It’s the season of giving! The scent of peppermint and wet wool, pine needles and candles, get us into the spirit of giving from our hearts–even for the Scrouges among us. 

Have you ever thought about the full circle that happens when we write a memoir?  When we’re tuned into the layers of our story, if we allow ourselves to wake up to the special quality of the memories we have, we feel nurtured, proud of ourselves, happier. I have written already  about the studies about healing, and happiness and gratitude journaling–I just love it that science is attending these important subjects, not just what’s WRONG with us! Yet, to write a memoir means that we need to draw from both the dark and light aspects of our life story, and to get real about what it takes to complete a memoir–to write, write, and write some more. Rain or shine. With rewards or without them. To write for the sake of writing, and because we have faith that our writing will lead us to where we want to go.

At the NAMW Roundtable, we will talk with two women who have been on the path of memoir writing for some time, and who celebrate the rewards of writing — the love of writing, and love of story. Rachael Herron’s memoir A Life in Stitches takes us through her closet of sweaters into the meaning of each one, who it was knitted for, and the story surrounding them. She knits joy and sorrow, love and loss into her sweaters and her stories.

You know how one of the Christmas stories begins…”It was the night before Christmas and all through the house…” It’s through story that we celebrate life, we celebrate the moments of meaning, moments of joy, as well as those dark nights of the soul. It is through the darkness that the light shines brighter, and in all the fairy tales of Christmas, we find that theme. At the end of “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” instead of the material things, everyone sees a new kind of light, they see the real meaning, not the superificial one, of the season of giving.

Nicole Johns’ memoir Purge takes us on a healing journey as she works toward self-discovery and a new life as she heals her eating disorder. All dysfunctional behaviors are built on foundations that are murky at first, and all of us have arenas that challenge us to our depths. We can learn from a memoir like Nicole’s how to write our way through the darkness. Her book was a gift first to herself, and then others who can learn from her journey.

Let’s make 2012 the Year of the Memoir! That is what we are celebrating here at NAMW! Join us today to get ready for your gift–to yourself–a completed memoir in 2012. Stay tuned to all the ways we will help you get your memoir written and crafted so you can enjoy the gift to yourself–your own book!