The Miscellany

I’ve written a few nonfiction books that I love and which are still in print. You may enjoy one (or more!) of these.

The Improbable Adventures of a Middle-Aged Woman

One day, confronting middle age with alarm, Jennifer makes a bucket list, then sets out to do everything on it.

There are only two snags: life has limits, and her beloved, challenging daughter is almost always in tow.

Teetering on the edge of a cliff in Ireland, searching fruitlessly for a place to stay during a wild summer storm in the West Highlands, getting lost in Munich, and, finally, confronting the fact that her daughter isn’t nearly as interested in self-transformation as she is, Jennifer discovers that happiness has nothing to do with lists.  


For Jessica

When I wrote “For Jessica” in the summer of 2010, my beloved daughter, who has a neurological disease called tuberous sclerosis, had just been diagnosed with a degenerative spinal cord disorder.

I wanted to tell my friends what was happening but I didn’t want to keep bursting into tears. So I wrote “For Jessica” on my blog and clicked “post.”

And then something unexpected happened. A friend linked to it on Facebook, and another friend linked to it on Twitter, and pretty soon people who weren’t my friends were reading it. Hundreds of people, then thousands of people, then tens of thousands of people.

They said they understood. Or if they didn’t understand, they wanted to hold my hand anyway. Or say a prayer for us or send flowers to Jessica.

I’m still astonished that so many people cared so much for one little girl and her mother.

People have repeatedly asked for this essay in book form, so here it is.


Dojo Wisdom For Writers

When black belt Jennifer Lawler first started training in the martial arts, she never imagined that learning how to kick people would teach her how to become a more accomplished and successful writer. But she soon discovered that the skills she learned in the dojo (training hall)—how to focus, stay disciplined, and persevere—would help her realize her dreams off the mat.

Now a successful author and writing coach,  Lawler shares 100 essential lessons from the martial arts that will help you master the craft of writing and build your writing career.

Dojo Wisdom for Writers is a rare and lovely guide to the writing life. The advice from the martial artist author is both practical and inspirational, and it must be said: Jennifer Lawler is a kickass writer.” – Mary O’Connell, author of The Sharp Time and Living with Saints.


Dojo Wisdom

In the hours spent perfecting their skills in the dojo, or training hall, martial artists practice much more than how to master a punch.  They also learn essential lessons which help them become stronger, calmer, and more courageous people—and enhance their lives. 

In DOJO WISDOM: 100 Simple Ways to Become a Stronger, Calmer, More Courageous Person, Jennifer Lawler, a martial arts teacher and second-degree black belt, shares one hundred of these life lessons from the martial arts to make anyone more confident, happier and focused. 

This accessible, encouraging, and inspiring book can show you—whether or not you ever step onto the mat—how to tap into a power that you never knew you had.


Travels with Jessica

Of all the things I thought I might find myself asking someday, the question “Do you know anyone who can translate the phrase ‘ventriculoperitoneal shunt’ into Italian?”  is not one of them.

I have always wanted to travel the world, but when my daughter Jessica was born with a debilitating medical condition that left her physically and mentally impaired, I thought any chance of eating risotto in Verona was gone.

But Jessica taught me to think bigger than “that will be hard.” And one day she talked me into following my dreams. This is the story of our travels.


Cover for The Club Ed Guide to Starting and Running a Profitable Freelance Editing Business

The Club Ed Guide to Starting and Running a Profitable Freelance Editing Business

At Club Ed, we tell the truth. Yes, you should skip the Speedo. No, you shouldn’t feed the sharks. And yes, running a freelance editing business is work. Hard work.

But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! This book is a laid-back guide to helping you figure out your next steps, whether you’re planning on editing as a side hustle or a full-time gig. It will help you:

  • Define your personal and professional goals for your business
  • Develop effective marketing (and learn how to assess it)
  • Manage clients and run the backend of your business
  • Deal with taxes, contracts, and the people who scare you

. . . and more!