Jan 29, 2017 | Classes & Events, Writing Resources
What Made Love Warrior a Best-Selling Memoir?
A Free Webinar Monday, April 17, 4 PM PDT/7 PM EDT
With Brooke Warner and Linda Joy Myers of WriteYourMemoirInSixMonths.com
To sign up, Click here: http://writeyourbookinsixmonths.com/love-warrior-free-webinar
In Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton has written about emotional pain in a way that most memoirists struggle with. She grapples with addiction, painful insecurities, her husband’s infidelity, maternal overwhelm, and questions about her own lack of sex drive. Tackling a single one of these issues is tough; to expose all of them and handle them with care requires bravery and skill.
In this free webinar, memoir experts Linda Joy Myers and Brooke Warner will address the fears that invariably come up for writers who want to write their deepest truths and expose their most intimate—and often shameful—secrets. The webinar will address the fallouts of such naked writing—and talk about how sharing your truth has a way of both leveling everything and setting you free.
During this Free Webinar You Will Learn:
The hard truths—how to share them, why to share them, and what the consequences are for you, the writer, and the story if you don’t.
Intentional omission. What did Glennon leave out? How did this impact the story and her readers?
How to tackle hard themes, and the balance a memoir must strike when you’re sharing the intimate details of your sometimes-messy life.
Whether the fallout is worth it. A look at the repercussions of writing a memoir, how to determine your tolerance for other people’s reactions, and ways to know whether the timing is right, and if you can weather the possible consequences.
To sign up, Click here: http://writeyourbookinsixmonths.com/love-warrior-free-webinar
Apr 25, 2016 | Blog, Memories and Memoirs
Authoring Your Life—Encouragement to Write Our Stories by Brooke Warner
As a writing coach through the years, I’ve often found that women in particular struggle with having a voice—and with feeling empowered to get their work out into the world. I myself spent years battling my inner critic about my own memoir Don’t Call Me Mother, believing that the world would judge a story about three generations of dysfunctional mothers, that it was a domestic story and therefore not important in the world’s eyes. When I started writing, memoir was not a “thing” and fiction was king, so it’s lucky for us memoir writers that the world has shifted to be more welcoming to our stories eagerly awaiting the inside stories about our lives. We learn from others’ stories about ourselves, and take these profound lessons to hear. And the world still offers profound challenges and blocks that women struggle with.
My colleague and co-teacher Brooke Warner presented an inspiring keynote at the Story Circle Conference that addresses many of the issues that women struggle with. It was worthy of a standing ovation by the audience, so I want you know what she said to encourage us all.
First, she talked about how lucky she was to have been raised to believe in herself and her ideas. Many of us in the audience had grown up with the messages that we should stay silent, or mute our expression. Particularly, we often feel we have to be careful about saying or writing anything that might offend, hurt, or make someone uncomfortable. Brooke told us about her passion in championing women to publish during her eight years as Executive Editor at Seal Press. She was happy to be exposed to the huge variety of women’s stories, but came to realize that only a small percentage of the stories she loved could be published in the publishing environment that’s developed over the last decade. She began to think about a press that would publish women’s voices based on the merit of their writing and not their brand or platform—and She Writes Press was born in 2012. This year the press is celebrating multiple winners in the IPPY, Ben Franklin, and Next Generation Indie Book Awards.
Brooke became aware through her experience and research to the degree to which women writers have been silenced. Messages from society and our upbringing, both subtle and overt, affect our ability to claim our stories and get them out into the world.
Brooke cited statistics about women and publishing, pointing out the huge gender bias in publishing for women, and particular memoir. Women are less likely to be reviewed, less likely to win contests, and less likely to resubmit after receiving a rejection. Women tend to take rejection harder—and these statistics are sobering. Men are 5 times more likely than women to resubmit if their piece has been rejected. We need to change that!
Well-known writers such as Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote Eat, Pray, Love, have been subjected to the bias against memoir. Gilbert likely received less accolades for her novel, The Signature of All Things, as a result of writing Eat, Pray, Love. Mary Karr, in her book the Art of Memoir, dedicated one chapter to discuss how Katherine Harrison was attacked for her book The Kiss.
We need to be reminded of our passion and motivation to write and to express ourselves. For some of us, including me, the story has been chasing us and won’t leave us alone. We need to write the book we couldn’t find in the bookstore. If it doesn’t exist, write it! We write to understand ourselves and our families, or to help someone who will benefit from our life lessons. There are many reasons to write, and reasons not to become discouraged.
