I have been a working writer (and teacher) for over 20 years, and in that time, I’ve come to believe that a writing life is uniquely structured to transform the soul. It will not give you the glib and easy surface of #blessed on Instagram but, if you clear space for it, writing (and its Siamese twin reading) will keep you forever curious and interested.  And if that’s not the recipe for a good life then what is?

I didn’t realize how passionately I believed this about writing until COVID hit.  ER doctors in New York started sounding the alarm about the scarcity of ventilators. I knew, with the tranquility of truth, that should I land in the hospital, the 30-year-old mother must have the ventilator, not me.  

Not because I don’t have children – after all, there are people I love fervently in this world who depend on me – and not even because I have a good 10+ years on that mother.  But because I can say, without hesitation, that I’ve had a good run.  And when I look to why, beside the people I love, it’s that I’ve read amazing books, terrible ones, and really fun ones. And because, I’ve worked like crazy to make space to write my books.  Certainly, I have others to write, but if I don’t get to them, I’ll know that I did what I could with the time I had.

Which includes my writing here.  

The last time I tried my hand at blogging, I discovered that if you don’t feel passionately about something you shouldn’t be posting about it.  And, back then (in the days of MySpace and LiveJournal), I felt it was only ‘appropriate’ to discuss passions with friends, in person; not with strangers in cyberspace. 

In the intervening years, I’ve built a teaching career and worked with students as far flung as Europe and Saudi Arabia.  I’ve come to believe in the value and possibility of sharing what I care about from a distance.  It is absolutely true that much of writing is a solitary endeavor, but nothing important gets done alone.  No matter where you are in your writing journey, I’d like to share it with you. Even if it’s only by sharing what I’ve learned on mine.  Please poke around, email with questions, take what is useful, and discard the rest.   If you’d like some free writing exercise to get an a feel for my teaching, please help yourself.

{Photo by Eberhard Grossgasteiger}