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Two Ways to Handle Rejection for Writers

In 1978, I was a high school senior and an exchange student living in Knutsford England, and I wrote a personal essay for my hometown paper about my study abroad experience.

My first byline!

But it wasn’t until the Southampton Writers Conference in 2013, when I took the plunge and applied for Mary Karr’s memoir workshop that I finally—publicly—declared “I’m a writer.”

It took me 35 years after that first byline to COME OUT as a writer.

They don't call me a late-in-lifer for nothing!

When I soaked in Mary Karr’s wisdom as I sat around the table with 12 other writers, many of whom were much more accomplished than me, I realized how much I didn’t know AND I knew that I was in the right place.

The learning curve would be steep and I would get there someday. And someday has happened.

My coming out later-in-life memoir GRAVEYARD OF SAFE CHOICES will be published in Fall 2023.

More details to come! 

Now that I work with...

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What Following Your Writing Dream Looks Like

 

In my early forties, I began noticing an almost supernatural glow on the faces of certain friends when they talked about a new project or work they felt passionate about. Work where their gifts and the needs of the world were aligned.

Truth be told, I envied them—I wanted to glow too.

I had left a toxic work environment as a corporate lawyer in my late twenties, and between birthing and raising two sons I'd been searching for the right fit career path.

After my kids left for college, I finally found that path.

I put a stake in the ground and claimed my call as a writer. I set aside time to write. Went to writers conferences. Joined a writing group. Hired a book coach—and later trained to become one myself.

I finished one manuscript and started another.

And in the process, my life changed, in more ways than one.

Nearly a decade after saying "I am a writer"—something I had known my whole life but had been afraid to say out loud—I...

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Celebrate the Milestones in Your Memoir Journey

My heart nearly stopped when I read the subject line of the email:

Readers Reports: Graveyard of Safe Choices

The email from the university press I'd been waiting for all summer was finally here.

Catch up on the previous steps in my publication journey here.

I scanned the email:

Happy news.

Both readers recommend publication.

I put my head in my hands and started to cry. 

After 4+ years and I don't know how many drafts, it looks like my memoir has found a home.

It's not a done deal yet—there's still a couple of approvals left to go and one more semi-substantial revision to address the very helpful comments from the peer reviewers—but I think this thing is going to happen.

I'll shout it from the rooftops once I have a publication date—but I'm not going to wait to celebrate.

This is a big f**ing milestone!

Because there were days—many days—that I wanted to give up.

When I thought no one would care about my story.

When It felt too hard to revisit...

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