Linda Joy Myers, Ph.D. is the founder and president of the National Association of Memoir Writers and the author of The Power of Memoir–How to Write Your Healing Story and Journey of Memoir. Her memoir Don’t Call Me Mother–A Daughter’s Journey from Abandonment to Forgiveness is a ForeWord Book of the Year finalist, and won honorable mention in the New York Book Awards and Indie-Excellence contest. Her award winning memoir Song of the Plains–A Memoir of Family, Secrets, and Silence was published by She Writes Press.
Linda has been a therapist in Berkeley for forty-two years, and combines her background in art, clinical work, and writing in her coaching and writing. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College, and offers memoir workshops and trainings in the Bay Area and nationally. She’s the former president of the California Writers Club, Marin branch, and a member of Women’s National Book Association. Myers is an award-winning fiction, poetry, and non-fiction writer. Her first book Becoming Whole: Writing Your Healing Story was a ForeWord Book of the Year finalist.
Linda teaches the memoir intensive Write Your Memoir in Six Months with Brooke Warner, and is the co-author with Brooke on the book Breaking Ground, Craft and Motivation for Memoir Writers and The Magic of Memoir.
To learn about classes, events, and coaching, visit me at the National Association of Memoir Writers.
My autobiographical work began with paintings and collages of family photos as she explored the secrets and history of my family. I began writing my truth through autobiographical poems about childhood with my great-grandmother Blanche on a farm in Iowa, and my mother’s visits each year by train. The theme of music and the love and care from strangers created connections that helped me to heal and break the patterns of the past.
It took nearly a decade to write Don’t Call Me Mother. During those years, I researched the family history and tried to break decades of silence about what happened. Extended family members kept asking, “Just forget the past,” but it was always tapping me on the shoulder and haunting my dreams.
Linda’s Philosophy About Memoir Writing
On my book tours and in workshops, I enjoy meeting people who are passionate about capturing the stories of their lives. Writing a memoir is an act of faith and courage. Writers who tell a personal story feel exposed and vulnerable, but in that rich mud of family history, there are many opportunities for creativity, healing, and connecting with the world of art, literature, and the life stories that link us all.
Most people who write memoir are searching for memories that validate their experience, but they worry about exposing and writing the truth. A memoir is not a factual recitation of history–it’s a recollection, a musing and merging of images, dreams, reflections. A memoir is written as a story and takes the reader on a journey to discover the author’s truths. People always ask “Where do I begin?” Start with a moment that you’ve always remembered, a moment in time. Write a scene with description and sensual details, and take yourself there again. Then write another scene!