Writing Prompts

Think of something that you could do to give yourself an opportunity for more of what you want. It might be having coffee with someone who can give you good resources in which to publish, a person who you might want to do volunteer for on her program to have make your name better known or possibly a place to visit that could enhance your own creativity. Write a piece that would describe each of these three opportunities and see what you come up with. Now turn one of them into a real opportunity.   Continue reading “Writing Prompts” »


Janell Moon, MA

Wednesday night support group meets in San Francisco (Noe Valley) from 7-9 pm for writers who want to get going on their writing now and over the holidays.. We meet twice a month in January and then once a month after the first four sessions when we are clear about our motivational styles and goals. Peer support will be set up during this time. Discounted counseling is available before the group starts after a free consultation phone call. Phone services available to all writers.

Whether you’ve always written and published or want to write more, you will find that working with structure keeps you on track. Explore your life through memoir,fiction and creative nonfiction and receive support from a well-published author and creativity counselor. Have a place to showcase your writing and receive constructive positive critiquing.  After January and February will be meet once a month at my Noe Valley office to check in with the group and share. Continue reading “WRITE YOUR MANUSCRIPT OVER THE HOLIDAYS AND BEYOND” »

Writing and Isolation

I wanted to write a short blog tonight about the writer’s life. Whether you’re a writer who writes after a day job, and most every writer has one, or a writer who has the luxury of writing full-time, you can’t write and chat. We write by ourselves at home, in a cafe or at the library, some chosen place to set words down. Some people enjoy the solitude and have friends to see in the after-hours. Others find they can write in isolation just for so long before they need someone with whom to check in. Others find it easiest to write if they have set a goal with another writer and each day report in on how well they are meeting that goal.

I have always enjoyed my solitude but then I’m a bit of an introvert. Lately, I am caught in the feeling of being alone too much. I signed up for a workshop to jump start my creativity again and realized just signing up for the workshop made me set goals in my mind to do several things I had been putting off: submitting to publishers and organizing my files for easier access. Both goals I have a hard time with because I can let them slide and besides, they are not creative. Having started both projects, I find I am uplifted, pleased with myself. Continue reading “Writing and Isolation” »

Remember the Purpose of Your Memoir

Be sure to stay on topic.  Write a phrase or sentence of what your memoir is most deeply about, for instance: connection makes us human.  Write a phrases or sentence of what the chapter you’re writing is about: losing connection to myself makes me lose connection to others.

As you write, check these two phrases and see if what you are writing is stayingon topic. If not, take the auxiliary material out. Maybe it isn’t needed at all or perhaps it can be used elsewhere by blending it in with other writings. Perhapsyou have subplots and will track those topics too which will make your book all the more interesting, for example: care of animals on winter farm and what the freedom of movement (body) gives your protagonist once you move away from the city. Continue reading “Remember the Purpose of Your Memoir” »

Loose Endings in Memoir

In life we often have loose ends in our story. Nothing is really resolved. Things go on anyway. People come in and out of our life and we don’t do much to hold them because we are distracted or don’t care that much. Events come and go and we mean to participate again but we have a knee injury or time goes by too quickly to do it again. So much is started and drifts away. Much is said but not done. We are busy and let things be. We follow up on thoughts and ideas and sometimes, we don’t. In more recent  fiction this is shown and called an open endings toan event, thought, idea. We don’t know what happened to that person and what changed her mind. Continue reading “Loose Endings in Memoir” »

What is a Good Writing Schedule?

It’s always good to keep up a regular momentum. I don’t write at the same time every day but I know I will write in the morning. Sometimes I start at nine and other times at eleven. I know I’ll write in the morning until lunch, even a late lunch. That’s when I write best. Midday, I start to feel isolated if I haven’t been out. I use that time to swim, see a friend, take a walk, do errands and keep up with family up with matters. If I write too late at night I become too stimulated and can’t sleep so  I don’t write past eight pm. That is my rest time, my cut off time. I need some relaxation before bed and like to watch a documentary, movie or read.

I read The New Yorker and the San Francisco Chronicle every day and usually have a fiction and nonfiction book going. I like the stimulation of each and the relaxation too. I do this early morning and it helps me get out of myself and keeps my interest in the external world. Writing a lot makes me feel very internal which I like but I do want to be part of my time too. Continue reading “What is a Good Writing Schedule?” »

Writing Tips for Memoir: A Story in Time

When you are writing a story that takes place over a long period of time, be sure to let the reader know the timeline. They need to know when things are happening, how much time has passed, and what led up to the event. Don’t let the reader figure it out for herself. That’s too much work for the reader. Let the story bring her along in the flow of the story with a sense of time moving over skipped periods. You can start a list of transitional phrases to help the reader move smoothly to a new time. Add to the list as you think of more:

As time passed by I realized..

Once I realized ___, I could settle into __

For awhile, ..

Content to let my days be filled with__, I let time.. Continue reading “Writing Tips for Memoir: A Story in Time” »

Trust in the Way You Write: Your Style, Your Organization, Your Schedule

Writers like Toni Morrison or very poetic writers are interested in where “the golden thread is going.” It wouldn’t be fun to write if they knew everything they wanted to say. They write from a creative place and then review and take out digressions. This way of nonlinear writing is a flow from the subconscious and only certain personality types can work this way.

This kind of flowing writer needs help to stay on track and trust in their right brain function. In the United States, we have a left brain culture of goals and time lines of what comes first, second, third. It’s sometimes hard to believe in your way which is different. As we mature, we tend to be able to use both parts of our brain better and can do goals and light schedules and work from the creative part of our brain too. Continue reading “Trust in the Way You Write: Your Style, Your Organization, Your Schedule” »

Professional Help for Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is something with which some therapists or counselors are used to dealing. If you want to hire someone to help you, chose someone who shows on their web site that they have a creative process themselves. You can ask a professional if you can come short term, even on sliding scale if that’s your need, to solve a concern. Many therapists or coaches will say that that’s fine or will refer you to someone who does that kind of work. No harm in asking and it could be of great benefit to you for your writing project.

Some writers like to have a coach so they don’t feel so alone. Usually a coach will be paid by the hour which makes it affordable to you. A coach helps as much or as little as you want but tend to give a writer much more of a structure in the every day. Continue reading “Professional Help for Writer’s Block” »

Writing Groups Help with Writer’s Block

Not writing? Tell your group.  Go anyway and say you’re blocked and read what you’ve written about being blocked. Bring anything you’ve written and take part. Ask the group for suggestions and take them. Or at least one suggestion. Ask the group to just listen and make no suggestions so you can feel free to talk and be part of the group.

There’s no shame in writer’s block. Most writers experience blocks from time to time. Write a poem in images of the next part of your memoir. Maybe it could be a stepping stone. Write another with more images and see what you’re writing.

Sometimes I will bring a list of strong verbs to use . Sometimes I write transitional phrases like in other words or thinking of the past, I. I might bring these off assignments to help myself and others write better. Or, bring a passage I love like the last line of James Joyce’s The Dubliners so everyone can hear great, poetic writing. Continue reading “Writing Groups Help with Writer’s Block” »