“We have to keep saying yes, our story matters!” Brooke said.
Brooke offered 5 C’s that can help us stay inspired to write our stories.
- Community—we write our stories in community and we need the support of community.
- Commitment—we need to keep the commitment to ourselves and our story—and stay committed to getting our story out in the world, to share it with others through publishing.
- Championing—we need to champion each other and all writers by supporting, reading, and reviewing each other’s work.
- Claiming your work—we have to claim our right to write and publish our stories. No one will do this for us.
- Courage—it takes a lot of courage for us to dig deep and reveal our stories, and more courage to publish.
Brooke ended by urging us to take the time to get our stories written and to get past the fears and critical voices we carry. We have to champion ourselves and take the risk to be seen and heard. We need to write, and keep writing! We can change the world with our stories.
May 31, 2015 | Blog, Events, Featured, Memories and Memoirs
FREE Memoir Webinar June 1 at 4pm PT | 6pm CT | 7pm ET
Is Memoir on Your Bucket List?
Have you been thinking of writing a memoir, but aren’t sure if you should, how your family will react, or where to start? These are typical places where people hesitate about writing their story. But you can get help for all these problems.
I am excited to join with my colleague Brooke Warner again to offer you a free webinar this next Monday, June 1 that addresses the places where people who want to write typically get stuck. It doesn’t help either when other writers broadcast that you have to be well known, or an experienced writer to write your own story.
Take it from us—and we have coached over 150 people in our Write Your Memoir in Six Months classes—all you need is the desire to write and be willing to jump into the project you have always been meaning to do: write your story, share the family stories you know so well, help others learn from your wisdom and life experience.
The details are below. Hope to see you on the call!
FREE webinar June 1 at 4pm PT | 6pm CT | 7pm ET
Is Memoir on Your Bucket List?
If so, let this be the year you make it happen! This free 1-hour is a celebration of the memoir phenomenon, and an exploration of why now is a fantastic time to start and/or finish your memoir.
What we’ll be covering:
• The reasons why people write memoir.
One that we encounter often in the baby boomer generation is the desire to leave a legacy for the family. Maybe you want to explore who you were forty years ago, and to go deeper into your experience to sort out who you were and what your dreams were, and how you evolved into who you became. Another reason people write memoir is to find a way to tell a story that no one has ever told before—about themselves, about an experience. Do you have a story that’s full of inspiration? That might help or inform others? What are your stories? We invite you to consider this question and explore with us.
• Understanding what memoir is.
There is still, amazingly, a lot of discussion about who should and shouldn’t write a memoir; whether people who aren’t likely to get picked up by a big publisher should bother to write. There is speculation that there is too much memoir being written now, and that somehow it’s reserved for people who have a “valuable” story to tell, which immediately puts a judgment on memoir. We know that each story is valuable. Each story has something to offer the reader. In our classes we teach about how to engage your readers, and refine what you’re writing, but first you need to get clear on what you have to share with the world.
• 5 solid strategies for getting started.
Every writer is different and every story needs a beginning. But do you know where to start? Or maybe you’ve started, and you need some tips for getting restarted? These strategies work for that too. We will discuss the ways that you can begin and develop your memoir. We’ll give you pointers for ways to sort out your hundreds of thousands of memories into your story—with themes, turning points, and lessons for the reader.
• Success stories
Many of the writers we work with have finished their memoirs. Some have found agents, while others have gone on to publish their work with publishers or on their own. Many are working on their final revisions. Writing a memoir is an ongoing creative process that’s demanding at times, and other writers’ stories are often the inspiration and push you need to believe that you can do it too. We’ve worked with students who didn’t consider themselves “writers,” who learned the techniques of good writing and developed their craft and now fully own that title. When they sign with a publishing company or win prizes—as many of our authors have—we celebrate in their success. Writing a memoir does not have to be a dream you have, something you hope you might do one day; it can be a reality!
Hope to see you on the call!
Apr 2, 2014 | Classes & Events, Memories and Memoirs, Writing Resources
For the last two years, I’ve been teaching several different memoir classes with my colleague, Brooke Warner, in our Write Your Memoir in Six Months programs.
The Glass Castle will be the third class in our bestselling memoir series, following Wild and Eat, Pray, Love.
Tuesdays, April 22-May 13, 2014, from 4-5pm PT/7-8pm ET
To Register, please go here.
