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September Newsletter of Personal Essay Writing
Vol. 14, No. 9 September 2014 © 2014 Carol Celeste All Rights Reserved ISSN 2168-7854

Well Art

* Carol's Comments
* Memoir Quote
* Article - "To Write or to Talk"
* Course Offerings
* Personal Essay Topic to Write About NOW
* Become a Licensee
* Therapeutic Writing Fact
* Book Review
* Markets
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When Labor Day comes around every year, people comment on the name. It sounds like a day set aside for labor rather than from labor. And many people do have to work on this holiday dubbed as the end of summer. If you are a writer, chances are you are constantly working on a manuscript even when you aren't at a keyboard. Our work swirls in our minds no matter what other thing we are supposed to focus on at any moment.

Words comprise our communication and some of us love words so much we use as many as we can fit in the allotted space. But what pleases writers may turn reading our work into an obstacle course for readers. This is truer than ever in a time of reduced attention span and busy lives. Busy doesn't necessarily mean productive, but it does mean occupied. To keep reade' attention and make our point, it behooves us to write short. That does not mean vowel-less collections of letters as the book reviewed in this issue tells us. How to Write Short shows how to create writing that flows and provides a pleasing reader experience making efficient use of words.

Humans tend to talk through their problems with others, hence the popularity of therapy, but sometimes that turns out badly. The article deals with the benefits of writing over talking about the things that bother us. When writing for ourselves only, the important thing is to get it all out with no regard for rules. Learn why writing tops talking out traumas in the article below.

Look for paying markets for your work by clicking on on the Paying Markets menu tab.

Write to heal, write to grow, write to reflect,
Carol Celeste
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Memoir Quote: "When reconstructing true accounts of old events, it's good to ask questions. All of our memories are in there somewhere, just waiting to be accessed." Tom Robbins, author Tibetan Peach Pie
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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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WRITING TO SELL Writing to Sell.
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WTH,WTG writers say...

"Each week I was impressed with the quality (level/depth/insight) of critique that I received."

"Thank you so much for encouraging me and for making me accountable to a deadline."

"It [the course] helped me to delve into personal issues that have been stumbling blocks for me and to examine them from a fresh perspective."

"I was able to express my emotions from the safe cocoon of my home."
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ARTICLE - To Write or to Talk?
Hair stylists, bar tenders and coffee klatches prove that most people like to talk. Talking through our problems has long been advised for improved mental health.

Therapists operate on the premise that the human response to trauma is to talk about difficulties. To inhibit this natural action causes psychological and even physical harm. Many studies suggest that holding in anxious feelings leads to illness and social isolation.

But talking to others isn't the only effective way to deal with difficult life event. Research suggests that talking may not be the best way in some cases. Shared venting requires two elements that sometimes conflict: honesty and revealing our thoughts and feelings to someone else. When we talk to others, we have an inner voice warning us that our relationship may be changed forever if we reveal our whole story. This may be why therapists do so well. The anonymity of sharing with someone who is not part of our social network means we don’t have to fear being honest as much as we do with people we hang around with.

Even more anonymous than talking, is the act of writing about our life. Evidence shows that writing provides the same results. Shy or private people especially benefit from writing because they don't have to admit things they are ashamed of, or worry about harming relationships. If you have ever shared a secret with someone who told others, your inner voice likely tells you to hold back the next time you are tempted to reveal what troubles you. But you can also work through problems in personal writing for public eyes and perhaps help someone else resolve the same situation you experienced. Just edit those private jottings and polish them as personal essays.

Writing also changes how our brain functions. Writing our personal stories from an honest place helps us resolve conflicts, make decisions, and meet our true self. Any topic benefits from writing; it doesn’t have to be a trauma. Personal essays appeal to many readers because they identify with the experiences of others and learn from your writing just as you learned by doing the writing.
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Looking for something to write about? Here's a topic to inspire your inner self to emerge.

Write about the most touching act of kindness you have witnessed.
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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: Opening Up: The Healing Power of Confiding in Others by by James W. Pennebaker, 1990. On dealing with depression: "Being a rather private, even inhibited person, writing helped me let go and address a number of personal issues that I was too proud to admit to anyone. Although I hadn't talked with anyone, I had disclosed some of my deepest feelings. If my experience was any indication, writing about upsetting issues must work in ways similar to talking about them."
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Book Review ~ How to Write Short by Roy Peter Clark
How to Write Short is not about life-writing but it provides so much information applicable to all writing that I feel compelled to share it with you. I believe the following advice from Roy Clark can make any writing more effective: "The lesson for those who write short is that brevity loves company-in the form of substance and style." Eliminate the word short and you have good advice no matter how long you write in time or length.

We live in an age of reduced words, even reduced letters. Technology zaps our attention span to bits and bytes and with it the grace and beauty of language. In order to communicate in this world we must learn to make every image count. By cutting the blubber and condensing our words to substance, we can say so much more in the same word count and better hold our readers' attention. The shorter you write, the longer your readers stick around. Apply Clark's instructions to your writing and you, your editors and definitely your readers will enjoy the results more than following a winding, wordy path.

The type of writing Clark considers short for purposes of this book includes tweets, prayers, slogans and titles, but also longer items such as emails, social media posts, parables, song lyrics and other items that require many more characters than a tweet. As I read the chapters-each focused on a technique for writing short-I realized that longer works are comprised of short sections. Most writing contains paragraphs and paragraphs contain sentences, sentences contain clauses, etc. By applying shortening techniques to these elements of personal essays or 500-page books as well as to one-liners, your writing will become easier to read and understand. Writing short or writing shorter will help you achieve your writing goals.

Some of the things that I see often in the essay assignments submitted by my personal essay students are addressed by Clark. Most of his suggestions apply to writing. Period. If you invest your time in expressing your life events in essay or memoir form, or any other form, long or short, don't you want to produce the best work you can? If you plan to share with others, whether in a print or online forum, don't you want your readers to glide through your words with empathy and understanding? Don't you want them to get your point, to know you in ways they don't know you now? You are more likely to accomplish those results if you write in clear, flowing, language.

In > How to Write Short, Clark provides bountiful ways to streamline your writing without sacrificing style. All 35 chapters (none more than 8 pages long, most only six) contain advice that will improve your life-writing, if followed.

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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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Real Simple Life Lessons Essay Contest seeks entries of 1,500 words max about a eureka moment that changed your life, or maybe just one day. This is the seventh annual contest and the prize is $3,000. No Fee, but hurry for the deadline of Sept. 18. Learn more at: Real Simple Life.
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Heartfelt Stories by Moms and Thanks to My Mom by Chicken Soup have a Sept. 30 deadline for 1,200 words. The first is open to any aspect of mothering or grandmothering, painful or joyful. The second may come from children of any age about moms or stepmoms. Pay $200. Find more details at: Chicken Soup.

Death Where Nights are Long anthology seeks "personal, visceral and unmediated" essays about the experience of death in extreme latitudes. That means writers from Canada, Iceland and the U.S. Accepted entries receive $250 on acceptance and $250 on publication. Deadline Nov. 1. Check the details on this uncommon theme at: Death Where Nights are Long.

Boston Globe Magazine takes 650-word personal essays on any type of relationship for the "Connections" section. Pay varies. Queries requested. For more details and where to send queries check the guidelines at: Boston Globe Magazine.

AARP The Magazine looks for essays that offer fresh insight into life over 50. Numerous topics open to consideration. Pays $2 per word. Nice pay and a huge circulation for exposure. Learn more at: AARP The Magazine.
Share personal essay markets you know about. Email them to and I'll add them to the website list.
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