Autobiographical Info: The Story So Far

Alison Gunn

I am a creativity and writing coach with 25 years’ experience helping writers, published or aspiring, develop their full range of abilities and talents. I work one-on-one in Skype or in person. Together, we will work not only on your writing skills, but also your self-confidence, so that you feel sure of your abilities and believe in your need for self-expression and innate creativity.

Workshops I’ve given include “Writing For The Non-Writer,” character and plot development, and persuasive writing skills. I specialise in working with writers who lack motivation or are currently blocked, or have trouble believing in themselves as writers.

I’ve worked as an editor, desktop publisher, and instructor, and I’ve taught all kinds of writing, including academic and technical. I specialized in what causes writer’s block and writing apprehension for my Master’s degree. My Doctorate is in Rhetoric and Composition with a focus on how society prevents the writer from taking herself seriously (Washington State University, 2002).

I developed this site to encourage aspiring writers and motivate and inspire anyone who thinks they can’t, or shouldn’t, become a writer. Free online courses can be found at The Collaborative Writer Online Courses, which the writer can guide herself through, step-by-step.

Please contact me at

Free Online Courses
Member of Pacific Northwest Writers Association
Follow me on Twitter
Visit my Amazon storefront at Bottom of the Box Books
My book, Writing To Persuade is now available from Amazon

11 thoughts on “Autobiographical Info: The Story So Far

  1. This is wonderful, and just the thing for us beginners! I’m old, but I’m just beginning to get brave enough to show a few of my writings. It’s such a tricky business…bringing your perchance homely infant to the world for scowls or smirks. Down right scary! I truly appreciate your willingness to help we timid parents find enough bravery to bare our creations, lovely or un, and help us move forward. Please let me know how to proceed from here.

  2. Pingback: The Silent Dialogue « Kaleidoscope

  3. Dear Alison, I have not fallen off this juicy and life giving tree that you provide beginner writers like me. I wanted to connect with you to let you know that though it’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted here, 1) You are still inspiring me to go deeper into my preparation in the process of better writing. 2) I am still between Exercise #2 and #3, and am so thrilled reading you. 3) First the thrill of basking in your support took me into searches of theories, other authors and particular terminology…
    4) This guided tour into the body, brain, and heart of the writing process led me to order a few of the writing books that you recommended. I am presently enjoying and connecting with Brenda Ueland’s “If You Want to Write… ” (plus had to order a basic from Focault and Derrida since they kept coming up in what I consider is the Western academic’s subconscious egoic sense of entitlement leading to the appropriation of theories from foreign intellectuals, but the references of Western academics rarely contain references to the foreign authors from whom they are elaborating so called “new” theories, and for those of us who know that the newly funded theories in academia are not anything new, but a rehashing of theories previously presented by academics from other cultures. And since some of what I will be writing about addresses issues of cultural imperialism, before I can write/speak/be heard on anything that touches these gods of Western academia, I have to read these guys even if it is no fun at all).
    5) When my daughter returns from her camping expedition through Southern Georgia, we will skype or phone to discuss your first two Assignments. I want her to read them out loud to me, and listen to her reactions about your loving insights! In this respect, you are helping us enrich our conversations about how we integrate our life experiences into our art form, and the importance of articulating to assist in the cognitive and neural connections to expand the imaginary borders of our creative process. I am hoping that she connects with you here, but perhaps need to mediate this. Rebecca, my daughter, is an artistic photographer and clarinetist, BA from Bennington College, now doing an MFA in Photography.

    From margins to center… touching base with you here 🙂 back from center to margins and to inner center. Have more writing projects in this head than can be done in one life time. Will be back. Thank you again. Remain so Blessed!

  4. *The apparent attack on Focault and Derrida is very unfinished, may sound crazy… but in no way do I ignore the positive influence that Eastern thought has had on the development of science, art, political discourses, leadership theories, social sciences and natural sciences, women’s spirituality and other academic branches and new university programs well funded in Western culture. In spite of the vast wave of creativity which Eastern philosophies have inspired in Western academic branches, what I attempt to address is Cultural Imperialism and the appropriation of past theories within a clan who reach the status of academic gods or “founding fathers of… ” within Western Eurocentric academia, with rare mention in references or bibliographies to the sources where they derive this inspiration. And in this doublespeak “global” times, there is a black hole or silence about this intercultural interface, with rare references or bibliographies containing entries that point out to a vaster intersectionality, to use a term coined by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and this poses an ethic and moral challenge to academic transparency occuring within the present colonial, erroneously considered postcolonial, times.

  5. This writing person fortunately has one facet which is like a dam–this is probably where intercultural cognitive dissonance, ideas, inspirations, passions, speed and calm coalesce–defining a place in writer’s block. The same person has another facet which acts like a seed, waiting to be touched by inspiration from a ray of sunlight… here is where the writing friend or teachers comes in. And then the seeds of all that was pre-dam get filtered from the soup of all into the units of words and sentences that we can take in.

    I wish there were a better analogy for me for what the writing process is. Perhaps what I describe as a dam is very subjective, I hope others do not have to suffer this bag of thrills. It cannot come out all at once, but it is in here all at once in the now. It is not all in gestation before a glorious birthing. Many sperm cells will die off disconnected from the writer’s egg cell.

    This is a simultaneous process of birthing and dying. I loved Ueland’s passages on Blake in “If You Want to Write” thank you for that ray of sunlight. I wonder if I am an individual, how can I be when the best seeds within me blossom at the touch of the sunlight of so many others?

    I look forward to reading your analogies to the writer’s block. They may help me get past the dam, the seed and further away from the individual form in creative ways. Is your dissertation work available online? And if not, could you post it in these pages for those of us of a certain age, with probably a lot less time, or for the very young in a hurry to learn, and for all the rest in between ? .)

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