Date: March 5th, 2015
I’m so very pleased and excited to have as our Roundtable guest for March the renowned author and teacher Louise DeSalvo. Over ten years ago, I immersed myself gratefully into her book Writing as a Way of Healing: How Telling Our Stories Transforms Our Lives. There I discovered so many interesting details about how writing had helped to change the lives of writers who were famous, but whose stories about the process of writing weren’t generally known. This book also referenced the then new research by Dr. James Pennebaker about writing as healing, which led to my first book Becoming Whole-Writing Your Healing Story. For years I had worked with writing as a healing art as a therapist, and was excited to hear that the work of healing through writing was being validated in so many ways.
During this Roundtable discussion, Louise DeSalvo will discuss the stages of the writing process and how a writer can best work with—not against—the process. She will describe appropriate behaviors for each stage of the process and she will describe how learning about how “real” writers write can help us begin and complete our work. She will discuss those moments in a writing life—the dreaded middle of the process when nothing seems to be working—that often stop a writer’s work and she’ll discuss how to deal with those difficult moments. Finally, she will discuss some useful tools—the writer’s process journal; the use of a “Next to Do” list; the use of a writing plan—to help writers begin and complete their work.
From our discussion with this amazing teacher and writer:
- You will learn about the stages of the writing process.
- You’ll find out what the appropriate behavior will be for each stage of the process.
- You will discover how knowing about how “real” writers work will facilitate your own
- And you will learn a series of techniques to facilitate your work.
In addition to these points we’ll talk about her own process of writing five memoirs, and because I was so inspired by her book on writing as healing, I’d like to talk about that book and that important topic–one that memoir writers encounter regularly.
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Louise DeSalvo is the Jenny Hunter Endowed Scholar for Literature and Creative Writing at Hunter College where she teaches memoir to undergraduates. She has published five memoirs, among them, the award-winning Vertigo and two books about the writing process, Writing as a Way of Healing: How Telling Our Stories Transforms Our Lives and, most recently, The Art of Slow Writing: Reflections on Time, Craft, and Creativity. She has been studying and writing about the writing process of famous writers for forty years and has recently completed Chasing Ghosts: A Memoir of a Father, Gone to War, which took her ten years.