Julia Cameron/morning pages. Many journalers morphing into writers will say those four words together. Writing for at least three pages each morning—letting my pen move across the page gave me the freedom not to have a writing agenda. I am a planner, then doer, of things. So simply starting the physical act of writing without a direct engagement with the writing part of my brain was uncomfortable at first. It only took perhaps five mornings to see what poured out when there was no “assignment.” Much of my organic writing now in essays and stories is that kind of free flow writing, like grabbing a few grapes from the bunch and finding they are just right—not soft, with kind of a pop on the first bite, and knowing there’s a whole bunch waiting, even if you never had lots of grapes in your childhood.

The Right to Write showed me a writer can use her own personal story as the vehicle for instruction. “My experience as a teacher tells me it is never too late for someone to find their writing voice.” I wrote my first book at sixty. Second one’s on its way.