Hello, I’m Debbie. I help writers get unstuck. I’m a nonfiction writing coach. I’m also writing a book on taking a gap year to reinvent your life.

A veteran communications professional, Debbie Weil was a journalist for twenty years before becoming an early adopter of the Web and all things digital in the 1990s, making her a notable anomaly as a baby boomer. In 2006, she published one of the first books about business blogging and was a consultant and speaker worldwide on corporate use of social media.

 

After 31 years in Washington DC, and after their three children were grown, Debbie persuaded her physician husband, Sam Harrington, to retire and reinvent how they live by moving to a small town on the coast of Maine. This major life change became the basis for a blog they write together, Gap Year(s) After Sixty.

 

Now based in Maine, she continues to work as a nonfiction writing coach and also produces and directs Island Women Speak, a Moth-like evening of storytelling by local women ages 21 to 91. She is on the board of Opera House Arts of Stonington, spends time with her six grandchildren, and, with Sam, her husband of 45 years, continues to write a joint blog about reinventing life (and their marriage) at the age of sixty-six. Sam is the newly-published author of At Peace: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life.

 

Why should gap years be wasted on the young?

All that Debbie has learned and observed about herself, her husband, her family and life itself have become the basis of the book she is writing about A Gap Year For Grownups. She starts by debunking the idea that “money” is the biggest obstacle to changing your life when you’ve reached a certain level of success and are comfortably settled. Then she goes on to chronicle everything you need to know in order to use a gap year or time out as a way of reinventing your life. She captures and catalogues the inspiration, the decision-making, and the practical details, along with the doubts, uncertainty and pain that are a part of shedding your old skin in order to find a new one. Her experience, along with that of her husband, will be your guide to discovering your own next chapter and reinvention.

 

Official bio

A Harvard graduate and a former journalist, Debbie Weil is a speaker, author, book writing coach, and nonfiction publisher. As a veteran blogger and Web pioneer, she was named one of the Most Influential Women in Technology by Fast Company and a DC Top 100 Tech Titan by Washingtonian magazine.

For the past 18 years her company, WordBiz LLC, has worked with a range of clients from GlaxoSmithKline and HP to the Maryland Association of CPAs. She focussed on content marketing, from creating effective e-newsletters to launching corporate blogs. More recently, she pivoted to work with executives and professionals who want to write short nonfiction books on their areas of expertise.

She founded Voxie Media, a boutique publishing imprint, for business and nonfiction authors with inspiring ideas and a desire to make a difference. She also provides consulting to navigate the new world of self-publishing.

Debbie is the author of one of the first and most definitive books about business blogging, The Corporate Blogging Book (Penguin Portfolio). She has an honors degree in English from Harvard a Masters in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned an MBA from Georgetown University.

She and her husband, Sam Harrington, write a blog together chronicling their continuing Gap Year After Sixty. They have six grandchildren and divide their time between Stonington, ME and Brooklyn, NY.

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writing coach and keynote speaker