Posts in Category

Writing Through Trauma

*While this post is tailored toward trauma writing, relief projects and objects are necessary to any type of writing, especially when writing is your livelihood. ~~~ It’s very easy to get overwhelmed or burn out when you are heavily focused on one project such as a novel or personal essay. When I work, I generally have between three and five pieces I am writing at the same time. This allows me to switch gears without sacrificing productivity. Because the topics I choose to engage in writing most frequently focus on

Update: Online signup is now open. Click here.  I’m excited to share my finalized course schedule for April and May. I will be offering a session of Writing through Trauma for women only, as well as two new classes, designed based on interest and request. Please contact me with any questions. And please share! Writing through Trauma for WOMEN ONLY Dates: 6 Mondays from April 13-May 18, 2015 Time: 6:30-8:30 PM Location: Unity of Bloomington Cost: $80 Instructor: Shawna Ayoub Ainslie This class will be a supportive space for adult

“… you need the room. You need the door, and you need the determination to shut the door. You need a concrete goal, as well. The longer you keep to these basics, the easier the act of writing will become. Don’t wait for the muse. … Your job is to make sure the muse knows where you’re going to be every day from nine ‘til noon or seven ‘til three.”  ~Stephen King, On Writing Tell me a story about being a writer that you define as successful. What does that

I was recently asked if we (writers) can change our voice by writing in a different style. I answered by saying, “Your voice is different from your companions’ voices. If you can hear the difference, you can write the difference.” Certainly, you would use a different approach when writing a medical document than a prose poem. It follows that a writer might change voices frequently. I am told my voice is very strong and identifiable across genres, but that I have a “soft” voice, a “teacher”voice, a “mommy” voice and an

I have been drafting my next series of Bloomington, IN writing classes beginning in April. If you are an out-of-towner, keep reading. There is a non-local option. I would love to know what you are interested in! Writing through Trauma  For the original description, click here. I will teach this as a six week course. Unity of Bloomington has again offered to host, and there is some flexibility for scheduling. If you want to take this class and would like me to reserve your space, please DM or email me

“I’m a lot of things, and scared isn’t going to be one of them.” This post is based off the writing prompt in “Truth, Lies and a Writing Prompt: The line between fiction and nonfiction.” I love seeing what people tackle, and this post is an excellent example to writing commitment. There is fear, but there is also persistence. I always tell my students to keep writing no matter what, even if they are thinking “I don’t know what to write,” they should write it down. Once you get past

I keep a list of writing topics handy for those times when I get stuck. Because I write on difficult themes, I get stuck frequently. Sometimes, my list isn’t enough to burst my thought dam. In that case, I like to mine completed pieces from my writing history for phrases and inspiration. When even that fails to get my creative juices flowing, I trick my writer brain with the following exercise: Time Capsule Find a completed story, poem, essay or journal entry on a topic you haven’t worked with in awhile

I have long thought of poetry as the gateway drug of writing. It is how I began as a writer, telling small stories in rhyme. For some years, I thought I had grown beyond poetry, as though it was a genre of incomplete thoughts. This assertion was passed around as a joke in conversation during the years I pursued my MFA. The barbed retort was that fiction writers were all liars, all of us unable to glorify the truth as the poets did. Most of my early fiction is nonfiction.

The Indiana Daily Student ran an article on my path to teaching Writing through Trauma on Monday, January 26. I met with writer Cassie Heeke at the local Barnes and Noble, my favorite writing spot. Cassie had requested an interview after seeing an announcement for my class. Initially, I was frightened by the thought of accepting an interview as I have little experience on the receiving end of interview questions. I wondered what I could share, if I could feel safe in the process of speaking out on my journey.

One of my favorite writing exercises is one I call “Epistle.” The term is probably best known in relation to the Bible, but epistle refers to a letter in multiple forms. e·pis·tle əˈpisəl/ noun formal noun: epistle; plural noun: epistles a letter. synonyms: letter, missive, communication, dispatch, note, line; More a poem or other literary work in the form of a letter or series of letters. a book of the New Testament in the form of a letter from an Apostle. noun: Epistle; plural noun: Epistles “St. Paul’s epistle to

1 2 3 4 5 Page 4 of 5

Latest Stories

Search stories by typing keyword and hit enter to begin searching.