Post image for My Father–Paul “Giggy” Kamen

My relationship with my father was complex. I sometimes wondered what I would say upon his death. Perhaps I would say nothing or perhaps I would blurt out all those things I never dared to express to him directly. Two weeks ago today my father died unexpectedly. Convoluted and tumultuous feelings continue to swirl through my mind and body–there is an ebb and flow and the occasional tsunami of emotion.

In the end I found it to be both healing and instructive to write some of my thoughts down that I said before my friends and family at his Shiva. I chose to mindfully honor my father and the life he lived. What guided me in my search for the right words [click to continue…]

Post image for Emotional Abuse: Part 3

If you have experienced emotional abuse then undoubtedly you are familiar with the struggles associated with it: feelings of powerlessness, hurt, fear, anger and rage. These feelings are part of the cycle of abuse.

Interestingly abusers often experience these emotions, generally dealing with a history of abuse. They learned from their own families of origin that abuse is an acceptable form of behavior. People who have experienced a history of abuse often look for partners they can dominate, [click to continue…]

The 10 Keys to Balancing Love, Work and Fun by Dr. Kamen e-book cover

Striving to create a meaningful website and blog, DrKamen: Gaining Balance and Strategies for Happiness, I write several posts each week. When the blog launched in January 2010, writing these posts felt like a daunting task. I labored over the composition of each one. Now several months and 70 posts later, I feel as though I found my stride, with the help of your insightful comments and encouragement.

To address the main focus of the blog – balance and happiness – I would like to share with you my first e-Book, The 10 Keys to Balancing Love, Work and Fun. Please read it at your leisure and recommend it to your friends and colleagues. [click to continue…]

Lisa Tener headshot

Creative writer and book coach, Lisa Tener, quotes Brenda Ueland, “I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten – happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another.” These words capture Lisa’s keenness for her craft and modesty about her accomplishments. Her creative mind contemplates writing projects and ideas for interesting angles and perspectives for her book-coaching clients.

We first met at the Harvard Writing and Publishing Course, where Lisa was leading a workshop on developing a more compelling writing style. She arrived with her newborn baby in one arm and her papers in the other. A minute before the session began her mother-in-law scooped up her beautiful boy and Lisa began her talk without missing a beat. Her workshop drew me into the world of writing creative non-fiction. I knew when I began my blog, www.DrKamen.com that Lisa was sure to be one of my inspiring women. [click to continue…]

Woman writing in journal at sunset

Years ago the ritual of journal writing or keeping a diary was common. Today few people recognize the power and profound benefits behind this practice. In the field of psychology, journal writing is considered to be one of the key ingredients to making true behavioral change. It is often said that, “If you can track it, you can change it.” [click to continue…]

Julie Silver, M.D., headshot

Julie Silver, M.D., the inspiring director of Harvard Medical School’s compelling conference on Publishing Books, Memoirs and other Creative Nonfiction, encourages participants with their writing efforts and guides them down the path to becoming published authors. Networking opportunities with agents, publishers, editors, and fellow writers abound at this annual conference.

My first time attending the three-day Harvard publishing course, I sat listening, absorbing, percolating. A book I wanted to write was beginning to take shape in my mind, although initially I knew little of the process. For six months I did nothing except mull over all the new information I had been subliminally processing.

Lisa Tener portrait Lisa Tener

One rainy afternoon I decided to sign up for Lisa Tener’s writing course. We met at the conference and I thought being accountable to Lisa and the internet based group would help me stay focused. The course was designed for students to create a first rough draft by the end of six weeks.

Those six weeks flew by and I ended up with little more than scattered note cards and random pages of incoherence. Nevertheless I had begun my journey. I jumped into the murky waters of writing and while I hated the frustration of writing, I loved the magic when I succeeded in expressing my thoughts in a meaningful way.

Another conference and several months later an outline emerged from the scribbles. I kept on writing, as advised at the conference, without much concern for editorial help. “Write fast. Edit slow.” These words keep running through my mind.

Jeanne Fredericks, literary agent

In time I got some editorial help and began to cultivate my style and voice, which I continue to do. My proposal took shape. About nine months later, I landed a first rate literary agent. Jeanne Fredericks of Jeanne Fredericks Literary Agency has been my guiding light ever since. She encouraged me to become a thought leader in my field and to develop a social media presence.

Writing books today encompasses much more than being the author of a book. It is about being able to communicate to readers in a variety of media outlets.

As I navigate through this compelling writing voyage, I find myself experiencing surprising opportunities.

Lisa with DrRKG Regina Brooks, literary agent, writing coach Lisa Tener and Dr. Randy Kamen

I recently completed yet another Harvard writing and publishing course. Thanks to Dr. Julie Silver, director extraordinaire, for this most extraordinary conference that truly helps people bring their books to life.

Journaling while having coffee

Throughout my life I’ve always had a secret passion for writing. Stacks of journals accumulated over the years line my office book shelves. My first journal dates back to second grade. Back then I wrote about the activities of the day, the weather or the food I ate. Over time the writing became more inspired and more of an expression of my inner world, my relationships, losses, successes, dreams and aspirations.

In college and graduate school, I wrote as a way of communicating ideas, research and different views with others. My career as a psychologist led me down the path of writing extensively about the lives of my clients. Writing always inspires a deeper understanding and connection with my inner world as well as the particular subject about which I write. [click to continue…]

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Photos directly above by Laura Bergstein, all rights reserved; Portrait Photography of Dr.Randy Kamen by Janet Wolbarst Photography www.janetwolbarst.com