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September Newsletter of Personal Essay Writing
Vol. 19, No. 9 September 2019
© 2019 Carol Celeste All Rights Reserved ISSN 2168-7854

* Carol's Comments
* Memoir Quote
* "Write to Heal and Grow"
* Course Offerings
* "Embrace Rejected Stories"
* Personal Essay Topic to Write About NOW
* Become a Licensee
* Therapeutic Writing Fact
* Markets
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The first Monday in September is called Labor Day in the United States. The name sounds like a day to labor, but it is a holiday from labor. Of course many people must work that day but there are other things that never have a day of rest. Foremost among them are our memories.

No matter the season, the weather, the activities in our lives, memories are with us, either pleasing or haunting. Humans tend to talk through their problems with others, but shared venting often leads to lack of honesty that is essential to healing. Revealing our thoughts and feelings to someone else may cause us to hold back, not only from the listener, but from ourselves.

Writing our personal stories from an honest place helps us resolve conflicts, make decisions, and meet our true self. 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. Any topic benefits from writing; it doesn't have to be a dramatic trauma. If it bothers you it's worth writing about the feelings it generates.

Sharing your edited stories to remove what you don't want to reveal can help others as much as the original writing helps you.

Don't keep your growth hidden inside. Be sure to check out the paying markets for your gems at

Write to heal, write to grow, write to reflect,
Carol Celeste
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Memoir Quote: "When your story is universal, it has the power to touch — and potentially transform — a universe of people. Dana Shavin, author of The Body Tourist
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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...

"I do like that you begin with praise-then I can sort of bask, even after I think 'uh-oh,' here it comes...and you begin the nitty gritty of teaching."

"This class helped me focus on some of the unsolved issues in my life."

"Your comments were very constructive and valuable."

"This course has been very therapeutic for me and I would like to take the next one."
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ARTICLE - "Write to Heal and Grow"
Writing to Heal, Writing to Grow deals with both life-writing and therapeutic writing. Many therapeutic benefits result whether you write specifically with that in mind or write to tell your story for its own sake. In his book, Writing to Heal, James Pennebaker discusses the benefits of expressive (which he sometimes calls emotional) writing. Those benefits fall into three categories: biological, psychological and behavioral. Let's look at how those benefits also accrue to personal story writers.

Biological: A range of results from improved immune system function — which is good for everyone — to reduction of specific symptoms of many diseases have shown up in numerous trials. For generally healthy people, emotional writing also results in lower blood pressure and reduced stress and liver enzymes. No matter what your topic, good personal writing involves emotions so that may be the common trigger. Stories about your daily routine engage both readers and you as much as serious problems do, when you express emotions deeply and honestly.

Psychological: People react to expressive writing in different ways. Immediate reactions may involve sadness when dealing with a severe trauma, but even in those cases it doesn't last long. Long-term results include reduced anxiety, greater happiness and a heightened sense of well-being. Writing life stories about sad times may bring you back to the feelings of those times when your writing is emotional, but sadness will soon turn to relief and even joy as you face the truth.

Behavioral: Reduced stress coming from emotional writing brings with it improved working memory, more active social lives and better relationships in all areas of life. Mainly this comes from engaging with people in a friendlier way as a result of your self-exploration.

You don't need to be mid-trauma to benefit from life-writing. Writing reduces stress and chronic stress makes us vulnerable to illness any time. So, don’t defer your next life-writing session. Let your stories improve your health and boost your biological, psychological and behavioral profiles.

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Looking for something to write about? Here's a topic to inspire your inner self to emerge.
For self-improvement month (September) write about your trait most in need of improvement.
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ARTICLE - "Embrace Rejected Stories"
You put effort and thought into crafting your life stories, in exploring and sharing your deepest self, don't you want readers to stick with you to the end? Brace yourself for a hard truth. If you enter the world of publication, your stories will be rejected. Even the greatest writers collect those "so sorry" letters and they hurt, mainly because we take them personally. After all, we are sharing our personal stories. Remember that when an editor tells you they can’t use your story, often without giving a reason, they are NOT rejecting YOU.

There are many reasons for turning away submissions. Most are beyond our control. It doesn't fit the publication’s style they just ran a similar article, they're changing format and your effort no longer matches theirs. But there are some things we can do to improve our chances so pay attention to those.

A critical element in memoir is trust. Readers want to feel you are honest with them. Lazy errors, in addition to irritating readers, make them wonder how reliable you are in general and jolt them out of the story.

Readers notice typos strange words, confusing word arrangements, peculiar punctuation and grammar, and other writing gaffes, and their attention drifts away from your story and into your flaws. Remember your first readers are the editors who will accept or reject your work. Keep your editors in your story so it will make it to the readers by taking care of the mechanics of your writing.

Editors won't spend time editing work that comes in laden with errors. They want it done right when they first see it. Readers expect the same treatment, perhaps even more than editors do since they expect work has already been reviewed and corrected.

Editors look for reasons to reject our stories so proof carefully and avoid giving them reasons caused by your own lack of attention to your work.

We all have limited time to spend on reading and a mammoth amount of choices. It doesn't take much to knock us off track. That is true for us and for potential readers, including editors. Remember that when you prepare your life-writing for submission. When your work is rejected, and it will be, it's not you, it's how the work fits the publication.

Don't let the rejection discourage you. Embrace those unappreciated stories and try to make them better. While your rejected stories may be personal the rejection is not.
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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: Women's Fitness Magazine, May 15, 2018, "Coping With A 'Grey Divorce'." "Divorce among adults over 50 ('grey divorce') is rising in the U.S.... A study published by the American Psychosomatic Society found that 'narrative expressive writing' helps buffer the effects of divorce-related stress. By writing not just about how you feel but expressing your divorce as a 'story' with a beginning, middle, and end, you can reduce your heart rate and increase your heart rate variability."
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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.

A mainstay for life-writers is the popular Chicken Soup series. It's been printing for many years and seems to find an endless supply of topics. Some bring in so many submissions that they lead to sequels. They all pay $200 and ten copies of the book to authors who they publish. This is a good place to begin publishing for those who are new to the public writing arena. Here are a couple of planned titles that have deadlines coming soon. Remember to follow the theme in the work you submit. Find more about the requirements and guidelines at: Chicken Soup>. Deadline for both is Sept. 30.

Laughter Is the Best Medicine (changed from I can’t Stop Laughing) seeks true stories about situations that made you and/or those around you laugh. It may be something you didn't intended as a laugh situation, but it turned out that way. Silly, outrageous, hilarious stories qualify. Laughter must be the result.

Golden Years or Second Wind is for experienced people, their term is "of a certain age." So many options face this group and they want to read about all of them. Maybe you are slowing down, but you might be gearing up in a new career, a personal caregiver situation, becoming a globetrotter, returning to studenthood Find suggested themes for these titles plus other titles at Submissions

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