Color bar
Color bar

Octoer Newsletter of Personal Essay Writing
Vol. 16, No.10 October 2016
© 2016 Carol Celeste All Rights Reserved ISSN 2168-7854

Well Art

* Carol's Comments
* Memoir Quote
* "Honesty in Life-writing"
* Course Offerings
* Personal Essay Topic to Write About NOW
* "The Paths to Life-writing Adventure"
* Become a Licensee
* Therapeutic Writing Fact
* Markets
-/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/

          Follow writingtoheal on Twitter

While writing to heal and grow emphasizes the traumatic and unusual aspects of our lives, day-to-day activities also provide topics for reflection. Hopefully, difficulties don't come your way often but you still benefit from writing about any life experience, no matter how common it may seem to you. I've said it before and repeat it because it's evidence of how the mundane can teach us and readers lessons, and even entertain while doing so. Remember Erma Bombek and Dave Barry with their syndicated columns and books? They held on to popularity for many years writing about their daily experiences.

I can't promise you the kind of response with your published work that these personal humorists received, but your life is just as informative to others as theirs and helpful to you in sorting through the things that happen as you pass your days.

The articles in this issue may help you get started if you haven't yet decided what or how to write. The options for life-writing are numerous. One is sure to inspire you to give it a try, or perhaps venture into a different format than your current efforts.

The required element for growth and healing, as well as for satisfied readers is honesty. Learn why in the article on honesty.

When your writing is as good as you can make it, share your stories with the world. Find paying markets for your gems Paying Markets tab above.

Write to heal, write to grow, write to reflect,
Carol Celeste
-/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/
Memoir Quote:"We should all feel as if we're in over our heads when we write; that's how we know we're writing about something that really matters." Lee Martin of Project Empathy
-/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/
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:
* * * * *
* * * * *
* * * * *
* * * * *
-/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/
WTH,WTG writers say...

"Thank you for your helpful comments and the great course material."

"Promote it more! It's great! This course is my first online course, and I will definitely be taking more."

"Putting the painful things on paper and reading them over and over made me realize that they can no longer hurt me."

"I appreciate the editing that you did."
-/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/
ARTICLE - Honesty in Life-writing
Periodically, a best-selling memoir gains notoriety for not being truthful. Someone investigates the writer's past and discovers exaggerations or outright lies. Usually, the sensational parts of the book that made it the best-seller are the fabrications. Some readers don't mind because they still found it entertaining. Others get riled for being misled. They wanted truth and don't appreciate being deceived.

Whether you write for yourself or write for public exposure, honesty is the best policy for life-writing. There is an easy way to write the life you want without antagonizing anyone. Call it fiction,

Readers usually think that writers include their own experiences in fiction even when they claim it's not true. No amount of denial will convince some people that you made it all up. It's especially true when the setting is familiar to the writer, as in the case of lawyers writing about law, or journalists writing about journalism. But even when the writer has no connection to the topic of the story people like to believe the protagonist is the writer.

For life-writers the question is, how honest to be? The answer is different if you write for yourself than if you are writing for others to see. Expressive writing confers its health benefits when you are totally honest. That means including everything as well as presenting it truthfully. No one else will see these works so you hurt only yourself by holding back. It's hard to face some of the issues that need facing most, but that's how you benefit from the writing exercise.

When you expect others to see your work, always consider the consequences, and there will be some. If anything seems likely to cause strained relationships, or perhaps jail time for you, extricate it promptly unless you are prepared to accept the results.

Let it all out for yourself, but use caution when you plan to share your experiences. And don't give in to the the temptation to fudge. Don't make notoriety your goal even if it sells.
-/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/
Looking for something to write about? Here's a topic to inspire your inner self to emerge.

Write about something that makes you smile and consider what it does for your spirit.
-/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/
ARTICLE - The Paths to Life-writing Adventure
Our lives cover a lot of territory and so do the forms in which we write about them. What we hope to accomplish from our wiritng determines the form we choose. Although Writing to Heal, Writing to Grow deals primarily with personal essay, many other formats exist for expressisng our lives. Here are some of the main ways we choose to record our life experiences and the ways in which they differ.

The first experience most of us have with personal chronicles is probably the diary. At least for girls. Some boys admit to keeping diaries but most don't.

The next step up is the journal. The main difference between diaries and journals is the depth of content. While both may list activities and thoughts about people and events, people do more of the latter in journals. It may be a matter of maturity. Journals are associated with older writers who deal with deeper thoughts and feelings about the people in their lives and their own actions. What both have most in common is the privacy issue. Diaries and journals are not often intended to be read by anyone other than the writer. They may forn the basis for a book or essay after editing, but the original items are not meant for others to see.

