FREE WEBINAR | Kickstart your Memoir




Kickstart Your Memoir (Monday, Sept 9, 4pm PT/ 7pm ET)


All you writers know that encountering—not just writing—your memoir is a challenging business. I talk with a lot of writers who are eager to get started, and who are vibrating with the passion to get their story written, but they get stuck. Sometimes they get stuck before they have actually started! Others lose energy in what I call The Muddy Middle.

Brooke Warner and I, who have partnered for the Write Your Memoir in Six Months workshop, are offering free and short courses to help memoir writers get started, and/or revive their energy with a combination of inspiration and craft solutions to these kinds of memoir problems.



During this hour long presentation—a lively conversation of sharing knowledge as memoir experts, we will cover these topics, and also tell you about some short courses this fall that can give your memoir writing a great shot in the arm!

  • Common reasons writers abandon their memoirs and how to get your groove back
  • Strategies for how you can prioritize your writing and keep moving to “The End”!
  • Ways to confront what’s holding you back and techniques to help you find your voice and passion again
  • How to reconnect to the heart of your story and what moves you to write your story
  • How to assess what you don’t know that you need to know to write your memoir
  • 5 secrets for getting your memoir past the muddy middle

Get started with a memoir you’ve been meaning to write, or deepen your motivation to get your memoir done. Wherever you are, a webinar can give you the shot in the arm you need to move ahead with your story.


LINDA JOY MYERS, President of the National Association of Memoir Writers, is the author of Don’t Call Me Mother—A Daughter’s Journey from Abandonment to Forgiveness; The Power of Memoir—How to Write Your Healing Story, and Journey of Memoir: The Three Stages of Memoir Writing. She co-teaches the program Write your Memoir in Six Months with Brooke Warner, coaches writers, and offers teleseminars through NAMW.  

BROOKE WARNER is the founder of Warner Coaching Inc. and the publisher of SHE WRITES PRESS. As a Certified Coach, she has guided over a thousand authors from concept to publication–both in traditional publishing and self-publishing. She is the author of What’s Your Book? A Step-by-Step Guide to Get You from Inspiration to Published Author.





Celebrate Writing–NaNoWriMo, National Lifewriting Month, the National Association of Memoir Writers Telesummit


Writing in November!

What a great month for writers! We writers are being invited from all kinds of sites, programs, blogs, and presentations to attend to our writing this month! Get this: it’s NaNoWriMo–the National Novel Writing Month challenge. Write 50,000 words of a novel in one month and get a certificate. You are supposed to write a novel, but you can use this month to challenge yourself to write  your memoir. It’s a way to get that “shitty first draft” out and on the page for future editing and revision. That is the hardest part–getting out the initial “download” of the stories and memories you have in your head.

All month long it’s National Lifewriting Month, and my long term colleague and friend Denis LeDoux, owner of Soleil Lifestory Network, is offering some terrific classes and workshops this month. Check out the details at the bottom of the post.

And, at the National Association of Memoir Writers, we kick off the month with our FREE premier event the NAMW Telesummit where we invite experts to speak about story writing, publishing, blogging, and social media. NAMW is my baby, so I’m so excited to spend 6 hours on  the phone talking with people I respect, and LOVE talking to.

I’ll be sharing time with Mike O’Mary, owner of Dream of Things, a small publisher of memoir, who will talk about how to present your work to a small publisher. 

Lisa Cron, author of Wired on Story, will discuss the brain science behind story writing, and what our brains crave through story.

Nina Amir, who has her own amazing blog month all November: Write Nonfiction in November–a whole month of blog posts and articles about writing nonfiction–is going to speak about How to Blog your Book to help it sell.

Frances Caballo, author of the new book Social Media Just for Writers is going to educate us on social media–and make it simple and easy to use for us right brain writers who tend to not want to learn about social media. But as a reformed cynic, I can say I’ve learned how to make it easy and fun–so you can too!

Our final presenters will be Kamy Wikoff and Brooke Warner, who created SheWritesPress, a hybrid press that answers the needs of current writers,  especially memoirists in this challenging and changing world of publishing.

To sign up for the free all day event–ask your questions live on the line, or get the free audio downloads afterwards–sign up here.

Resources from Denis LeDoux:

The Soleil Lifestory Network has prepared tele-classes, audios, and handouts–all free for the month of November–to support you in your writing.

Create Characters That “Live” on the Page! In this tele-class, you will learn many simple techniques to enhance the verisimilitude of your memoir characters.  Monday, November 5, 2012, 8-9 PM/ET.

 – Tell the Truth. In this tele-class, you will learn how to avoid sins of omission and commission and how to appreciate the truth–the whole truth. The tele-class will also discuss the pain that can often company telling the truth. Monday, November 19, 2012, 8-9 PM/ET

– Price it Right. This tele-class geared to help Memoir Professionals to assess their product and service pricing and to bring it in line with both their needs and that of the public. Monday, November 26, 2012, 8-9 PM/ET

 Please join me at the National Association of Memoir Writers for a great day, and check out all the other events going on this month. And be sure to write, write, write!!


