Monday, August 16, 2021

NEW Article on Mindful Writing, "Mantra of Intention"


I've published a new article on mindful writing, "Mantra of Intention," at New Writing: International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing

The article will be reprinted in Creative Writing: Stimulus, Intention and Process," forthcoming from Routledge, edited by Graeme Harper.


The single most impactful intention a writer can set isn't to work every day, or finish a draft by a circled date on the calendar, or keep submitting work in the face of editorial rejection. It's to prioritize observing the present moment above word count, above stylistic concerns, above reaching a target audience, above any other aspect of composing. From this one simple intention to remain mindful desk-side cascades a series of alterations in our approach to process that causes minor to major stressors to fall to the wayside, leading to increased verbal output and a more positive outlook toward writing. Prioritizing the writing Now annuls our fixation on product or outcome that stunts invention; it helps us better appreciate the nuances of prewriting and the nonverbal; it casts a spotlight on the chimerical nature of the audiences who constrain us; it honors our writing body and our writing emotions.

Other Mindful Resources for You from Me:

Prolific Moment: Theory and Practice of Mindfulness for Writing (Routledge 2018). 

"How Mindfulness Can Transform the Way You Write," TEDx, available on YouTube

"The Role of Mindfulness in Kairos," Rhetoric Review

Mindful Writing Webinar Series for National Council of Teachers of English (scroll down):

Stay tuned: Mindful Writing How-To Video in conjunction with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

Online Graduate Course in Mindful Writing, Salem State University, September-December 2021 [registration closes soon]

Monday, March 29, 2021

Graduate Course in Mindful Writing: Theory and Practice: Offered ONLINE Fall 2021


In the Fall 2021 semester, I will be teaching an online graduate course on mindful writing: ENG 835: Mindful Writing: Theory and Practice. If you're interested in learning more about mindful writing, this could be the opportunity for you.

The class meets on Zoom on Wednesdays from 4:30-6:50 PM, EST.

Course Description:

This course explores mindfulness as writing theory and practice and examines the impact of present awareness on the writing process and rhetorical situation. We study rhetorical factors of impermanence, audience, internal rhetoric, verbal emptiness, mindful invention, and the embodied and material conditions of writing. We apply present-moment awareness to writing to reduce obstacles that come from mindlessness or future- or past-oriented approaches. Students practice frequent mindful writing techniques for use in the classroom and their writing.  3 credits.

How to Register:

You can register for the class at the link below. Registration opens in April for fall classes. If you have any trouble, please email and state specifically that you are a community member trying to register for the course:Register for Salem State Graduate Course 

Feel free to email me if you've questions:

* image from Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Mindful Writing Workshops for New Hampshire Families Affected by Addiction

I'll be offering three online mindful writing workshops for the Kinship Program through the New Hampshire Children's Trust for grandparents and caretakers of children whose parents are impacted by addiction. 

This work is part of my initiative as state poet laureate to offer mindful writing to New Hampshire residents affected by the opioid crisis and has the support of the Academy of American Poets.

Participants are encouraged to attend all three sessions to receive the full benefits of the workshop series. Workshop session dates and times are as follows online:

February 24, 6:30-7:30 pm March 3, 6:30-7:30 pm March 10, 6:30-7:30 pm This event is open to everyone with a focus on families experiencing the effects of substance use disorder.

YouTube Video about Program

Workshop Description:

What is mindful writing? Why try it? Mindfulness can help us deal with difficult thoughts and experiences with self-compassion, and these benefits are amplified when mindfulness is combined with writing. Mindful writing helps us see the constant change happening around us so that we realize we're not as stuck as we might think we are. Mindful writing shows us how to balance observation with detachment so that we don't become attached to difficult thoughts and emotions, including the sorrow, stress, fear, and anger that surfaces for people whose family members struggle with addiction. In each session, participants learn a guided meditation and an easy-to-practice writing activity including "Already Perfect Meditation," "Loving-Kindness Meditation", and keeping a "Mind List." Participants decide whether they want to share any of the writing they create; their writing can stay private (unshared). These workshops offer a supportive environment where writing and mindfulness are used to take care of the self.

For information or to register:

Sunday, January 24, 2021

My Interview on Mindful Writing for the National Council of Teachers of English

 Here's a link to my interview, "What Does Mindfulness Offer Teachers," for The Chronicle, the publication of the National Council of Teachers of English:

Friday, January 8, 2021

New Mindful Writing Webinar Starts Tomorrow (Saturday, January 8) at NCTE

The future seems brighter, but at the same time, increasingly more is asked of teachers. We face furloughs, policy changes, and classrooms that are online one day and in person the next  all the while needing to grade, prepare lessons, and serve the emotional needs and well-being of our students. We are at risk for burn-out and COVID fatigue. This series will help teachers refuel and find balance as we take the turn into a new year. 

In each session, participants will be invited to do a guided meditation and then a restorative activity that combines writing with mindfulness, including already-perfect meditation, working with preconceptions and story lines, caricature of our internalized critics, and mantra for self-compassion. Along the way we will revisit and practice a few of the mindfulness activities from the September series. By writing in the moment, we can relax into the present and take care of ourselves.

Some sessions will include guest speakers and experts on mindfulness with an opportunity for Q&-A. Guest speakers will be listed below as they are confirmed.

Please note: This series is not sequential. Feel free to join one, two, or any number of the sessions—whatever works with your schedule. Each date will be a unique time to get together and meet you where you are. 

There is no cost for this event for active NCTE members. Not yet a member? Join us! Nonmembers also have the option to participate for $10 per session ($60 for the series); you will need to create an NCTE account to register. To register:

On January 23 our guest is Christa Turksma. On February 13 our guest is Dido Balla. 

Sunday, January 3, 2021

I'll Be Giving a Talk on Tuesday on Mindful Writing Mantra

The combined annual Conference on Writing and Well-Being and the second University of Nevada, Reno Crossings Conference will take place this week, virtually, on January 3-5, 2021: University of Reno Conference

I'm honored to be included in the line-up of speakers: Cornell West (keynote/free & open to the public); Peggy McIntosh; Gailmarie Pahmeier; Krista Ratcliffe; Ira Shor; Yvonne Stedham; Russell Stone and Robert Yagelski. On Tuesday, I'll be giving a talk, "This Very Moment is Perfect for Writing," in which I'll lead participants through the tenets of mindful writing theory and help them develop a mindful writing mantra.