writer | author | speaker | writing coach | cancer survivor
A writer, author, speaker, writing coach, and cancer survivor.
When I ask, “How are you?” I really want to know the answer. To me, “fine” is just another four-letter F-word that we say when, lots of times, we don’t really mean it. Okay, maybe the pizza delivery guy doesn’t need to know how you really are, but your loved ones do. And yet, we so often stuff our feelings and we inadvertently make other people stuff theirs, too, because we don’t listen properly.
Why? We were never taught how. Instead, we tell other people how they should feel, insert our own problems into the conversation in an effort to connect, or try to fix the issue, when, chances are, our friends and family just want two things: validation that what they feel is normal and permission to feel and express it.
I’m on a mission to help people hear and feel heard. If you’re the kind of person who has a story to tell or a message you long to share, then I may be for you.
I took the hard road to get here, but I can lead to a simple way for a deeper, more meaningful connection.
In 2003, I launched one of the world’s first mom blogs, MommaSaid.net, to start a conversation with frazzled mothers, letting them know that their feelings were valid. They told me that my words made them feel less alone.
From MommaSaid came a series of books, a blog at Good Housekeeping, essays in magazines and newspapers, and the Today Show and the CBS Evening News filming in my kitchen while I noticed how many dust bunnies the TV lights illuminated.
MommaSaid gave me a place to chronicle the moments that so many moms were experiencing, like shouting toward the garage, “Where are you going with that duct tape and rope?” (The answer involved a car seat, a skateboard, and a driveway that sloped into the bushes.)
Then, in 2007, I was diagnosed with stage 3 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. My kids were finishing up their 2nd and 3rd grade school years when I landed in the hospital for much of June and the entire 4th of July week. Later, I’d find out that, on the day of my diagnosis, I had two months to live.
Like so many cancer patients, I felt the pressure to be positive and stay strong, as though my very survival depended on it. But I know now that stuffing your true feelings can actually be bad for your mental and physical health. So, I’m on a mission to free people who are in crisis from the Tyranny of Positive Thinking.
Together, we can heal hurts through true connection and good storytelling.
If you’ve got a story to share, I can help you find the words. I’ve helped new authors write their memoirs and put how-to advice on paper, and I’ve helped craft speeches, proposals, and outlines. I’ve also brought people to tears and laughs from the stage, inspiring them to live a more connected life. And I’ve built communities that share feelings in a safe place full of support and love.
If you could use some help getting your words down for the stage or the page, let’s talk.
Jen Singer is an award-winning writer, author, and editor. She helps speakers and authors access their inner wisdom to craft compelling stories for the stage and the page. She serves on the writing faculty for Heroic Public Speaking and TEDxCambridge. Her work has appeared in numerous media outlets, including Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, The New York Times, McSweeney’s, Parents, and The Wall Street Journal. She has appeared on the CBS Evening News, Fox & Friends, and Today. She is a Jersey Shore chapter leader for Sidewalk Talk, an international listening community, and a certified Focusing trainer (a listening-based mind-body practice).