Writing Matters

A blog for nonfiction book authors

Recent Posts

What Our Keyboards Teach Us

The last two weeks I’ve been avoiding my piano, and two nights ago, after a particularly frustrating night of practice, I realized why.

Whenever I’d sit down to play—or, more accurately, clonk my way through the beginner’s book—I’d find myself confronting patterns of behavior that have plagued me my entire life.

I […]

Why Finding Your Passion Is Such Terrible Advice

Prepare for a hard truth: We’re pretty bad at most things when we first try them.

This article, published in the New York Times Smarter Living newsletter, holds important lessons for memoirists and other nonfiction book authors. Namely, that writing—even if you’re passionately drawn to it, takes a lot of work, […]

Write Your Story, Change Your Life*

One morning in mid-August a few years ago, I stood in my small condo in Denver paralyzed by fear and inertia. My beloved older sister had died of cancer ten months earlier, my mother died two months after that, and my father decided that very morning he didn’t want to […]

Yes, Yes, Hell No! How to Know You’re On the Right Writing Path

A few weeks ago, I was nearing the end of a daylong intensive with a client who’d come to me for help mapping out a nonfiction book. When the day began, she spoke of wanting to write a book about leadership—something that might gather together years of insight she’d gained […]

What Teaching Writing Has Taught Me About the Human Condition

I’ve taught writing for years, primarily to adults who yearn to tell stories about personal experience. I’ve worked with doctors and lawyers, comedians and chronic liars, entrepreneurs and private eyes, and not one but two strippers—both of whom also happened to be English teachers.

Sitting at a glossy mahogany dining table […]