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The Memoir Tool

from It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again THE MEMOIR One especially heartbreaking sentence I have heard over and over from my newly retired students is, “Oh, my life wasn’t that interesting.” The truth is that every life is fascinating. And when we are willing to look at, and thus honor the life we have […]


Art as Alchemy

Making art of any kind is an alchemical process. Making art, we turn the dross of our life into gold. Making art, we re-create ourselves. When we work on our Memoir, revisiting our own personal narrative time line, we transform the events of our life into golden adventures. As we write, the ordinary becomes extraordinary; […]


Morning Pages: FAQ

My #1 tip for creative unblocking is a tool I have taught— and used— for three decades: Morning Pages. Morning pages are three pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness morning writing, for your eyes only, done as quickly upon waking as possible. These pages do not have to be “good writing.” There is no wrong way to […]


It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: What to Expect

It’s Never too Late to Begin is a twelve-week course for anyone who wishes to expand their creativity. It is not meant only for “declared” artists. It is aimed at those transitioning into the second act of life— leaving one life behind, and heading into one yet to be created. For some, this may mean […]


Morning Pages

The bedrock tool of a creative recovery is something I call Morning Pages: three pages of longhand, morning writing about absolutely anything. They are to be written first thing in the morning, and shown to no one. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages. I like to think of them as windshield wipers, […]


The Spiritual Power of Routine

Recent retirees tend to speak of having mixed feelings about routine. On one hand, they enjoy being free from the externally-imposed schedule of their work lives— they may choose to sleep later, to travel during the week, to eat meals when they fancy them instead of hewing to a strict timetable of meetings and business […]


Clearing a Path: the magic of decluttering

With more time on our hands, we may find ourselves at home much more than we have ever been. Spending time in our homes, we notice the things we want to improve: the unfinished doorframe, the “junk drawer” in the kitchen that always seems to be jammed shut, the worn doormat that we’ve been meaning […]


Lowering the Stakes

All too often, when we think of writing a project, we think of writing the whole project, and we find ourselves daunted. “I’d like to write a novel,” we think, “but it’s so much work, and what if it doesn’t sell?” Thinking this way, we talk ourselves out of our creativity. We have set the […]


Using Our Time

It is all too easy to put undue pressure on ourselves and criticize how we use our time. We rush from this to that. We call ourselves “lazy” when we “waste time doing nothing.” We don’t have “enough” time or we have too much. We regret past uses of time— time spent worrying about things […]


Pain as Energy

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The truth is that turning our pain into energy for good can be one of the great assets of age. We can draw on stores of experience— and heal our wounds— as we work to create the life we want. Task: Pain as Energy Pain does use our energy, but we can consciously channel it […]