Writing a memoir is like finding yourself on a journey: you thought you knew where you were going, but eventually you are lost! We all experience several stages that lead up to your journey: As you pack your suitcase, you think about the thrilling and interesting moments you will encounter. And as you start your journey, you are still excited and moving forward with great energy. Then reality sets in. Life still presents challenges. And it is this way when we write our memoir. A couple of years ago, I visited France and was thrilled to be in Paris again with its iconic symbols–theRead More →

  This guidebook through the complex layers of writing a publishable memoir gives you all you need to begin a memoir and find your way through the labyrinth of memories and writing challenges that come with crafting a true story about your life. This is a good companion book to Linda’s other book on memoir writing, The Power of Memoir. Myers three stages of memoir writing are: Kick Starting Your Memoir The Muddy Middle Birthing Your Book   Journey of Memoir delivers skill sets and problem solving, with hundreds of exercises and thought provoking questions that a serious memoir writer needs to consider in today’sRead More →

  When we talk about “essential Truth” what do we mean as memoirists? How much room do we have to create scenes, dialogue, and “characters” from the flotsam of memories? What are the “rules” of memoir anyway? Memoirists are always on the firing line it seems, in danger of being accused of making things up or “fictionalizing,” and there is a whole history that many of you have heard about that make memoirists leery of even writing their memoir.  There’s the whole James Frey and Oprah controversy, and several cases of false memoirs that hit the public hard. Everyone needs to understand that when peopleRead More →

    Most people writing a memoir are learning to write while also excavating the terrain of memories and learning about elements of the past can be painful. If you have started your memoir, or are about to start, you know that writing a book is a journey with several stages. As you go through the stages, you build one upon the other to get to your goal. As you write, the journey will change you. It’s important to understand what a memoir is, and isn’t. A memoir is a story with structure, a theme, and a reason for a reader to be engaged. MemoirRead More →

    One of my students was complaining the other day about plotting, creating structure, outlining, and all that left brain stuff.  “I miss my freewriting!” she said. We love the feeling when we are in flow. It’s like a drug, and it’s also the feeling of being exactly in the center of our creative energy, which is one reason we love to write. But if we only freewrite, we end up with bunches of pages that have nowhere to live. We get lost in the middle of our story and don’t know how to get out. It’s important to balance the freewriting with theRead More →

  As writers, we all know that writing a memoir, a long full length story, pushes us to think on several levels at once—it’s like rubbing your stomach while patting your head, doing a tap dance and a few yoga moves all at once while singing an aria! Whew. And we need to weave images with a felt sense of the moments in time we’re creating, building a world for our readers to inhabit using the techniques of story writing. One sticking point for memoir writing is characterization—our characters are real people, so we can’t just make things up. We have to use the realRead More →

    How do you get your writing done—or do you? Are you a procrastinator—do you let Time Bandits get in your way? The solution is simple and it’s one you use for the rest of your life: you have to schedule your writing dates. You make dates for everything else, right? Do you know if you’re more creative in the morning or at night? Be sure to plan your writing time around the best times of your day and week. How do you feel about scheduling your writing? Perhaps you prefer to wait for the muse to knock on your door. Do you everRead More →

My recent trip to England reminded me again–and I love this–that history really IS about story. Everywhere you go, things are really OLD! From bridges to buildings, paintings and sculpture, castles and country houses. Not “old” the way Americans think of it–ready to be refurbished or torn down–but old as in venerated, full of meaning. The very stones, windows, and railings tell the story of who built the building, when, under what conditions, how it was bombed and then rescued in WWII, or bombed and a ruin, but with a colorful alive garden waving in the breeze. I listened to Evensong in one of the almost-casualties of WWII–St.Read More →

When you first decide to write, you’re excited—eager to explore the memories and stories that are part of you. Memories shape who you are and where you hailed from. In a memoir, you weave the legacy about your life and times. You know your story—but perhaps the whispers of the ever present inner critic voice interfere with your story flow—what will people think; you should be ashamed; you will embarrass the family. Don’t air the dirty laundry; you know only part of the truth, so be quiet. Your mother will roll over in her grave if she found out you wrote that. The inner criticRead More →