We all have a story to tell, but ah–how to tell it, that’s what keeps us at our desk, scribbling in our notebooks, looking for the scenes and moments that we carry in our hearts. Our job as memoirists is to translate what we know and remember to the page, to put images and wispy memories into language and story. Memoirists sometimes feel they have a story that ought to be easy to tell. After all, we know what happened in our lives and why we want to write about it. But this is where memoir writers struggle. A well-written story is more than “whatRead More →

Do you love movies? To me, there’s nothing so satisfying as sitting down to immerse myself in a new story. The first few moments need to capture my attention so I can’t look away. I make sure my tea is nearby, and that my kitties are ready to settle down on my lap. Once the kitties are there, I won’t be getting up for at least an hour or more as the story weaves its magic around me. It grabs me with a scene, in a moment where I’m drawn into a world not my own. I’m inside the scene, inside the beginning moments ofRead More →

  I’ve often said jokingly to my students, “Writing a memoir is like taking your clothes off in public.” True, but it doesn’t go far enough. It’s like taking your clothes off and reading your journal in public. You’re vulnerable when you write as you think of others reading your work, and you feel overwhelmed—there are so many stories to choose from! Where to start? Which to choose? There’s an endless chatter that many beginning writers find hard to deal with. You can’t just silence the voices in your head—the questions posed are important. They’re the questions you need to answer. They go like this:Read More →

If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. Toni Morrison   You want to share your life with your readers—the smell of your grandmother’s garden in the spring, how you and your sister struggled with each other, only to leave love notes of apology after. Your mother, father, friends, the geography of your hometown and state—all these and so much more are part of the history you carry inside you. Your memories are a part of your inner life all the time. The challenge is to find a way to bring them toRead More →

    As readers, we all have the experience of trying to find our bearings as we begin a story. To get “inside” the story that’s beginning, we readers are curious about who the main characters are, and we’re eager to learn about them—to learn why we are being told this story about these people. Early in a story, we’re getting grounded in where we are—literally—on the planet, in the world, and in the geography of place.  We need to know the time frame for the story, too. That’s the who, where, and when of the story. These details need to be on the firstRead More →

Tips and Resources for Writing Your Memoir in the New Year–by Linda Joy Myers, president of the National Association of Memoir Writers. Learn how to ask yourself the right questions as you begin your memoir, and read these 12 helpful book about memoir writing. Resources of websites and Facebook pages are included.Read More →

I advise memoir writers that the holidays is a good time to do some “research” about family stories. As you write your memoir you discover your memories through writing prompts and digging into your memories as best you can, but it’s amazing what immersing yourself in family can bring up. Being “at home” brings you into the family circle in two ways—as a family member and as a memoir writer. Read More →

Join Linda Joy Myers, President of the National Association of Memoir Writers, and Theo Pauline Nestor as they discuss the 5 Secrets to Writing an Enduring Memoir. There is a discount for the special event starring Anne Lamott in January.Read More →