Until my mother died, I tried to get her to claim/love me. When I was twenty, she’d made it clear that no one in Chicago where she lived knew that she had a daughter, and I was not to call her mother—thus the title of my memoir. I loved my mother despite her rejections when I visited her in Chicago over the years. I was convinced that one day she’d say, “Oh, I’ve been so wrong. I love you and I’m proud you are my daughter.”
Linda Joy Myers is speaking for Nina Amir’s Nonfiction Writers University March 17, 3 PM PST focusing on one of the most challenging parts of writing a memoir: the Muddy Middle!The Muddy Middle—this is where you wrestle with truth, the inner critic, family and how to bring a focus and universal message to your story. Here is where your healing and transformational journey deepens and you find yourself exploring the larger territory of your story and your life.
Committing ourselves to an ongoing practice of inner listening enhances our creativity. There is so much stimulation in our lives now—TV screens, tablets, phones, loud musak in every store—it’s hard to tune out so much noise. The challenge in “everyday” life is to find ways to connect with our creative muse regularly, to create openness and enough silence to hear our emerging thoughts and ideas.
I’m always curious about what the antidote is to those times when we are unable to write, when it seems the words and ideas have dried up, when it’s better to binge-watch “Homeland” or “Outlander” or “The Good Wife.” I recently came upon one of these “dry” spells, where I had no motivation at all to go to the computer,…
When we talk about our inner critic, do we understand where it comes from? Or do we assume that it comes with being born into the world? So many writers and artists talk about their inner critic, which I find helpful in normalizing that inner, irritating voice of doubt. Dani Shapiro, novelist and memoirist, talks about it in Still…
Find your voice, write it all out. Don’t hold back. Break out of your silence. Tell it like it was and if it was ugly, tell it true. It will hurt for a while, but then it will feel better. It has already been hurting you for too long, but first you get all that stuff out and then you shape it to make sense–that is if you want to write your truth all the way without fussing. Most of us think we need to be too polite, as if we are at a fancy tea, to write sweetly and not shock anyone, but that’s not what this is about.
As you can see in the photo, I have years of journals to draw from as I write my new memoir about transformation in the 60s and 70s! When I wrote Don’t Call Me Mother, I didn’t use journals, as most of what I had to write about happened long before I started journaling. However, there were a few…
The first Annual National Association of Memoir Writers Retreat, this October in Connecticut, offers that safe community along with the support and expertise of three accomplished memoir writers and teachers. Check the retreat website for more details about program.
Memoirists know that writing a memoir can be fraught with all kinds of doubts and silencing, from “I’m not that great a writer” to “what will the family say?” We worry about how much to put in, whether to frame scenes with dialogue or not, or if we should name the people we grew up with. We worry about these things whether they are legal issues or not. We worry about them even if we are starting a first draft that no one else will see but our writer buddies or coach. Let’s face it—we worry!
Where are you in this new publishing world? As you begin to think of all the choices, you may feel overwhelmed, but the Internet can deliver to you encyclopedic amounts of information about any of the topics that have to do with publishing. Just search, find, read, and digest the information available to you. Linda Joy Myers and Amanda Barbara of Pubslush will discuss crowdfunding and resources for writers today.