free the pen, a blog for writers

September 19, 2016

Daily Writing

Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 8:41 pm

writetohealDo you have trouble sleeping? Are you in a stuck place with a person you love and can’t figure out what to do? Would you like to get something off your mind?

Then, I suggest you start keeping a daily journal. Studies show that writing daily about problems of an emotional nature increases sleep. Studies show that writing out confusions and upsets in relationships and writing emotions to get something off your mind, increases health, serves to resolve, and helps you to understand yourself better. Those with Rheumatoid arthritis and other painful ailments describe that their physical pain decreases after writing.

You do not need to write for hours on end. A simple 15-20 minutes a day, for 3-5 days helps. I’ve been writing at least that long since 1972 and daily journal writing has changed, supported, and led my life in a dozen ways.

My book Write to Heal is a 78-page primer on the power of writing for creativity and wellness. Order on or

Try it and let me know how it works for you.

Keep the pen moving,


September 14, 2016

Writing Ideas Are Everywhere

Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 1:47 pm

Have you ever sat in front of a blank page and thought that there was nothing to write about? Then consider this: go out in public with your pen and paper and look around. Whether you sit in a mall, a coffee shop, near a dressing room, a restaurant, a movie, actually — anywhere, you will see activity and people. Focus on a facial expression, a unique walk, a conversation, someone talking on the phone, or anything that grabs your attention. Wait for something of interest and write out the scene in detail.

Here are some things to include in the writing of the scene to add depth to your writing:

smells, tastes, sounds, colors, mannerisms, time frames, environments, and why the scene grabs your attention.

Stories are all around us. Look for them. I want to share something that captured me one day in Barnes & Noble.

One Afternoon in Barnes & Noble

Tattoos ringed his neck

slid down his arms

covered his chin

where the hell is his mother, I wondered.


I stared instead into a novel

on the sale table

thought of what I would

do if he were my son


what father would teach

his boy to don cross-bone tattoos

allow earrings in his nose

and lip?


Tears burned

stole my breath

as the tattooed man

moved to a tiny wooden stool

and sat like a blossom holding a bee

an infant placed in his arms

in delicate pink

a small elastic bow hugging

her tiny head.


He cooed and ahhhed

softly kissed her cheek

a vivid smile lighted his daughter’s face

his angel wings opening wide.


I collapsed upon myself

folding into my own ugliness

caught in the empty shell

of a woman


wishing he were my son.

I don’t usually promote any special event on this site but I will be teaching a class through Story Circle Network titled: Writing Story Through People Watching. Here is the link. Please check it out:

Keep the pen moving,



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