Dear Diary: Want To Hear a Secret?

Dear Diary Day (Sept. 22) ought to be every day, especially for writers. Get the habit of making notes in a journal, whether for your future self, or to enrich your next writing project. All you need is an open mind and a seductive notebook at hand.

Your Feelings Are Keeping You Stuck

Using a bit of profanity for the sake of humor and enlightenment, a new book explores feelings and their uselessness in solving your most troublesome life issues.

Find Flow Through a Camera Lens

Flow happens when you lose your sense of self, and many artists, including photographers, mean that quite literally.

Learn More About "Nothing"

If you're a fan of playful philosophical exploration, a little-known series of talks on DVD is sure to provide creative inspiration.

4 Reasons to Have the Last Say

There are several good reasons to write out a brief narrative essay that expresses something we'd like to be remembered by. Whether it's to be used as a eulogy or shared with close family or the world, the experience itself is eye-opening.

Can't Stand Your Self-Absorbed Parent?

Got an aging parent or in-law who's a narcissist? They're arrogant, have a sense of entitlement, are always ready to instill guilt, they insist rules don't apply to them, and they fly into a rage if challenged. There's help for you.

Miss These Quirky Novels at Your Peril

The 7 terrific novels rounded-up here offer superb writing and absorbing stories to sink your teeth into.

The Truth About Cremation

You know we all have to die, right? If you're willing to learn what happens afterward, whether in traditional burials or the more sensible cremation industry, you will enjoy this memoir of a quirky writer who worked for several years in the American funeral industry.

Two Views of Aging While Creative

Two well-known aging authors, May Sarton and Donald Hall, have written intimate tell-alls about how it feels to be 80-something.

Peek into the Lives of the Worried Rich

A good writer, who is also a mom with young kids, goes native in the weird tribe of primates who make their home in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. She comes out alive, with a new book—and a fancy handbag.

10 Ways to Be Creative

I got this cool box of illustrated cards and immediately thought of a zillion ways to use it. Here's a sample of a creative thought process.

A Select Assortment of Books and More

Not every worthy book or DVD gets the attention it deserves. Here are a few you might otherwise miss.

A Grab Bag of Wisdom to Help You Enter Flow

You know those times when you aren't in the mood to write, but you want to get in the mood? Read some of these honest and insightful quotes from good writers to help ease your own transition into the headiness of a creative flow state.

Make Skepticism, Not Gullibility, Your Habit

Everyone knows someone who believes in some form of unscientific science. After all, if such-and-such helped so-and-so, it should help you, right? Not so fast.

8 Myths About Creativity

Admit it: we all have more than enough excuses and rationalizations for why we aren't doing the creative work we claim to value. Could creative myths be contributing to your procrastination?

How Movies Trick Your Mind

At our house, when we watch a movie that’s nothing more than an engaging time-waster, we think of it as brain-dead-movie time. But brains are most certainly not “dead” when watching a movie.

7 Hints for Making It as an Artist

Are you a weekend artist who putters and creates but longs for more time to pursue a career as a “real” artist?

Are Friends Really Worth That Much?

Have you ever reflected on the role of female friends in your own life? Do you maintain lifelong friendships? If not, do you wish you could?

5 Fixes for Conversations That Go Bad

My soon-to-be-ex-husband said in a therapy session, “I’m not blaming. I’m just explaining what she did wrong.” If only we’d both had copies of the new book Blamestorming with its wealth of help for conversations going wrong.

Why You Need a Book Doctor

Before I hired a book doctor or would take the idea seriously, two or three interested agents had to urge me to get editing help. A new guidebook answers some of the many questions I had about paying for such help.

10 Myths About Love, Exploded

These are some of my favorite things: the color blue, strawberries for dessert, and the emotion called love. But what exactly is love? Can you be in and out of it at the same time? Myths abound.

Is Diabetes Solvable?

Health books are fascinating to the degree that you have a personal interest in the topic. Diabetes has been a fact of life for my family for decades, so this new book held out hope.

The Many Hues (and Cries) of Noir

If you’ve ever spent a minute at a racetrack’s betting window, you’ll recognize the excitement of this accomplished thriller. Even if you haven’t, you’ll find yourself caring for the two main characters who share their journey seeking justice from a capricious world.

Here's Hoping Your Muse (Like This Author's) Is No Floozy

I’m not much into one-night stands, nor, for some of the same reasons, short stories. They don’t satisfy my craving to lose myself for an extended period of time in a new world. Still, the occasional short story manages to prove itself memorable...

Do People Feel More Pain Today?

“That hurts!” “No, it doesn’t.” “Yes, it does!” Who’s right? Depends on your social world and when in history you’re talking about pain. Pain’s history is fascinating, full of prejudice, ignorance, and misguided efforts at relief.

Eavesdropping on Famous Writers

Books about famed writers, or collections of conversations with them, are always seductive to writers. How open will this famous person be? What heretofore hidden thoughts or behaviors are going to be revealed?

When It Really Is All About You

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who think their lives are too ordinary to fill a book, and those who understand that any life, carefully observed, can be the subject of a compelling memoir. Before you get too excited, learn more about the process.

How Novelists Blunder into Meaning

It’s great fun to create a new world of your own design. Even better for novelists is to discover–during writing and even after publication—how the little details of their creation dovetail in ways they hadn’t imagined.

3 Mysteries To Kill For

Whether you spread out these intriguing mystery thrillers over several nights, or watch each series straight through, I believe you’ll be as happily engrossed as I was. Their psychological depth only adds to the fun.

The True Story of a Journey to Bestsellerdom (Plus 9 Tips)

When his marriage and his teaching job ended, this would-be writer took off into the wilderness and came back with the raw material for what would become—after four unexpectedly long years filled with work, rejection, and self-discipline—a bestselling nonfiction book.