Hello, I’m Debbie. As a nonfiction writing coach, I help writers get unstuck. I also host the Gap Year For Grown-Ups podcast.

A veteran communications professional, Debbie Weil was a journalist for twenty years before becoming an early adopter of the Web 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 from age 20 to 90-something. She is Past Chair of the board of Opera House Arts of Stonington, spends time with her six grandchildren, and, with Sam, her husband of 47 years, continues to write a joint blog about reinventing life (and their marriage) at the age of sixty-eight. Sam is the author of At Peace: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life.


Debbie’s podcast, Gap Year For Grown-Ups

 A podcast for those who believe you can take a timeout to reinvent your life, to explore, to find meaning and purpose and – yes, happiness! – especially when you are 50+ and figuring out what comes next. Yes, grown-ups can step out of their default life for a reset, for renewal and for bucket list adventures. But it’s a bit more complicated than it is for students who only have to sling a backpack over their shoulders. Host Debbie Weil talks with guests about the money question, decision-making, the process of change and the pursuit of happiness.

Our Media Partners

Encore.org, our newest media partner, is an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good. Founder and CEO Marc Freedman is an award-winning social entrepreneur and author, most recently, of How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations. Looking for a great gap-year transition program? Check out Encore Fellowships, which match skilled, seasoned professionals with social-sector organizations in high-impact, paid assignments.


Modern Elder Academy is a program dedicated to navigating mid-life transitions. MEA, based in Baja California, Mexico, provides the place and the tools to start reframing your lifetime of experience. Grow whole, not old. Founder Chip Conley is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning hospitality entrepreneur and a rock star of the mid-life transition movement. His newest book is Wisdom @ Work: the Making of a Modern Elder.


Next For Me is an important new resource for the 50+ crowd focused on rewriting life. Taking a gap year or timeout may be the best way to figure out “what’s next” when you’re in this stage of life. Founder Jeff Tidwell explains, Next For Me “connects and inspires our generation to evolve our post-50 lives through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution.”


Listen here.


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 New Haven, CT.

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