Non-fiction Writing

Non-fiction is where I found immediate success with writing, likely because I’d been honing my voice in journals since 4th grade. Twenty years of writing for my eyes only, meant I knew my voice. I was thirty-one when I first submitted something for publication. It was accepted, printed in real newsprint, and I even got paid. I took that as a sign I was on the right track with this whole writing thing.

My super-power is simplifying and de-scarying business in how-to articles. My advice resonates because I experiment on myself first and live what I write about—people connect with the authenticity and my direct raised-in-the-Mid-West writing style. On occasion my fantastical fiction skills weave their way into a creative non-fiction piece; I know I’ve done those right when people can’t tell if it’s a true story or something otherworldly.

Jessica Conoley's Desk
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TCA Guiding Principles

Mindset: What Your Writing Is Training You For

Living your life as a working creative is living in that moment of you don’t know what happens next. Again, and again, and again. Your writing has been training you for this moment.  Your writing has been training you, so you can start living your real life. 

The Most Significant Choice Of Your Writing Career

As you rewire your brain you may even learn to enjoy the current stage of your writing career. But the jump from “Why would anyone read my work?” to “My work is great,” is not natural.  If you try to go directly from the former to the latter, you’re probably going to feel delusional, as opposed to empowered.

Building Your Creative Support Triangle

The key to emotional well-being and continued productivity is knowing which part of your support system to call on and when. Once you start looking you can find support everywhere: from writers and non-writers, people you may never meet in real life, and more.
From the archives...

The Great Escape

In this series apprentice Imari Berry selects essays from Jessica Conoley’s archives.  Imari shares why the essay resonates with her as a newer creative, & Jessica’s original essay follows.
Tired young woman working at her laptop and rubbing her eyes.

Creating Through the Impossible

What do you do when you’re faced with an unexpected shutdown? How do you stay true to your creative ambitions and still handle what life is throwing at you? I struggled with that question for sixteen months as my mom was dying.
Glass window-reflecting light through its wet texture

Essay: An Energetic Scavenger Hunt

I used to tell stories in long form essays, every-other-week like clockwork, delivered to your inbox. I did this for a number of years, six of them I think—maybe five, maybe seven, maybe none of that matters. 
Missouri River in 2021 by Christopher Michel, Wikimedia Commons

I am Descended From Giants

The giants’ home is in the boot-heel of Missouri. They cast forty-acre shadows over the flat, flat earth where their family lives. It’s not Kansas flat; because Kansas climbs toward the Rockies and your eye is drawn up, up, up as you head west.