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!Read More →

    Linda Joy Myers and Beth Kephart–in conversation about Truth, Life, Memoir, Remembering–and the magic of capturing a moment. This week at our National Association of Memoir Writers member teleseminar, Beth Kephart and I will continue a conversation in public that we have been having in bits and pieces through emails, phone conversations, and a five minute in-person meeting last week at Book Passage. It’s interesting how the Internet creates the opportunity to “meet” new people that we might not know—thanks to networking, Twitter, and our love of things we hold in common. Beth and I hold in common the allure, and challenge, ofRead More →

Truth or Fiction—how do you want to write your life story? This is a pithy and often difficult question that many memoir writers ponder—and it keeps them from writing. Are you writing—or are you worrying about how to write your story? It’s time to think hard about your choices and get back to your book. You can write—and finish—your book in 2012!   Reasons why you might choose fiction: You want the protection of “the fictional wall.” When your family and friends ask: did that REALLY happen—you can say “This is a novel. Any similarities between persons living and dead are coincidental.” Or whatever disclaimerRead More →

  I’m so excited today! On October 21, I’m going to be hosting the Free Memoir Writing Telesummit over at The National Association of Memoir Writers. What an opportunity—to talk with these writers, teachers, authors, and bloggers who make such a difference in the creative nonfiction and literary world. You need to be there! Go right over the National Association of Memoir Writers right now and SIGN UP. You will really enjoy being on the call live, but if you sign up, you also receive the downloadable audio as a resource to keep for yourself. Take a look at this list: Dinty Moore, Robin Hemley, JenniferRead More →

Okay, the challenge is on, though somewhat tongue in cheek. Ben Yagoda, author of The History ofMemoir, has created a way to measure the “truthiness” in published memoirs. He’s interviewed about his “truth” chart in the Christian Science Monitor.  You remember—“truthiness” was the term coined back during theJames Frey fray with Oprah about truth and lie in his memoir A Million Little Pieces. You remember, the dressing down on Oprah’s couch. Many memoirists put the virtual tail between their legs and got quite nervous about writing memoir. “How much do I have to fact check? Sure, I make up some of the dialogue as bestRead More →

All right, it’s a field day against memoirists. Again. Gee, I just hate to hear the word “memoir” in the same sentence as “liar.” In the neuro-connections, there’s no gap between accusation and the fine tuned, nuanced “reality” of the person accused. I don’t know if Greg Mortensen lied the way that James Frey did; or did James Frey “lie” in fiction, and it was turned into memoir by the publisher? Question: if you conflate time in your story, to keep the reader from being bored to tears, for instance, are you “lying?” If you combine characters in your story for the purpose of goodRead More →