I was thinking about the word “craft.” A craft is a boat, a craft sails down roiling waters, a craft keeps us dry and safe–we hope! How is a memoir like a boat–does our craft keep us dry and safe? Does it protect us in any way? As I prepare to give my webinar for Writer’s Digest March 8–on International Women’s Day, I began to muse on these questions. Craft is also a verb–to craft something is to create it. We craft our memoir, and we draw upon skills for the craft of memoir writing. It all comes full circle, and such is theRead More →

Writing a memoir means exploring who we are and where we came from, entering the unknown on our journey and discovering ourselves. We strike out for the gold of truth and honesty, as we explore the spiritual journey that leads us away from known territory deeper into who we are. We use the tools of memory, creativity, and writing. To find the road and have a focus I use the technique called “turning points.” These are the most important moments of your life, when nothing remained the same after the event. It might be meeting a new person, moving away from your home town, encounteringRead More →

  Martha, it’s so fabulous that you can join us today. We have talked in the past about the way memoir writers grow a little pale when thinking about plot. They feel constrained about the idea of thinking about plot, they don’t quite understand what it is and why it’s important. So my first question is to have you define plot, and tell us why a memoir writer needs to understand why they need to grasp the concepts and skills of plot for their memoir. Let me begin by saying that plot and structure are not constraining. Plot and structure actually give a memoirist theRead More →

There are so many memoirs to read, and books that help us learn how to write. This is the list of the classic books that I read as I began my memoir journey, and of course so many more books have come out. But here is a great list to choose from. I’ll post some of my favorites along the way–some of my favorites have * next to them. Enjoy reading!!   Adams, Kathleen        The Write Way to Wellness; Journal to the Self * Allende, Isabel            Paula * Allison, Dorothy         Bastard Out of Carolina * Angelou, Maya           I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings &Read More →

This is the kind of conversation I’ve been having with people lately–“I’m writing memoir, I think it’s memoir, but someone else called it Creative Nonfiction. But then I read about personal essays. I’m confused.” Yes, indeed labels are confusing. In my research for my new book Truth or Lie, I found myself doing a lot of reading about Creative Nonfiction as I investigated these kinds of questions. So far what I’ve found out is this: they are all the same. And they are different. As you can see, there is no one definition for these genres, but I did notice in some literary magazines, theRead More →

I was recently interviewed by Laurie Sanders, host of Today’s World blog talk radio program and veteran radio DJ with KOIT in San Francisco. We discussed the topic of how writing helps to heal and about the special things that memoir writers need to know. Enjoy the interview and let me know your thoughts by posting a comment below. I truly appreciate your feedback!Read More →