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Resources, Books and more

Live Workshop

Indexing as Creative Discovery

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During this craft seminar, we will take a practical look at how to use index cards to brainstorm, write, and revise creative nonfiction

When used as writing tools, index cards can not only retain facts and ideas, but can also keep track of important bibliographic and structural information for an essay or book; once collected, cards can then be spread out to visualize the shape of a written project, see what is missing, and envision what needs to be added.

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"I loooooooved that class at Lighthouse in Denver... wanted to tell you, the method helped me write an essay that ended up landing me a teaching fellowship at Colorado State University! So yes, by all means teach it!"

Courtney Zenner

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"I loooooooved that class at Lighthouse in Denver... wanted to tell you, the method helped me write an essay that ended up landing me a teaching fellowship at Colorado State University! So yes, by all means teach it!"

Courtney Zenner

Free E-Book

Productivity Journaling with Limitations

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Love analogue planning, or wish to figure out how to start? Are you an ambitious person living with limitations, such as chronic illness, mental health challenges, or caretaking responsibilities? This elegant workbook will show you the methods I use to do my morning planning and journaling. & once you’ve received Productivity Journaling with Limitations: The Morning Ritual, you’ll also receive With Love & Squalor—monthly love letters from me about life, resilience, and making the most of our days.

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"The [workbook] is amazing, and I genuinely mean that. I think writing down what I’ve done each day and accomplished will help with my mood massively. I also love the 1-3-6 thing; I had never heard of that before, but will definitely be following it from now on.”

Kayleigh

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"The [workbook] is amazing, and I genuinely mean that. I think writing down what I’ve done each day and accomplished will help with my mood massively. I also love the 1-3-6 thing; I had never heard of that before, but will definitely be following it from now on.”

Kayleigh

Free Guided E-Course

Encouragement Notes

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In late November 2015, after a year of stress and illness, I decided to create a free resource called the Encouragement Notes. The Encouragement Notes would comprise encouraging emails, sent from Monday through Friday, every day in December—a month that’s often considered to be celebratory and exciting, but is also hugely stressful for many. The Encouragement Notes also came with a community known as Keep Going, You’re Doing Great, a private Facebook group of wonderful men, women, and gender non-conforming individuals who supported one another and built a sense of camaraderie in the dimmer months (even calling themselves Encouragers at one point). In total, over 300 people signed up for the inaugural version of the Encouragement Notes. The Notes and the group are now available to everyone—and still for free.

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"The best part of the Encouragement Notes was that I knew that every morning, I had something to look forward to in my inbox. Mornings are very difficult for me health-wise these days, and it was incredible to be able to go to bed knowing I had a reason to get up the next day and keep going. I will sorely miss the solace I found everyday in these little notes, which I would always read a few minutes upon waking up, and reread throughout the day for a little extra boost. Thank you, Esmé, for this thoughtful initiative!"

Lili

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"The best part of the Encouragement Notes was that I knew that every morning, I had something to look forward to in my inbox. Mornings are very difficult for me health-wise these days, and it was incredible to be able to go to bed knowing I had a reason to get up the next day and keep going. I will sorely miss the solace I found everyday in these little notes, which I would always read a few minutes upon waking up, and reread throughout the day for a little extra boost. Thank you, Esmé, for this thoughtful initiative!"

Lili

Essay Collection

The Collected Schizophrenias

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A New York Times bestseller. Powerful, affecting essays on mental illness, winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and a Whiting Award.


An intimate, moving book written with the immediacy and directness of one who still struggles with the effects of mental and chronic illness, The Collected Schizophrenias cuts right to the core. Schizophrenia is not a single unifying diagnosis, and Esmé Weijun Wang writes not just to her fellow members of the “collected schizophrenias” but to those who wish to understand it as well. Opening with the journey toward her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, Wang discusses the medical community’s own disagreement about labels and procedures for diagnosing those with mental illness, and then follows an arc that examines the manifestations of schizophrenia in her life. In essays that range from using fashion to present as high-functioning to the depths of a rare form of psychosis, and from the failures of the higher education system and the dangers of institutionalization to the complexity of compounding factors such as PTSD and Lyme disease, Wang’s analytical eye, honed as a former lab researcher at Stanford, allows her to balance research with personal narrative. An essay collection of undeniable power, The Collected Schizophrenias dispels misconceptions and provides insight into a condition long misunderstood.

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“[The Collected Schizophrenias is] resoundingly intelligent, often unexpectedly funny, questioning, fearless and peerless, as Wang makes for brilliant company on 13 difficult walks through largely uncharted territory.”

Los Angeles Times

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“[The Collected Schizophrenias is] resoundingly intelligent, often unexpectedly funny, questioning, fearless and peerless, as Wang makes for brilliant company on 13 difficult walks through largely uncharted territory.”

Los Angeles Times

A Novel

The Border of Paradise

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An epic tale of one iconoclastic family’s inheritance of madness in Brooklyn, Taiwan, and Northern California.


