Meet Barbara Linney

Meet Barbara Linney

Barbara Linney

Barbara recently retired after 22 years as the Vice President of Career Development for the American College of Physician Executives.  Her background includes management development, one-on-one counseling, seminar presentations, published articles, and college-level teaching. She is author of the books A Career Guide for Physician Executives, 2nd edition of Hope for the Future and Turn Your Face: How to Be Heard and Get What You Want Most of the Time and co-author of the book Physician Executives: What, Why and How, 2nd Edition. She speaks on topics such as Improving Interpersonal Communications, Conflict Management, Delivering Effective Presentations, Conducting Effective Meetings, and Writing for the Executives.

Check out Barbara’s website here:
Want to learn more about her book Turn Your Face: How to Be Heard and Get What You Want Most of the Time? Check out her 2-minute video here:

A Sample of Barbara’s Writing

Write What You Know


Barbara Linney

Grab a pen, put on paper the thoughts in your head as fast as they come to you. Write what you know this day, this minute. The process, called freewriting, is writing without stopping for ten minutes while not worrying about spelling, punctuation, grammar, or content.

Why do it? It can help you feel better, organize your thoughts, find meaning in your life, be kind to your family and friends, contribute value to society, and express gratitude for your life. It can help you get what you want most of the time.

Freewriting, a concept described by Peter Elbow in Writing Without Teachers, changed my life. In 1979 I began to write ten minutes every day in a spiral notebook. I was made to do it in my second class in graduate school. It was a class assignment, but it was helping me sort out what was going on in my personal life. I was not coping well with the stresses of two young children. The freewriting helped me see concretely on paper my thoughts and feelings and come up with plans for improvements.

I had a five-year old daughter and a two-year old son. I loved them dearly, but at times I was edgy, hateful — resentful that I no longer talked to educated adults during the day.  In my view my husband was not pulling his share of the load at home; however, I wasn’t working outside the home, so I thought: “This is my job-why can’t I do it better, like it more, be more patient?” As all the discontent, self-pity, and anger spilled onto the page, I began to feel lighter, less depressed. The more I wrote, the more I liked some of the words. New solutions to try for recurring problems kept popping up.

My children are grown now and I have a full time job, but the activities of work can hurl me along at a pace that causes me to lose sight of important work goals and personal goals. Some days I read and deal with one email after another, answer the phone, check voice mail, return calls, and attend meetings. At the end of the day I can still have over a hundred emails staring at me because they multiplied like rabbits while I was answering other ones.  Freewriting can bring all the fragmented, flying around pieces of me back together the way a magnet pulls the little black slivers on an “Etch A Sketch” screen to the center.

from Turn Your Face: How to Be Heard and Get What You Want Most of the Time

You can buy Barbara’s book by clicking below:

What Barbara says about WordPlay

“I took a class from Maureen in 2009. I had been writing a book on the weekends for ten years. I wrote a piece in her class about the book and poked fun at it out of embarrassment. No one else did. They responded with compassion and helpful feedback. Their reaction helped me over the final hump of working to get it published. I’ve been selling Turn Your Face: How to Be Heard and Get What You Want Most of the Time since 2010, and have given many book talks on it as well.

I’ve been wanting to write another book, but I needed an audience and encouragement. Last July an email popped up about one of Maureen’s classes. It began the night before I was to leave for a big work conference. I never go anywhere the night before I leave town, but I viewed it as a sign and went. Since then, I’ve been to nine memoir classes and two day-long retreats. I have now retired from my full time job and plan to keep taking WordPlay classes because I get energized and encouraged.

Maureen gives assignments that get words out of me that I would not otherwise write or say. She responds with great information that fits perfectly with any subject that comes up in class. She is like a very friendly encyclopedia, giving you just enough information to help you keep writing but not so much that you are overwhelmed. She and the other class participants create a safe environment where I am willing to risk words and find out if I would risk them in a larger audience. I leave class happy, thinking This is how I want to spend my time now.”