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Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it

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I believe in the harm that stories can do, but also in their power. If people can tell stories that cast shadows where there are none, perhaps stories can also shed light where there is darkness, and can promote understanding where there is confusion and fear.

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Admit. Accept. Allow. Own. The language of confession flows not outward but inward. It is language that reveals confession’s impact on the self rather than on the listener.

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The process of writing is the painful recovery of things that are lost.

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I’ve come to think of memoirists as the cheeky birds of writers, “cheek” being a British word for bold.

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I have this theory that what distinguishes decent writing from good writing and good writing from great writing is just how rigorous the writer was in his or her curiosity, just how authentic and sincere they were. In the A-plus books, the writer went to the bottom of the experience and what did he or she find? More bottomlessness. There are no answers, there are only questions.

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Remorse is often the starting point for good personal writing, whose working out brings the necessary self-forgiveness (not to mention self-amusement) that is necessary to help us outgrow shame

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What’s the difference between personal narrative and memoir?

Personal narrative vs memoir This goes out to my writing students who scratch their head over my presumptuous ass throwing “personal narrative” and “memoir” around like they should automatically know the differences. In my understanding, personal narrative is using your life’s story to illume some larger issue: mental health, intersectional, feminism, racism, nature, border walls. […]

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We each nurture a private terror that some core aspect(s) of either our selves or our story must be hidden or disowned. With every manuscript I’ve ever edited–even grown-assed writers’–the traits a writer often fights hardest to hide may serve as undeniable facets both of self and story.

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Once I start work on a project, I don’t stop and I don’t slow down unless I absolutely have to. If I don’t write everyday, the characters begin to stale off in my mind–they begin to seem like characters instead of real people.

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