“Who Do You Think You Are?” The Top 5 Blocks For Writers

The book coaching process, especially at the beginning, can be a very safe space. The coach is there to nurture the new writer, to allow experimentation, offer inspiration, provide support, and pass on constructive advice. We aim to OPEN the writer, and that only happens with unconditional love for the person and the creative process. […]

Workshop: Writing and Shamanism Revisited

Harold’s boat, digital photography, http://www.carolineallen.com Because of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and other disturbing weather patterns, I’m holding a Writing and Shamanism workshop dedicated to our role as writer in helping heal the earth in early August in Seattle. The workshop has been developed to help a range of writers, from the new […]

The PC Trap

Self portrait, the inner anorexic, http://www.carolineallen.com I knew an artist who after having an abortion used dolls for an art project — she ripped off their arms, blackened their faces and hung them by their necks from the rafters. Too gruesome? I certainly hope so. The single greatest oppression to the artist spirit is political […]

Raw Material

Stream of Consciousness Series, from acrylic base to “rough draft”, a new unfinished triptych called “Neptune”. http://www.carolineallen.com As part of ongoing healing work I do around my visual art, I have been repeatedly advised to think of my doodles as valid to my voice, as relevant to my voice as an artist as the more […]

Revision, trying something different

Detail from a new painting The French Circus, http://www.carolineallen.com Over the past couple of years, a client and I worked together to write the rough draft of her memoir. When it came time to revise the book, she was too busy at her job to give the book the attention it needed. She came up […]


Fruit, http://www.carolineallen.com I’m in my shrink’s office in Lowell, MA talking about parental jealousy. Lowell is an old factory town north of Boston, full of smoke stacks and abandoned brick mills with the windows blown out. Over the past decade it has seen in influx of Asian immigrants. What this translates to are gangs of […]

Shutting down for years

As a coach, I come across a lot of writers who go through strong on and off phases with writing. They write for years, are passionate about taking classes, begin a novel, almost finish several short stories, then they shut down and do no writing for years. Not months, years! If you’re a former student […]


Shattered Face. Art restorers gathered pieces of a saint’s face as part of clean up efforts after a series of earthquakes hit Umbria in 1997 and broke frescoes on the walls of the St. Francis Basilica in Assisi, Italy. Courtesy of The Independent Newspaper, London. Oh, the artistic deaths I have known. My first death […]

Owning the inner abstract

Beer on fire (pub lights glow up my beer), cell camera, http://www.carolineallen.com Driving home from Boston late at night on a Saturday night, I am hollering like a mad woman at the top of my lungs, “I’m so bored! I’m so bored! Boring! Boring! Boooooooooooooooooring!” I scream until my throat turns raw, and I break […]

Slaying seriously scary monsters

sketch of Jesus, based on medieval altar piece in London’s Tate Gallery, http://www.carolineallen.com I just received an interesting e-mail from a client. How do we write with authenticity and integrity when to do so draws up so much pain? When writing the truth is so traumatizing it shuts us down? One of the greatest writers’ […]