My Word for 2017: Linger.

Linger. That’s my word this year. Professionally, personally, with family, with friends, over essays and book chapters and all the work I put out into the world or keep to myself, I want to linger. I I want to take time, to stay at the table, to rest in the silence or the laughter. In my work, I want to re-read, to edit, to set aside and revisit. And, of course, with the book I’m working on, I need to […]

The Workout I Actually DO

I don’t even have to make a resolution around exercising this year, because—after years of trying things and failing, I’ve actually found a workout I can do, I will do, and I don’t really mind doing.

#ReadySetGoal: Non-Resolutions to Guide You Into a Productive New Year

On Episode 34 of the #AmWriting podcast, Jessica Lahey and I talked writerly goals: specifically, what makes a good goal, and how to set some in honor of this traditionally goal-setting time of the year. We started off by defining a goal by what it’s not—it’s not a resolution. Or maybe it kind of is, but resolutions are often big and amorphous, hard to measure and somewhat doomed. (“I will be kinder. I will be a better daughter. I will […]

You want to give experiences, not things—but that’s not as easy as it sounds. 

Ok, you know the drill. I know the drill. The best gifts, for our over-indulged children and our cluttered homes and the simple lifestyle we aspire to in the post-Kondo world are experiences, not things. Got it. But that’s a hard standard to live up to, right? Experiences take time and effort. Having given them, you, too, often must experience them. And as much as I don’t feel the need to add more Lego to our collection, I also don’t really […]

KJ’s Best Gifts for Writers

In the most recent episode of the #AmWriting podcast, co-host Jessica Lahey and I offered up—along with my December Keep Your Butt in the Chair Manifesto and a reminder that even though the holidays are upon us, WRITERS GONNA WRITE—a list of some of our favorite writer-y things that we’ve aquired over the years. Mine, I realize, skewed awfully heavy on the Decoupage Tissue Box covers–but I am telling you, these are great. Everyone needs a tissue box cover, or at least, […]

The Get Your Butt in the Chair Manifesto: It’s Up to You Whether You Write Today.

I read the Get Your Butt in the Chair Manifesto, below, today on the #AmWriting podcast I do with Jessica Lahey, after a day of cursing out every interruption even as I accepted and, shall we say, enabled them (especially those “interruptions” called Messages, Twitter and Facebook). (You’ll find it in Episode 32.)   I know it’s December. I know things are tough. I know that, quite literally, EVERY SINGLE PERSON I have interviewed this week has at least one […]

It is harder to raise the comeback kid than the golden child. And better.

What you want for your child now may not lead to what you want for your child in the future.

The Voices In My Head Said Not to Write This

Who the hell put an email with the subject line “You can write faster than you think” in my in-box? Go inspire someone else, Jeff Goins. I can’t write at all.

It’s Ok to Be Happy When Things Aren’t Grate

“I hate you, Mommy. You are not grate. You are NOT GRATE, Mommy.”

Win the November Big Box O’ Books!

a Rafflecopter giveaway I did a drawing for my book drawing. This box is heavy–I’ve got 13 books stacked here to go into it. (I have to get new copies of “The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend” and “A Field Guide to Lies” because I’m giving my copy of Readers to a friend, and I want to keep A Field Guide to Lies–but it will be ready to go out next week, and full of books for reading and sharing. […]

You Know You Need a Great New Read (November, 2016)

Here are the books I read and liked, and why, in no particular order, for November.

We do owe our kids an apology for this election. It’s not the one you think.

Nothing is different about our country than it was Tuesday, or the day before, or even the day before that. All that’s changed is that we know more about each other than we did then.

Shouldn’t FB Be Showing Me My Crap Memories, Too?

I know I’ve shared some rotten moments on Facebook since I joined. So why are my “memories” all hazy scenes of family happiness?

One-Day Writers Retreat, an Incoherent Series of Thoughts Thereupon.

I’m in Durham, North Carolina with my husband, who’s here for some meetings. One day doesn’t seem like much, but since my high school carpool fell through my writing days have been a shortened mess–I HAVE a babysitter to pick my kids up from school, but she is but one human and there are two schools, not close to each other, letting out at the same time. It occurs to me as I write this that I could probably find […]

When the Wind Blows in Better Weather

When things are tumultuous, I tend to expect them to get worse, not better. But I’ve realized I’m often wrong.

What If You Just Did One Thing at A Time? Really Just One Thing.

I can really only do one thing at a time. You could call that Unitasking, or Monotasking, or my favorite—being human, since no one can really do more than one thing at a time—but whatever you call it, it’s how I work best.

How To Get Out of the Rabbit Hole

I looked up at the clock and realized: the rabbit hole had nabbed me again.

Let the Darkness In

The weather has been so glorious. I’ve been on an epic high of good cheer and outdoor adventure. I kind of need it to stop.

When Homework Engulfs the Whole House

Every night, when she opens her math homework, the drama begins. “I need help. I can’t do this.” She can—but it’s hard, and why not make everyone else suffer with you?

The Richest Months

I love spring and I love summer—and I ADORE Halloween—but the coming season is the real meat of the year.