After the Memoir says “The End” Platform & Your Publishing Paths | Free Discussion with Brooke Warner


I love helping writers find information that helps them become an author, and this week, the Free Roundtable Discussion at the National Association of Writers is going to be invaluable. Sign up by clicking the link above!

October 11, 2012

4 PM PDT   5 PM MDT   6 PM  CDT  7 PM EDT

Brooke Warner, former Executive editor at Seal Press will talk with us about the three choices you have for publishing. In her new book What’s Your Book? Brooke outlines the three paths you need to choose as you consider how to be published: Agents Way; Publishers Row; and Self-Publishing Boulevard.

Brooke is going to discuss in depth the many layers of decision making that are involved in deciding how to become published. As you all know, the publishing world is changing week by week! This three choice model makes it easier for authors to understand how to make informed decisions. You need to know why you might choose your path, and how to manage these important career choices. Your mind-set, goals, and dreams will help determine what fork in thepublishing  road you want to take.

One of the important things Brooke writes about in her book, and we’ll talk about it on the Roundtable, is building platform—which means understanding your audience and your marketing plan–the best ways to get your book out to readers. Platform is important no matter what path to publishing you choose, and you can begin simply and long before your book is done.

More about platform:

  1. You need some kind of blog, with regular posts that cover the themes of your book.
  2. A presence on Facebook—at the minimum. You can begin with just your friends.
  3. Presence on Twitter is recommended—sign up for the free audio to learn more about why.
  4. Add other social media that you enjoy/or are learning to use.
  5. Create a list of ideas for  how and to whom you will market your book.
  6. It’s important to understand the role the author plays in today’s world of publishing.

Many writers stress about these things—platform and publishing—but there are simple ways to make all this work and ways you can enjoy the process. Join us to learn more about how you can be a successful author.

Brooke will be offering a special promotion on this call. Listeners will have an opportunity to win a copy of her new book, What’s Your Book?, in which she details common challenges writers must face on their writing journey; how to build an author platform; a roadmap to getting published; and much more. I have read her book, and though I have had several books published already, and am still building platform, I learned so many new techniques and tips that will help me continue to grow as an author.

Go to this link to sign up for this dynamic and informative free discussion, and have a chance to win a copy of Brooke’s book!

See you at the Roundtable!

Stop Procrastinating! Write Your Memoir on a Schedule



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 ever despair getting your book done? These questions are part of a writer’s dilemma. This is why books don’t get finished, and frustration sets in.

I used to be one of those “write when you feel like it” people. I believed in inspiration, I believed in the need for an extra adrenaline push to get started. But I didn’t write very often. I made this okay by telling myself I wasn’t a professional writer, and I had a lot of other things to do. I noticed that I did a lot of thinking instead of writing. I tried to work out the scenes in my memoir and the challenges I was having by having it whir around in my brain. However, I didn’t write enough, and the lack of progress made me wonder if I should be doing a memoir at all.

Then I listened to authors speaking in bookstores—back when there were several in town. I learned a lot from listening to these authors—all of them talked about engaging with their ideas, characters, and solving problems through writing. One author, I forget who, said, “Writing leads to more writing.”

Hmmm—I decided to check this out, and soon enough I found it was true. Once I sat down and re-read what I’d written the day before—which is what a lot of writers have done, from Steinbeck to Virginia Woolf, and as I began to read, the ideas started flowing. Soon I’d be writing, tinkering, editing—engaging with my material. It was so easy once I opened the document and began to read. And I discovered that the more I wrote, the more I was able to write. It became much easier to write for a longer period of time. It’s sort of like exercise—once you set the time aside, you build up your stamina and you WANT to keep writing.

Tips to Get Started

There are several ways to deal with getting yourself to write. One of the best is to set a time, and show up. You show up on time at work, right? If you make a coffee date with someone, you arrive on time. We learn to show up for others, and we have to do it for ourselves. We need to become our Writer’s Best Friend.

  1. Make realistic commitments to yourself about the time you set. If you are definitively NOT a morning person, 5:30 AM may not work for you. But you might need to stay up an hour or two later at night. Try both systems and see what works best. Set a system that helps you keep your writing time regular.
  2. Since you keep coffee dates with no trouble, set a date with your writer self at a coffee shop or café. These days, everyone is sitting around with computers or iPads, typing away. Set a date at a coffee shop especially if you are one of these people who CLEANS when you are at home. Get away from the sponge and mop, and get thee to the café. Bring your notebooks and your computer, get some tea or coffee, and tune into your writing.
  3. Set times with a writer buddy to get your scene done. You both agree on a time you’re going to write and then you keep the date, and check in later with each other. How much did you write, how did it go, when is our next date are good check in questions.
  4. Figure out how many words you want to get written and the time frame you are giving yourself. To get 60,000 words in 6 months you have to write 10,000 words a month: 10,000 divided by 4 weeks is 2500 words a week. 2500 divided by 7 days is 347 words a day. That is 1.5 pages, double spaced. You can do that!
  5. Know that creating a schedule and asking yourself to show up is developing yourself as a “real” writer, and helps you to feel good about what you are doing. It also creates a positive habit, and once you have a good habit developed, it’s much easier to keep going with little extra effort.
  6. Dream your book–do you see the cover in your mind? Where will it sit in the bookstores? Sleep with your manuscript under your pillow to invite your subconscious mind to help you while you sleep. But also…
  7. Make your writing dates, and keep them! Watch yourself get your book done in six months!