In booming postwar Brooklyn, the Nowak Piano Company is an American success story. There is just one problem: the Nowak’s only son, David. A handsome kid and shy like his mother, David struggles with neuroses. If not for his only friend, Marianne, David’s life would be intolerable. When David inherits the piano company at just 18 and Marianne breaks things off, David sells the company and travels around the world. In Taiwan, his life changes when he meets the daughter of a local madame—beautiful, sharp-tongued Daisy. Returning to the United States, the couple (and newborn son) buy an isolated country house in Northern California’s Polk Valley. As David’s mental health deteriorates, he has a brief affair with Marianne, producing a daughter. When Marianne appears at their doorstep, the couple’s fateful decision to take the child as their own determines a tragic course of events for the entire family. Told from multiple perspectives, The Border of Paradise culminates in heartrending fashion, as the young heirs to the Nowak fortune must confront their past and the tragic reality of their future.

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"The Border of Paradise is shaped by darkness and the kind of delicious story that makes for missed train stops and bedtimes, keeping a reader up late for just one more page of dynamic character-bouncing perspective… It is the author’s stunning introduction to the literary world."

New York Times

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"The Border of Paradise is shaped by darkness and the kind of delicious story that makes for missed train stops and bedtimes, keeping a reader up late for just one more page of dynamic character-bouncing perspective… It is the author’s stunning introduction to the literary world."

New York Times

Guided E-Course

Rawness of Remembering

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Rawness of Remembering is a self-paced, multimedia course about restorative journaling through difficult times, built by someone who’s been in the trenches — and tested by students who experienced its power in a six-week class. Walk away with a journaling habit, a toolbox of photography and writing techniques designed for those working through mental illness, loss, and/or a variety of tough transitions, as well as connections through our ongoing private online community. Learn to see your journal as a powerful balm, especially when used in conjunction with therapy and other forms of care.

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"Rawness of Remembering shifted, for me, learning how to love my journal, creating a daily space for introspective rather than ‘active body focused’ self-care, and realizing that writing down my insights and reflecting actually creates more change than trying to pull action points from experiences."

Grace Quantock

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"Rawness of Remembering shifted, for me, learning how to love my journal, creating a daily space for introspective rather than ‘active body focused’ self-care, and realizing that writing down my insights and reflecting actually creates more change than trying to pull action points from experiences."

Grace Quantock

My Bookshop

Recommended Reads

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My Bookshop library is home to some of my most treasured and recommended reads.

These are the books that I turn to, find comfort in, and continue to enjoy. Within this collection, you’ll find books written by authors such as Toni Morrison, T Kira Madden, Ilya Kaminsky, and Leo Tolstoy (to name a few), and when you purchase through my Bookshop page, you are directly supporting independent bookstores, as well as myself. I also encourage sure you check back in from time to time, as it is inevitable that my collection of recommended reads will grow.

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Resources

I have affiliated myself with a small number of products, programs, and e-books, all of which I found to be excellent products. I’m sharing them with you here, in case you should find them useful to you as well.

Full disclosure: should you purchase any of these products with the given links, I will receive a commission—but again, I stand behind everything listed here, and spent my own money on them before becoming an affiliate.

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Station Seven

Station Seven makes the most extraordinary resources for those seeking a way to make their online presence more powerfully elegant—I have previously used Station Seven WordPress themes, and I still use their social media design kits in order to streamline my visual brand.

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Small Business Bodyguard

Small Business Bodyguard was one of the first investments that I ever made in my business, and I haven’t regretted it for a second. This robust and information-packed program contains sound legal advice and more, ranging from, “Is an S-Corp more sound for me than an LLC or sole proprietorship?”, to, “I need a good freelance contract—where can I find one?” The templates alone are worth the price of admission: created by a working lawyer, you’ll find useful templates for an enormous number of legal documents. Highly recommended.

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Spirited

Created by Rachel MacDonald and Tara Bliss, this spiritually-minded e-book is an excellent primer to the “woo-woo” side of life. Should you be interested in manifestation, meditation, and a combination of introspection and trusting the Universe, this gorgeously designed volume is for you. I purchased it during the worst year of my life, printed it out and bound it, and ended up scribbling notes all over the worksheets and chapters while sitting in a papasan in a tiny old house in New Orleans.

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The E-Letter Atelier

The E-Letter Atelier came about at a time when I was struggling mightily with my e-letter (also known as a tiny letter or newsletter). What the heck was I supposed to write about? How would I promote my products without sounding like a sleazeball? How regularly should I release a new letter? These questions, and much more, were put to rest by this class, which I maintain is the best e-course I’ve ever taken—now available as a self-paced course.

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The Impossible Project

I am probably what they call a “power user” of Impossible Project film; if you poke around in my fridge, you’re bound to find a stack behind the zucchini. The Impossible Project makes film for old-school Polaroid cameras, as well as selling Polaroid cameras and camera accessories. They’re the best at what they do; and if you’re a Polaroid user, do get to know them. You won’t regret it.

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