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October Newsletter of Personal Essay Writing
Vol. 17, No. 10 October 2017
© 2017 Carol Celeste All Rights Reserved ISSN 2168-7854

Well Art

* Carol's Comments
* Memoir Quote
* "From Journal to Essay"
* Course Offerings
* Personal Essay Topic to Write About NOW
* "Write away Your Worries?"
* Become a Licensee
* Therapeutic Writing Fact
* Markets
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Most of us have times when a busy schedule is invaded by unexpected tasks that carry firm deadlines. That forces us to do some deadline swapping since we can't do it all at once. You may have guessed where this is leading. I try to distribute The Writing Well on the first of each month, but for the scary month of October it's a little late. You will still find paying markets with no deadline or one that leaves time to meet.

When unexpected tasks appear with firm deadlines, something has to give. Often those situations give us more than the usual worries. Many people worry some of the time, some people worry most of the time. If you are a chronic worrier the Therapeutic Fact column and the page three article in this issue provide solutions. Study findings about expressive writing and worry reveal resources for dealing with that mind-blocking, productivity-draining habit and you can read about them here.

If you have considered doing something with your journal writings, the page two article suggests ways to incorporate those entries into your personal essays. Or maybe you're thinking of compiling a collection for publication. What you think and feel on a daily basis offers an insight into your inner self over time as well as material for new work. Keep filling those journal pages and see what benefits result.

Share your stories with the world. Find paying markets for your at
Write to heal, write to grow, write to reflect,
Carol Celeste
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Memoir Quote: "It [life-writing] seems to me a productive personal endeavor…to see where you began and where you have got to." Penelope Lively, author Dancing Fish and Ammonites: A Memoir
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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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WTH,WTG writers say...

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

"Oh, the feedback has been the best part. I'm looking forward to signing up for the next course."

"I am loving the has inspired me to write again after a very long hiatus."

"This course has reinforced my belief that writing is a true form of medicine."
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ARTICLE - "From Journal to Essay"
Writing is a good memory jog and so is rewriting. In fact, if publication is your goal, rewriting is the meat in your life stew. Repetition reminds us of the things we include in our personal stories and even in the lists we make. Transcribing our journal jottings reminds us of forgotten events and serves as a catalyst to bring forgotten moments to mind. Since journals deal with personal experience, feelings and attitudes, they make an ideal source for personal essay topics.

Before you can benefit from transcribing entries, you have to write them. Once you have a collection of daily records (journal refers to daily but any time period serves the same purpose), here are some ways in which transcribing journals, both recent entries and those from decades ago, can enrich the writing you do today.

• Memory Recall. Our minds archive memories leaving room in our consciousness for things of immediate use. Reviewing records of times past brings them out of the attic for potential use in a current work.

• Essay Ideas. In the act of transcribing we may stumble on a forgotten life event that yields a topic for an essay or other work or that will enhance a work in progress.

• Useable Phrases. Our jottings may hold word or concept treasures worthy of use in our public work.

• Revealing Details. We don't remember everything about an incident, even a major one, but what we wrote about it as it happened can provide details that give writing texture and bring readers into the scene.

• Concentration Transcribing requires focus on the words before us. It helps us retain the information we copy and makes it more available for future use.

• Self-knowledge Focus on life experiences and reactions leads to personal improvement and becoming more likeable, to others and ourselves.

Transcribing records of our life events uncovers the buried treasures of our lives and provides material for collections of personal essays. What buried treasures lurk in your journals?

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Looking for something to write about? Here's a topic to inspire your inner self to emerge.

What is your greatest worry at this time? How does it impact your life?
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ARTICLE - "Write Away Your Worries?"
Writing has been studied as a healing tool so many times I'm not sure anyone can supply an accurate figure. But one thing can be attributed to writing—healing power. Just about any physical malady you can think of has been tested in clinical trials or professionally supervised studies with real people battling those maladies with the goal of judging the effectiveness of writing on improving health. Emotional conditions have also been studied far and wide. These studies show improved results among most participants and in spite of repeated good outcomes, more studies appear. Often a "new" study deals with an already much-studied condition. Cancer surely tops the list of conditions undergoing writing scrutiny. There are many types of cancer so there are many types studied. Researchers continue to be enamored with writing as a therapeutic tool and continue to find untapped areas to explore.

It's no wonder the therapeutic value of writing attracts researchers. In the lay world people frequently tout some writing project as turning out to be therapeutic, even though the purpose of the project was something else. Chances are you have read blogs or articles by regular people, or heard interviews with celebrities, in which they claim they found writing a song, or letter, or journal account to be therapeutic when all they intended to do was make money or record thoughts. Often they seem surprised by that discovery.

James Pennebaker in the 1980s. That initial study and many that followed, showed good results from expressive writing in many areas but none revealed why it works. It has long been thought that such writing improves the immune systemwhich led to a new field of study called "psychoneuroimmunology." Recently, a group of researchers at Michigan State University searched for the answer to why. The study was funded by the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health and it provides the first neural evidence of the benefits of expressive writing. Here’s what the study of identified chronic worriers revealed.

Worrying takes up cognitive resources, which the popular multitasking practice requires. By ridding the brain of worries, you enable it to focus on the task at hand. Worriers burn out due to the extra work their brains put into worrying which makes them work harder and hotter. Expressive writing frees the mind of worries so we can work with a cooler head.

The next time you feel your brain sizzling toward short out, take an expressive writing break. Better yet, make it a daily habit to spend time writing away your worries and avoid reaching the sizzle stage.
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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.
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Therapeutic Writing Fact
From: Schroder HS, Moran TP, Moser JS. "The effect of expressive writing on the error-related negativity among individuals with chronic worry." Psychophysiology. 2017;00:1–11. The current study used a tailored intervention—expressive writing—in an attempt to reduce the ERN (error-related negativity) among a sample of individuals with chronic worry. Consistent with hypotheses, the ERN was reduced in the expressive writing group compared to an unrelated writing control group. Expressive writing may serve to 'offload' worries from working memory, therefore relieving the distracting effects of worry on cognition as reflected in a decreased ERN."
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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.
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Family Narrative Project seeks entries on the theme of family for its 2017 essay contest. Open to essays that reflect the full range of family life. Word limit: 1,000 max. Prize $500 for winner plus an interview with the author that will be featured on the website. Deadline October 31, entry fee $10. . Be sure to read the guidelines and note that all entrants, not just the winner, cede unlimited rights to Learn more at Family Narrative Project.

The Christian Science Monitor, The Home Forum section, takes 400 - 800 word first-person, nonfiction explorations of how you responded to a place, a person, a situation, an event, or happenings in everyday life. Likes variety but NO death, aging or disease, please. Pay not mentioned but it will come. Find the details you need with examples at CSM.

Overnight Buses Travel Magazine takes personal narratives of your adventures in far-off places that changed you in ways you didn't expect, true stories that make you think. Likes in-depth articles, 2,000 words MINIMUM, 4,000 preferred. Pays for work, amount not noted, photos earn more. Learn more at Overnight Buses.

Chicken Soup has an ongoing list of topics in progress. Deadline for Christmas and Holiday Collecton (2018) is October 31, and for Love Stories is November 30. Find submission facts at Chicken Soup. Submissions online only.

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