How do you feel about a strict writing schedule? Are you willing to experiment for a week to see if you can write more?

Are you stuck in your memoir? Join me and Brooke Warner for a FREE call about solving your stuckness Monday October 1, 4 PM PDT.

In this call we’ll identify the signs that you might be in the Muddy Middle and ideas for what to do about it!

Are any of these familiar? •Stuckness •Energy dips •Procrastination •Doubting memories

Join us at 4pm PST | 5pm MST | 6pm CST | 7pm EST.

CALL-IN INFO: (530) 881-1300 CODE: 879104

 Photo credit:



Three Stages of Memoir Writing

Let’s face it, writing a memoir takes us on a journey, and during that journey we write from  several levels at once. Many people writing their memoir are learning to write and at the same time are excavating the terrain of memory. This may involve encountering a past that’s still painful or unresolved. Even those who set out to write the humorous stories find out that there are usually other, darker stories underneath some rocks.

When you write a memoir, the journey will change you. There is no way that we can encounter art, the imagination, and our inner psyches without being changed by the experience. And just like any journey, it shifts our perspective on life and on ourselves. You will not be the same person who began the journey.

As poet T. S. Eliot wrote in his wonderful poem “Four Quartets”

You are not the same people who left that station

Or who will arrive at any terminus.

The first Stage: Getting Started and Being In the Flow

When you begin your journey, you’re excited about telling the tales, recounting your memories, and figuring out what happened when. You’re eager to get those scenes on the page, pleased to recall the details of your grandmother’s garden, the vacation that went awry, the time you saw the constellations from on top of a mountain. During this stage, you are “downloading” your memories, getting them out as fast as you can. Those first utterances of your stories will be messy; they will be emotionally raw.

You have to give yourself permission for that messy first draft, which Anne Lamott famously calls the “shitty first draft.” New truths are revealed, we get to know our story and ourselves more, and we begin to see the plot emerge.

The Second Stage: The Muddy Middle

It’s inevitable on your memoir journey that you’ll wind through a labyrinth all the way to the heart of family, to the complex circumstances of your life, to your buried memories and secrets.

You may be tempted to turn away from what you’re encountering, wondering if you should have begun at all. This is a sign that you’re in the muddy middle of your memoir.

In the muddy middle you will discover

  • Body memories, new memories
  • The Shadow, Secrets, Guilt and Shame
  • Inner critic, doubt, and fear  
  • Time bandits
  • Procrastination
  • Your voice, the right to tell your story
  • The True Self that becomes the through emotional line in the story
  • Your creativity
  • Healing and new perspectives

Wow, that’s a treasure trove in there, but you have to keep going to get the rewards!

Stage Three: Top of the Mountain

Now that you’ve made your way through the muddy middle, you can stand back and see the big picture. You can see where you’re going. You have been climbing, meandering, and getting lost on switchbacks, but finally you have reached the mountain top where—voila!—you can see in all directions. You’ve muddled through the middle and gathered many dozens of stories, some positive, some humorous, and even some darker stories, and you’ve learned to respect and listen to your voice.

  • You know many of the stories you want to tell, and you have written at least a first draft.
  • You understand through experience what it means to flip through the memory banks, to confront your truths and memories. You understand the process of writing a memoir more than you did when you set out.
  • The layers of your life and memories are clearer, and you probably have a glimpse of the later stages of the memoir.
  • You have been learning how to write—the ways that language works, how sentences and paragraphs build into chapters.
  • You have been building your strengths and insights that will help you come to the end of the memoir.
  • Issues like plot, scene, and structure are no longer abstract. You have working tools that will help you to complete the project.
  • You have encountered memories you had forgotten, and have found out more about yourself through writing your memoir.


If you are inspired to get back to writing your memoir—think back to school! Fall courses on kick starting your  memoir and getting through the Muddy Middle are offered in partnership with Brooke Warner. Each call is one hour long, and includes lessons, handouts, discussion, and questions. Sign up at this link:

 Course 1. Starting Your Memoir Journey Now Wednesdays, 4 PM PST/7 PM EST (September 5, 12, 19, 26)

Course 2. You’re in the Muddy Middle—Now What? Mondays, 4 PM PST/7 PM EST (October 15, 22, 29, & November 5)

Cost: $99.00 for regular registration and $89.00 for NAMW members

6 Month Memoir Intensive

If you want support, how-to lessons, a community of other memoir writers, and accountability, join the 6 month coaching course Write Your Memoir In Six Months. Brooke Warner and I have room for a few more people to this complete plan to get your memoir written in six months. We begin in January, 2013. Only $100 secures your place in the course!

Remember, it takes courage to write a memoir, but even more it takes structure, committment, and community. Stay tuned for more about the resources that help you get your memoir written and published!