Color bar
Color bar

September Newsletter of Personal Essay Writing
Vol. 18, No. 9 September 2018
© 2018 Carol Celeste All Rights Reserved ISSN 2168-7854

* Carol's Comments
* Memoir Quote
* "The Power of Life-writing"
* Course Offerings
* Personal Essay Topic to Write About NOW
* "What is the Best Form for Your Story?"
* Become a Licensee
* Therapeutic Writing Fact
* Markets
-/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/

          Follow writingtoheal on Twitter

Every day we make new material for life-writing projects so we have no reason not to write our personal stories except lack of interest. One of the many benefits of sharing our lives in written words is getting to know ourselves. How can you not be interested in yourself?

Maybe that sounds selfish, but it isn't, really. Think of sharing your experiences as helping others understand themselves and untangle the snags in their lives. We are all unique, true, but what happens to us, how we handle those moments, serve as examples that often apply to situations different from the ones we share. Readers don't need to experience the exact same life event that we do in the same way we do, in order to benefit from the lessons we share. So if you’ve been hesitant, or downright opposed, to putting your life in writing, reconsider. You may not know who you help among your readers but you can be sure that someone who reads your work will find it a blessing. And you will gain a strong sense of helping yourself. I would love to get to know you and learn from your life experiences. I know others would, too. Do us all a favor and start a new life-writing project today.

If you still aren't convinced, read the article below on writing power or motivation. And to find the right format for your particular story we continue the topic of format in the second article.

Be sure to check out the paying markets for your gems at

Write to heal, write to grow, write to reflect,
Carol Celeste
-/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/
Memoir Quote: "I think writers of memoirs need to be respected for the bold decision they take to bare their lives open. That alone should be enough." Andrea Hirata, Indonesian author
-/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/
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...

"You have given me so much information, this course is very informative."
"I appreciate your comments and suggestions and lessons. I plan on taking more courses with you."
"Thank you for your guidance without ridicule. That has meant a lot to me.” "I have gained confidence in my personal writings from the feedback in this course."
-/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/
ARTICLE - "The Power Of Personal Writing"
Personal writing permeates literature. Even the most memorable fiction conveys personal experience and feelings. Life-writing focuses on the exploration and discovery of our inner selves as we strive to connect to humanity, to resolve nagging doubts and irritations, and to cope with and overcome traumas.

Life-story writing shares our deepest feelings with others, forming a mutual connection with all people. It helps us recognize the truth of our actions and correct what we don't like. What is more powerful than that?

The human connection gives personal essay writing the power to convert others to our view, inspire others to be courageous, entertain by pointing out human idiosyncrasies with humor, inform about things readers need to know, to help us heal and grow.

Op-ed articles want to persuade others to a point of view. How-to articles inform readers about how and why to attempt a particular task. Literary fiction intends to connect readers to the characters and sometimes to prove a point or explain a common human behavior. Memoirs try to make sense of the memoirist's life. All represent different types of writing with different readerships. All reach their goals by presenting readers with one or more universal truths learned through the writer’s personal experience that can be applied to other lives. Sharing our humanity with others gives writing power. Surely that's what Bulwer-Lytton meant when he wrote "the pen is mightier than the sword."

Honesty and depth of human connection form the basis for good writing. Start with a solid foundation of personal writing and all your works will improve. But expressing what we think and feel in an honest, coherent way does not come naturally to most of us.

The techniques and practices taught at Writing to Heal, Writing to Grow, form the basis for other forms of writing. As with any discipline, good, then great, performance results from mastering the basics. Sharing, connecting and reaching others occurs most effectively through personal essays, creating a foundation that serves all your writing efforts well-and gives power to the pen.
-/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/
Looking for something to write about? Here's a topic to inspire your inner self to emerge.

Write about your most cherished object. How would you feel if you lost it?
-/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/
ARTICLE - "What's the Best Form for Your Story?"
In the last issue we explored the writing of memoir. This time we'll look at autobiography. The terms sound alike but are not the same. When writing a biography, the story of another person’s life, you know you will face a lot of research. Since you know yourself, or think you do, you may expect an autobiography to come together much faster. Don't count on it.

With memoir you cover a specific part of life so content is limited to that area. However, since autobiography covers your entire life it may require considerable research. For instance, you probably don't remember much about your birth or early life and readers expect to learn about it. You will need input from parents and older relatives to learn about it yourself.

There may be times or incidents that you don't recall clearly or at all and will need to look through records such as calendars, photos, school reports, journals, to relate the dates and details accurately. Just locating those things can take time in addition to reviewing them. Add to that the fact that coming across information about things you've forgotten tends to trigger additonal memories, and you will put in much more time than you anticipated.

Be prepared for a major project, no matter how well you think you know yourself. Getting to know ourselves while sharing ourselves with others is one of the benefits of life-writing. Don't be put off by the amount of work involved, but do recognize the probability. If you expect a quick project, you may decide to give up when it turns out to take more time than expected. Please keep at it. You will avoid frustration, or as much frustration, if you allow more time than you think or want it to take.

One thing all forms of life-writing have in common is their therapeutic value. And perhaps the most critical similarity is the practice of expressing your feelings and thoughts about what has happened in your life. That interests readers more than reciting facts.

The main differences between long and short life-writings are the scope of content covered and research time resulting from that volume of content. All types of life-writing lead to greater self-knowledge. Remind yourself when you encounter tough patches and you will appreciate the effort and results, for you and for your readers.
-/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/
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: The Observer, 28 July 2002 by Jim Pollard based on The Therapeutic Potential of Creative Writing by Gillie Bolton. "It has helped groups as diverse as Vietnam veterans, psychiatric prisoners and sex offenders to deal with personal trauma. It has helped ease the symptoms in specific illnesses, such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. It has been shown to boost the immune system....There are no side-effects and it is available to anyone of any age, pretty much anywhere, over the counter.... It's cheaper than any drug - the cost of a pen and paper."
-/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/ -/

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.
* * * *
Gabriele Rico Challenge - Creative Nonfiction has a deadline of November 1. Fee $20. . Considers creative writing of personal essays or narratives, no scholarly works. Open theme, stand-alone essays, not excerpts. Word max 5,000. Prize $1,333. Non-winners eligible for publication. Find details at Gabriele Rico Challenge.

The Furious GazelleHalloween Writing Contest closes October 1. No fee but if you send $5 you’ll get feedback, a great opportunity for new writers. Word max total 5,000 but that can be divided among up to five (5) entries. Learn more at The Furious Gazelle.

Equestrian Voices Creative Writing Contest sponsored by The Plaid Horse magazine offers $1,000 prize to the winner on the theme of the connection between horses and humans. Deadline October 15.Under 5,000 words dealing with the equestrian experience. Must involve horses in some way. Get submission info and more details at The Plaid Horse. All entries considered for publication.

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.