Personal essay focuses on a narrow theme and usually has the goal of publication, or at least sharing. The key, of course, is to be honest with yourself and your readers. When publication is the goal, a universal application for a lesson you learned is expected.

Memoir is a book length work modeled as a long personal essay. It sticks to a theme and covers personal experience in that field.

Autobiography differs from memoir by dealing with a complete life, often in chronological order, while memoir may deal with the length of a life but only the parts that apply to the theme.

Within the essay category, several styles may be employed. Personal drama usually narrates a traumatic event with hyperbole. It's goal is to entertain or stimulate emotion in readers (or viewers—TV dramas often employ this technique) rather than provide a universal lesson.

A rant is just what it sounds like. No lessons or compassion here, just emotional complaining about whatever irritates you. These can cause trouble for the writer and I advise against sharing rants with anyone.

Oped essays use personal experience to promote an issue or cause. Online posters may employ this style.

A rarer form of essay is the lyrical essay, a combination of poetic devices to relate a theme. With so many choices, you are bound to find one comfortable for you. Life-writing is an adventure with an unknown destination. Get started on yours today. -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/
Looking for extra income while you help people? Writing to Heal, Writing to Grow licenses let you set your own hours as a workshop facilitator. All instructions provided. Individuals, facilities and associations may lead these easy-to-conduct therapeutic writing workshops.

Individuals, facilities and associations may license and conduct these easy-to-lead therapeutic writing and discussion programs:

* Writing for Wellness - Why wait until a specific condition strikes to write to heal? Writing helps maintain good health. This four-week expressive writing and discussion course is designed to help adults maintain good health by: reducing stress levels, improving immune system function, working through negative emotional issues, and increasing working memory. Clinical studies indicate that those who are coached in expressive writing show the greatest improvement in stress levels and memory function. Learn more at: Wellness.
* Writing About Cancer - promotes healing and growth for patients and survivors. Visit Cancer to learn more.
* Writing for Personal Caregivers - contributes to stress reduction and coping. Visit Caregivers to learn more.
* Writing for Health Care Professionals - may be eligible for CEUs in your area. Visit Care Professionals to learn more.

You do not need to have special education to be a successful facilitator. What you do need is compassion for people, a desire to help others face their demons and heal, and the ability to talk to others in a group setting and market the workshops. All courses promote personal healing and/or growth. Each license comes with lecture material, a step-by-step facilitator guide, handouts and an evaluation survey. Begin your new career helping others. Email Licensing for details.
-/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/
Therapeutic Writing Fact
From:Lifehacker, India post, Aug 11, 2016: 'Why You Should Make Writing An Everyday Habit," by Suchayan Mandal. Synopsis:
Therapy "Expressive writing has also been linked to improved mood, well-being, and reduced stress levels for those who do it regularly."
Positivity "A survey found that subjects who reflected on the good things in their life once a week by writing them down were more positive and motivated about their current situations and their futures."
Stress relief [In one test] "The engineers who wrote down their thoughts and feelings about losing their jobs reported feeling less anger and hostility toward their former employer. They also reported drinking less."
-/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/
Contact the source listed for details and to request guidelines. An extensive list of paying markets for personal essays appears at Markets. Writing to Heal,Writing to Grow does not screen or endorse these listings. Submit at your own risk and always check guidelines first. Good luck! If a link doesn't work search for the title.
* * * *
Velalobe Magazine Second Annual Nonfiction Contest is open to personal essays and memoir up to 6,000 words. Winner receives $1,000 and publication. Fee $20 per submission, Deadline Nov. 1. Check Velalobe Magazine for contest details. All contest submissions considered for publication in the magazine which is open to non-contest submissions of 3,000 to 6,000 words. Prints only work by women although it's not exclusively a women’s magazine. Pay offered but amount not mentioned. Check Velalobe Magazine

The Expeditioner takes first-person narratives from 1,200 words and up that inform and inspire future travelers. Pays $30. Learn more and find samples at The Expeditioner.

Overnight Buses Travel Magazine licenses travel essays and personal narratives of adventures in far-off places that changed you in ways you didn't expect. Wants at least 2,000 words, 4,000 preferred. Photos appreciated but not required. Pay promised but amounts not stated. Asks for digital rights only. Find license agreement and learn more about the magazine at Overnight Buses Travel Magazine.

Share personal essay markets you know about. Email them to and I'll add them to the website list.
-/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/
To receive the newsletter by email, subscribe at and type Subscribe in the Subject box. Your email address will not be sold or distributed to others without your advance permission. Thank you for reading. To unsubscribe put unsubscribe in the Subject box.