• 2014_claired-8691

  • 2014_claired-8679

  • 2014_claired-0808

  • ClaireDeBoer_home3s

"Your life is not a problem to be solved but a gift to be opened." ~ Wayne Muller

Magical Thinking: Creating Despite the Odds


“A writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.” 

– Junot Diaz, from his essay “The List”

There was a time, not so long ago, when I was ready to quit writing. My dream since childhood. The one true thing I knew about myself – or so I thought.

I was a thirty-eight year old stay at home mom living in Brooklyn, New York. My daughter was in kindergarten and I spent my days caring for my toddler son. All seemed well except we were barely scraping by on my husband’s erratic real estate salary. I couldn’t help feeling guilty, wishing I could do more to help.

The truth is I was doing plenty by being the primary caregiver to our kids, but the world places an emphasis on financial viability, as does city living, and I began to wonder if I had made a terrible mistake chasing my writing dream instead of building a practical career.

As my family struggled with big questions about the future, I felt a question of my own take root inside my heart like a stubborn weed.

What if being a writer was not my destiny, but just a story I’d been telling myself? « Continue »

Failed To Impress? That Doesn’t Make You Less of an Artist

Rodion Kutsaev

Last week I sat down over a Starbucks chai tea latte with a new friend I met online. Her work intersects with mine, so we talked about each others’ dreams and goals, and how both of us passionately believe creativity is in all of us.

“I love to write poetry,” she told me. “I wish I could just take off somewhere like the art gallery every week to write poems.”

I asked if that was her preferred way to express herself with words. She answered no, that she wrote poetry when she was younger but had only just come back to it.

When I asked the reason for the hiatus, she told me that in a creative writing class she took several years ago her final grade was a C. And with that one small letter all her belief in her ability to create poetry slipped away. She emerged from that class believing she wasn’t a poet after all.

Wow. That makes me angry.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a creative writing teacher and mentor it’s that grading our creativity is a surefire way to kill it (tweet that!) It can’t be measured and judged and defined. It can only be nurtured, held and appreciated.« Continue »

7 Ways to Manage Stress Through Expressive Writing

Book on women's hand

If you bring forth that which is within you, then that which is within you will be your salvation. If you do not bring forth that which is within you, then that which is within you will destroy you.  ~ The Gnostic Gospels It has been proven that writing relieves stress.  Some would say it’s right up there […]


Forget The Words And Write Your Truth

Book on women's hand

As writers we love language. We love the images that words provoke and the movement of letters on the page. But it isn’t really the words we love; it’s the emotions they provoke inside us. It’s the world they take us to and the connections they inspire us to make with the rest of humanity. Words can be […]