Linda Joy Myers, Ph.D., MFT, is the President and Founder of the National Association of Memoir Writers. Linda is the author of The Power of Memoir–How to Write Your Healing Story, and a workbook Journey of Memoir–The Three Stages of Memoir Writing. Her passion for memoir writing began many years ago–she likes to talk about the stories her great-grandmother Blanche told her as they shared a featherbed in Iowa when she was 8 years old, the seeds of Linda as storyteller and memoir writer. She co-teaches the course Write your Memoir In 6 Months with Brooke Warner, and special 4 week short courses on the series How to Write a Best-Selling Memoir, and offers her own teleworkshops through NAMW.
Linda Joy has been a therapist in Berkeley, California for over thirty years, following her belief that deep patterns can be healed and changed. She learned about changing these patterns through her own inner work and writing her memoir Don’t Call Me Mother: A Daughter’s Journey from Abandonment to Forgiveness, which received the Gold Medal Award from BAIPA, Bay Area Independent Publishing Association, and is a Finalist for the ForeWord Book of the Year award.
She received her Master’s degree in Creative Writing at Mills College, and has taught Marriage and Family Therapy at JFK University and Argosy University in the S. F. Bay Area. Linda’s early life was immersed in music, piano and cello, and she earned her B.S. in Music Education from the University of Illinois. Her love of art–etching, painting, and collage led to second B.A. in Art from the University of California, Berkeley.
Through her art and music background, Linda deeply came to understand the power of art to heal, and studied many psychologists and artists who used art as transformation and healing–from Jung to Alice Miller, Vincent Van Gogh to Beethoven. Her first book Becoming Whole: Writing Your Healing Story is used as a text by therapists, ministers, and writing coaches, and was a finalist in the ForeWord magazine’s 2008 Book of the Year Award.
It’s important to Linda to integrate the principles of healing and creativity when helping people learn about the powerful healing process of writing true stories through workshops, online courses, and coaching. Her expertise in supporting writers to write award winning memoirs has helped many writers complete their memoirs, and even win prizes. All memoirs are about transformation–and the writer needs to learn the important skills of the craft of story telling.
Prize-winning nonfiction and poetry by Linda has been published in various literary journals. Linda has been co-president of the Women’s National Book Association, San Francisco branch, and past-president of The California Writers Club, Marin branch, and has served on the board of Story Circle Network.
Linda Joy’s books:
Song of the Plains – her second memoir and a follow up to Don’t Call Me Mother that expands on the connections between mothers and daughters, pain, grief and forgiveness in her family’s history.
Don’t Call Me Mother–A Daughter’s Journey from Abandonment to Forgiveness is her first memoir about three generations of mothers who abandoned their daughters and how she broke that pattern.
Breaking Ground on Your Memoir–Craft, Inspiration, and Motivation–co-authored with Brooke Warner
Magic of Memoir–Inspiration for the Writing Journey-– released in November, 2016 with interviews by Mary Karr, Liz Gilbert, Dani Shapiro, and submissions by authors who tell us in their own words how memoir is magic for them.
Linda is available to speak to writing organizations and clubs and self-help groups about the power of writing to heal, how to write a memoir, and how to use the deep processes of writing a memoir to change your life. She speaks on the craft of memoir, and how to write a successful, publishable memoir. Topics include The Three Stages of Memoir Writing, Truth and Silence in Memoir, and Weaving Craft and Emotion in Memoir.
Your book is a true gift. Having been abandoned by my mother, and hers before her, I have sought validation for my loss all my life. Your openness and willingness to put it out there and expose the raw hurt will be of help to anyone who is lucky enough to find your book. —Angela Anatasion
“I have long been one of those who avoided dealing with death, who dodged sentiment, who felt that stories about the loss of a loved one were a bit indulgent, a way of saying ‘my pain is greater than your pain.’ That was before I lost my father and my wife lost her mother, both within ten days. And that was before I read Linda Joy Myers’s Don’t Call Me Mother. This is powerful stuff, richly layered, emotional without being manipulative, insightful without being indulgent. It’s a wonderful read and a marvelous examination of life and its inevitable conclusion. I loved it.” —James Dalessandro, author of 1906
“This haunting story chronicles a lonely child’s attempt to understand her complex and difficult family and make sense of a confused and chaotic world. Myers does what a good memoirist always does. She reveals a great deal about herself and, at the same time, helps us to understand more about our own lives.” —Susan Wittig Albert, best-selling author of Writing From Life: Telling Your Soul’s Story
“Could you still love your mother, even if she left you? In this gut-wrenching, poetic memoir, Linda Joy Myers explores three generations of maternal abandonment in her family–and movingly explores her own quest to break the chain.” —Melanie Rigney, former editor, Writer’s Digest
“Linda Joy Myers eloquently renders the details of her past in this transformative memoir, allowing all of us to find redemption through her honest courage. For anyone yearning for self-discovery, Don’t Call Me Mother serves as a compelling guide on a journey to wholeness. I loved the book.” —Michele Weldon, assistant professor, Northwestern University and author of I Closed My Eyes and Writing to Save Your Life
“Today, psychiatry offers medication for genetic bipolar disorders, but there is no way to repair the broken limbs in one’s family tree caused by the disease, save that of retelling the tale with the salve of forgiveness. I admire Linda’s courage and perseverance in writing about the primal pain of mother abandonment.” —Tristine Rainer, author of Your Life as Story: Discovering the New Autobiography and director, Center for Autobiographic Studies
“Linda Joy Myers’ Don’t Call Me Mother is a moving testimony to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of writing to trigger insight and healing. With unerring honesty and painstaking detail, Linda explores and re-experiences her family’s many generations of loss and grief, and in the process frees herself from her history and uncovers her deep ability to love. Her memoir will inspire readers with the courage to record their own inner journeys.” —Elizabeth Fishel, author of Sisters and Reunion: The Girls We Used To Be, the Women We Became, co-editor Wednesday Morning Writers
You may reach Linda through this form. Her personal blog is www.memoriesandmemoirs.com