Headshot of Renée Hartleib, Writer and Writing Mentor

For as long as I can remember, I’ve put pen to paper, using words to make sense of the world around me, to dig deep and express myself, and to playfully create.

As a child, I wrote adventure stories. As a teen, I joined the ranks of anguished poetry writers. And as a young adult, I used my journal to explore what it meant to feel different.

But it wasn’t until my late twenties that I began to believe that I could actually “be” a writer. With a group of women writers, I started exploring writing as a means of creative expression. The support and praise I received from the group allowed me to take next steps: writing for publication and eventually becoming self-employed as a professional writer.

I created a business where I got to write all day, every day. The only problem was that everything I wrote was for other people. While I was proud of myself for figuring out how to make a good living doing something I loved, there was definitely something missing.

Wanting a place to explore and share ideas, I began writing and posting a weekly blog. I discovered that what I wrote for myself had resonance for others too. People wrote me humbling and inspiring notes about how my writing had touched them.

I became braver in my writing. I wrote about suicide and divorce and sexuality and being eaten alive by shame. I learned that when I showed up and told my truth, it helped to heal and transform me in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I also realized that telling my own stories connected me in a very real way with other people, giving them courage and making them feel not so alone.

Today, through my writing and my online programs, I share what I’ve learned about the transformative power of finding the truth and telling our stories.

Here’s how we can work together:

I write essays and articles for online and print magazines. Subscribe to my website to read my writing, hot off the press.

I offer a FREE 9-Day Writing Challenge if you want to initiate a daily creative practice that will inspire and delight you.

My online programs include a six-week workshop for women called Exploring Memoir, a 15 Days of Fiction course, and The 40-Day Writing Project.

I offer a comprehensive Manuscript Review service if you’ve finished a book and need an experienced and intuitive eye to bring you closer to publication.

My Daily Sparks writing prompts are being enjoyed by a growing community of creatives. Sign up by the month for thoughtful and playful prompts designed to keep you on track with daily writing.

“Everybody is talented, original, and has something important to say.”

― Brenda Ueland