If we haven’t met yet, here’s a bit about me. Come say hi!
I’ve been a writer, predominantly for print and online magazines, for over 12 years. If you want to discuss writing coaching contact me at email@example.com
Want to learn to tell your own story? Check out my Personal Essay Course.
If you’re a writer, consider this my love letter to you. Believe it and let it give you a confidence boost.
If you’re new to Medium, come visit my publication. We’ll give you a hand.
Writing can be a lonely career choice. For the first 10 years of my writing career I was pretty much on my own — no workmates and only brief emails with my editors.
As a Highly Sensitive introvert, working on my own suits me in many ways. I enjoy undisturbed time to think and write, but even the most introverted of us do better with some support.
Writing is emotionally demanding — all those rejections! — and it’s hard to stay motivated and keep that inner critic silenced at times.
I started my very first writing job as a columnist…
I didn’t realize I was a hoarder, but as a teen my family often commented on the mess in my room. It was stuffed full, mostly with stuffed things actually. Soft toys alone took up a good third of my room, but then there was the rest:
Shelves full of little ornaments and elephant collections, including a large cartoon elephant cookie-jar, and a soap collection with waxy hand-carved flowers and teddy bears; there were envelopes full of stamps, letters, and stickers; a full set of Babysitter’s Club books from my childhood, dusty books from my father’s childhood…
Dozens of diaries…
I get bored easily. Actually that’s not 100% true. I have a long attention span, I just get bored of the same-same content the Medium algorithm serves up to me day after day on my home page.
In a moment of particularly acute boredom, waiting poolside for hours while my 10-year-old-daughter swum with her friends, I stumbled across a random way to read, well, randomly.
Since then I’ve discovered new favorite authors and publications, and read incredible stories, poems, and personal essays by writers I would’ve never found on my home page.
I’m sharing some ways I bypass the algorithm…
“It’s not depression.” I wiped at the endless river of tears on my cheeks. It was as if someone else was in control of my body. These tears weren’t mine. I wasn’t sad.
The doctor leant forward and handed me a tissue. “I think it might be, Kelly. You’re burnt out,” she said. She sat in silence and waited. For what, I had no idea. I shook my head, every piece of the situation rattled and shattered in my mind like windows in an inferno: I’d been so exhausted for the last few months of teacher’s college, yesterday I’d yelled…
I’d always thought of memoir — which we pronounce here in New Zealand as mem-wah, not mem-war — as a navel-gazing genre. The self-obsessed writing of people who love to hear the sound of their own voice, or perhaps want to shock and garner pity with a victim/villian story. But last year my views were challenged. I discovered two writers I respect had written memoir. One of them wrote more than one. How was that possible? To write more than one book about your own life? I was intrigued.
Memoir is growing in popularity. …
It’s not always easy to tell when a relationship has turned toxic. Things tend to slide into the “toxic” zone slowly. Also the emotional manipulation used by toxic partners can be subtle and confusing.
One indication of the health of your relationship are the claims your partner makes. Here are three claims to watch out for:
I went out for a movie with a friend and within 10 minutes my phone was dinging.
“You shouldn’t have left me alone tonight. You know I’m not feeling good.”
My partner at the time didn’t like being left alone, ever. Too much time…
As an ex-teacher, mothering was something I approached in the same way I approached my academic life. I was an A student in Education and, as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I became an A student in Mothering.
I sat in the back of the biggest bookstore in my town, colorful stacks of parenting books on the wooden desk in front of me: sleep methods, baby whispering, feeding routines, parenting philosophies. I stayed for hours, devouring every piece of advice available — and there is a ridiculous amount available. …
For the next two months we’re warming up to our big annual Personal Essay Contest.
I love contests. They give us an opportunity to upskill our writing. In fact, contests were the launching pad for my own career when I started out 12 years ago. In the next month, we’ll announce exact dates and prizes (my co-editor, Ash Jurberg will be drumming up some great prizes this year) but before then you can use it as motivation to level up your personal essay writing.
Start reading, upskilling, and brainstorming for your winning piece!
There are two days left to jump…
I didn’t set out to quit sugar at the start of this year. I’m not a big New Year’s resolution setter, and I was fairly happy with my weight, but I needed something to quit. My husband wanted to stop smoking and was struggling to find the motivation to do it. Smoking is up there with one of the most difficult habits to quit, so when I stumbled across a new way to support smoking cessation I jumped on it. Even if it meant I had to quit something too.