To start, join us for our free webinar on April 15, looking at what made The Glass Castle strike such a nerve with readers everywhere. We will examine the universal themes, outside-the-box reasons why this book was a success, and the question of writing deep, dark truths, and how and why memoir that’s transformational touches readers at their core.
1-Month Intro Course
Class 1. April 22 Memory & Writing Dark Truths
• Writing scene as memories.
• How to write trauma, and through trauma and difficult memories.
• What it means to write dispassionately, and why it’s important.
• An exploration of truth and how the reader perceives the truth.
Class 2. April 29 Structure & Takeaway
• The difference between scene and vignette.
• How Jeannette Walls got away with writing a book of vignettes—the secret is in the narrative arc.
• How takeaway is handled through another person’s insights—in this case Jeannette’s mother
• The consequences of pulling the reader out of the fictive dream.
Class 3. May 6 Voice of Innocence vs. Voice of Experience
• How Jeannette Walls handles both voices.
• Showing the issues of the family through different narrative voices.
• “Showing” versus “telling,” and how it’s especially important when dealing with trauma and hard or negative memories.
• The power of showing through the child’s perspective—and how to make this work.
Class 4. May 13 Themes
• Why Jeannette Walls’s themes made her book a bestseller.
• The power of metaphor to drive a theme home.
• Why universal themes strike a nerve and how to pay attention to your themes.
• Why “through-threads” are part of the equation, and how to integrate through-threads into your own memoir.
Our spring 2013 class, “The Craft of Memoir,” was our most successful class yet. We are offering a sample here of Class #2 about SCENES & TRANSACTIONS. You can download it here, or you can buy the whole course.
DOWNLOAD OUR FREE CALL—SCENE & TRANSITION IN WILD
• Mapping your scenes through transitions.
• How to use transitions to keep your reader contained.
• Making use of line breaks.
• How scaffolding can help you better understand transitions.
The Craft of Memoir: Wild as a Guide to Becoming a Better Writer
Linda Joy and Brooke both fell in love with Cheryl Strayed’s Wild when we read it, and we immediately saw its value as a teaching tool for all of the skills the author brings to the memoir. Strayed uses what’s called a framed structure, meaning that she writes the story of her life, but uses her limited time on the Pacific Crest Trail as a means to contain her story. In this class we’ll showcase some of the things Strayed does brilliantly—structure, transitions, flashbacks vs. memory, and reflection—so that you can begin to use all of these skills in your own writing.
CHECK OUT OUR FULL COURSE—Write Your Memoir in Six Months. The new course starts in June, 2014. The goal is to help you get 60,000 words written in six months, and teach you the skills and offer the structure to complete a first draft of your memoir.
Feb 22, 2014 | Classes & Events, Featured, Memories and Memoirs, Writing Resources
Free Webinar! The 3 Building Blocks You Need to Write Your Memoir
February 25 at 4pm PT/5pm MT/6pm CT/7pm ET
Memoir writers need support both to write their truths and memories, as well as with how to begin and how to craft their story. In this free webinar, Linda Joy Myers and Brooke Warner, coaches in the Write Your Memoir in 6 Months program, explore the building blocks you need to get started and build out your memoir into a full book.
Join us to learn how to:
1. Sketch out the main ideas of your memoir—and why you are writing it.
2. Identify the themes in your memoir—and the universal message.
3. Figure out the most important craft decisions you need to make when writing your memoir.
SIGN UP FOR THE FREE WEBINAR!
Brooke Warner and Linda Joy Myers
Brooke Warner is the founder of Warner Coaching Inc. and the publisher of She Writes Press, a new hybrid publishing option for women writers. Brooke is passionate about books and helping writers finish their books AND get published. Brooke has been in the publishing industry for thirteen years, including seven-and-a-half years as the Executive Editor of Seal Press. She’s the author of What’s Your Book? A Step-by-Step Guide to Get You from Idea to Published Author (She Writes Press, 2012), a project she completed in six months.
Linda Joy Myers, Ph.D., MFT, is the President and founder of the National Association of Memoir Writers, Instructor at Writers Digest,and Huffington Post Blogger.Linda is the author of The Power of Memoir—How to Write Your Healing Story, Becoming Whole, and the award-winning memoir Don’t Call Me Mother, which won the BAPIA Gold Medal prize. Her workbook Journey of Memoir was published by She Writes Press. Linda has won prizes for fiction, memoir, and poetry. She offers workshops nationally, and offers memoir coaching, manuscript evaluation, and speaks on truth in memoir, writing a family memoir, healing through memoir writing, and how to begin–and finish–your memoir.