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July Newsletter of Personal Essay Writing
Vol. 20, No. 7 July 2020
© 2020 Carol Celeste All Rights Reserved ISSN 2168-7854

* Carol's Comments
*Therapeutic Writing Fact
* Writing Quote
*"This is the Year That Wasn’t"
* Course Offerings
*Personal Essay Topic to Write About NOW
* Markets
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I hope you and all those you love have escaped the vicious virus. The numbing numbers make it seem as though everyone has it, although I don't personally know of any one afflicted, so far. With or without it, COVID-19 impacts everyone.

Most of all, it threatens the healthcare workers who deal with virus patients daily. The therapeutic fact noted here shows how expressive writing can help nurses, and others, who deal with stress and trauma. Healthcare workers not only worry about themselves, they worry about taking home germs and impacting their families.

This year that feels like it's standing still is actually moving along at a rapid pace. I address that contradiction in the article below. To me, this feels like the year that wasn't. Does it strike you that way?

If the second half of the year passes as quickly as the first did, we better get busy with safe alternative ways to accomplish the things we are missing out on. Many people earn a living while helping those with special needs at this time. Whether it's a big project, like making masks, or an easier effort, like calling people who may be alone and feeling abandoned, we can spend our time fruitfully while staying safe and protecting others.

Please wear a mask in public, keep a good distance from others and wash those hands. And still make time to...
Write to heal, write to grow, write to reflect.
Carol Celeste
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Therapeutic Writing Fact
From:Progress in Palliative Care, Volume 17, Number 6, December 2009 by Janel Sexton, "Care for the caregiver: benefits of expressive writing for nurses in the United States." "Expressive writing is a time-efficient and easy-to-use intervention to help nurses cope with job upheavals in an effort to reduce job distress, turnover and, ultimately, improve the work environment and patient outcomes. Expressive writing has been widely used and is well validated in many non-nursing populations in helping people cope more effectively with job-related stress and traumatic events."
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Writing Quote"You may be the world's best expert on your life, but through this process [life writing] you'll learn a great deal about yourself, too." Ralph Fletcher, author, How to Write Your Life Story
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All courses are conducted by email and begin every Friday. Compare the prices to other online personal essay courses and you'll realize the value offered. Meidabistro=$499, Gotham Writers Workshop=$395,$295 and up, Truby's=$449 to name a few. Don't wait another day. To register now or order a course as a gift visit Writing Courses.
These courses are now offered:
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ARTICLE - "This is the Year That Wasn't"
Half the year is behind us. It always startles me to realize that another week has passed. In spite of the flurry of activity going on in the greater world, it seems as if nothing is happening so I have titled this year the year that wasn't.

Some people are working in essential areas or are able to work at home. But so many are not working, children are not in school, activities have vanished and yet the clock advances with our planned projects unrealized. Many have found new ways to keep busy and serve the needs of others. But we don't all have that fortune.

As lack of normalcy drags on, we are experiencing effects we may not recognize until they reach a significant degree. One of those effects touches our mental state. It's hard to be away from people, to hear the same dismal statistics all day, every day, to focus on our smaller world. It keeps us inside ourselves. But there is a way we can use this inner focus to improve our attitudes and general health—of course I refer to writing life stories.

There are two approaches to this. The obvious is to express our thoughts and feelings about the virus and what it;s doing to each of us individually and to society as a whole. If you or someone you know has Covid-19 it helps to release your worries in words. But even if you don't, it helps to express how you feel about the way it affects you. Everyone's life is touched by this pandemic in some way. Generally, people don't like change and forced change can crush our spirit.

Alternatively, instead of focusing on the present, you can write about life events having nothing to do with any virus and take your mind out of yourself for a while, putting it in a place you aren't in now.

If you choose the virus route, touch on your fears or lack of, adherence to the restrictions by you or others, failure to follow safe practices, or improvements you find resulting from isolation. If you go to the past, address the difficult times and the good times. Work out your life in words to strengthen your immune system and relieve any mental anguish you may feel.
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Looking for something to write about? Here's a topic to inspire your inner self to emerge.
Write about your feelings in this pandemic age.
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We all have pandemic stories. If you want to share yours, here are some publications looking for pandemic stories for you to check.

Non-Fiction Writing Contestfrom FanStory, pays $100 to the winner and all submissions receive feedback. Looking for personal essays and memoirs (and more). Preferred length 2,000 to 3,500 words, with a 7,000 word max. Topic can be spiritual, political, serious, funny, intellectual or emotional. Lots of leeway. Deadline September 5th. Find more information and submit your story at
Non-Fiction Contest.

Share personal essay markets you know about. Email them to and I'll add them to the website list.
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