Articles

The Wood Shed

Author: Marcia Butler

I sit on my sofa, computer nestled on my lap. I check out social media and two email accounts. Nothing earthshattering. A pigeon perches by my window for a few seconds, then flutters off, its body too big for the shallow sill. Cumulus clouds have appeared in the distance and I wonder if it will rain later. I peek at the weather report, then slide my mouse over to the New York Times Breaking News and get caught up in some headline or other.

Finally, I close all applications and maximize the page I’m supposed to be working on – only to confirm that, yes, the words I’d left there ten minutes ago are still awful, surely inadequate for whatever story I’m trying to write. I look at my watch: 2:15. I delete an entire paragraph and ponder new words that might actually pass for acceptable. I’ll stay put for three more hours and it will, no doubt, feel awful. But I’m used to that. I think about the years before I was a writer, when, as a professional oboist, I’d learned exactly what living day after day with “awful” was like.

There is nothing like the specter of a performance to send musicians to the wood shed. The legendary jazz saxophonist, Charlie Parker, coined the phrase “shedding” (which is double speak for practicing) when he’d retreated to the wood shed at the back of his house after being humiliated for messing up on a gig. The story goes that someone threw a cymbal at him when he missed a chord change. He was just 16 years old, already addicted to heroin, and remained in that shed for about a year and practiced his way to becoming a jazz visionary and one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century.

Shame, as in Parker’s case, can accomplish a lot. It might be the low flame on which a musician sits in order to come terms with failure. That’s just one way to buckle down: getting burned. But for most musicians, as I was in New York City’s highly competitive classical music scene, the pull toward the practice room is more like an imperative. Because great art music demands close inspection, and the necessity to be fully prepared to within an inch of your life. Every. Single. Day.

Sitting in a practice room for hours is not fun and rarely feels rewarding. Yet musicians see this daily discipline and rigor as simply a given – a life sentence of sorts. And they expect things to sound pretty bad for a good long while. Grinding through that rub to get to the smooth edges brings them closer to the beauty of music. This is hard to do and bruises the ego frequently; and one wonders on occasion, when will the good stuff show up? But waiting for the muse to strike is a fantasy musicians have no time for because a performance always looms. “Blocks” are a lie we tell ourselves, and inspiration is just perspiration in disguise. Musicians enter their wood shed every day.

When I began to write my memoir, The Skin Above My Knee, I’d never taken pen in hand, not even in a journal. I had a good command of the English language, a gripping tale to tell, and an unconscious urge to tackle another art form. But the most important thing I understood was where I was headed: to the wood shed. I slammed the metaphorical door shut; the lock snapped with a bang. I was trapped and driven by my own volition and story. I sat in the chair for hours every day with my computer on my lap and wrote lots of awful words, then threw out those darlings. I failed massively and managed to progress incrementally – just like a musician.

Making music beautifully and writing exceptional sentences are the same: it’s a marathon, not a sprint. And as any serious runner will tell you, there is considerable pain involved in a 26-mile run. But the exquisite bliss experienced beyond the finish line is indescribable. And so worth it.

So, I sit on my sofa, computer nestled on my lap. I write my words. I throw them out. I try again. I keep at it. And I stay put. I am in the wood shed.

 

Marcia Butler Bio:

Marcia Butler is the debut author of the nationally acclaimed memoir, The Skin Above My Knee. She was a professional oboist for twenty-five years until her retirement in 2008. During her musical career, she performed as a principal oboist and soloist on the most renowned of New York and international stages, with many high-profile musicians and orchestras – including pianist Andre Watts, and composer and pianist Keith Jarrett. Marcia was a 2015 recipient of a Writer-in-Residence through Aspen Words and the Catto Shaw Foundation. Her work has been published in Literary Hub, PANK Magazine, Psychology Today Magazine, The Aspen Institute, BioStories and others. She has written a novel which is currently out for sale to publishers. Marcia lives in New York City.

Writing Another Person

Author: Denis Ledoux

Writing another person’s memoir can be called writing biography rather than memoir. You are, after all, not the subject.

But, are there occasions when a biography can justly be called a memoir?

In my penultimate book, A Sugary Frosting / Life in a 1960s Parsonage, I used life stories that my late wife Martha Blowen had composed—and I added text. And…

I called it a memoir.

Was this appropriate?

 

How did I presume to call it a memoir and not a biography?
When you are both a story teller and a story keeper, and being in relationship with someone who is verbal— very verbal, for thirty-one years, you get to know many of her stories. A number of them you have heard not only because they were told directly to you as you went about your day—perhaps driving together into town or as you began your morning facing the woodstove sipping your coffee—but also because she told them to others in your presence. Often, details are added in this retelling or an emphasis changed for the benefit of the new audience—and, unexpectedly, you understand an angle to the story that had eluded you earlier.

Martha wrote a number of her stories, always in segments. She intended to write a memoir, but her life was cut short by breast cancer before she could realize this goal.

Wanting to compile a memoir, I collected her compositions into a manuscript and soon realized details were missing, details that I knew not only to be true to her storyline but also necessary to bring out the meaning of her story. Soon enough, I found myself adding her words that had lived within me into the narrative. These words soon contributed not only scenes and conversations, but also whole stories I had received from her. Eventually, more of the stories originated in my recall then from her composition.

 

What to do? Was it all right for me to write so extensively in the first person?
Because I have been a ghostwriter for many years, entering into someone’s sensibility is a facility that I have long practiced. A good ghostwriter is always writing in the subject’s voice—in the first person. He uses the vocabulary of the subject and he enters into the sensibility of the person whose story is being preserved.

When I wrote my mother’s memoir, We Were Not Spoiled, I used stories my mother had told me, and I used stories from memory—stories I had been part of or stories my mother may have shared at another time. But, this was decidedly different as I read everything back to my mother and she responded to the text. I was a bit of the author and a lot of the ghostwriter.

In the case of A Sugary Frosting, and My Eye Fell Into The Soup, Martha was not available to read back to.

 

The responsible take on writing someone else’s memoir
Writing in the voice of the subject has always been an energizing challenge of ghostwriting. In writing A Sugary Frosting, when I found myself writing something that fit the drama of Martha’s story as I understood it, but about which I was not certain, I would feel a tug toward what felt like “The Story,” toward something that demanded to be told. When I felt this pull, I sensed that I was being directed towards the factual, towards authenticity.

There were other times, fortunately, when I felt uncomfortable. Perhaps I was imposing my “take” on her story? I decided to leave this material out.

The bulk of the text in A Sugary Frosting presented as Martha’s memoir has been ghostwritten. I don’t think the reader will realize where the stories she wrote end and where the ones I ghosted begin. That is as it should be. A ghostwriter must be invisible—or why call us ghostwriters?

 

But is it okay? Where do I presume the authority?
For starters, I promised Martha that I would write her stories—for our grandchildren who were not yet born—and for readers. This gave me a sense of writing in her stead—and it bestowed a certain authority.

She had also said, “I trust you not to write anything that would embarrass me.” I have endeavored to use that request as a guide—and that too has given me a sense of authority to write her story.

I believe Martha would have approved of A Sugary Frosting and would easily have called it her memoir. But…

For those readers who are still unsettled, I am perfectly comfortable with your calling this a “fictionalized memoir” or a “memoir fiction”—but what I believe it to be is a co-authored memoir.

 

Writing My Eye Fell Into The Soup
After Martha’s death, I very much wanted to write an account of her illness. I knew to do that, to really do credit to the etiology of her illness, I had to go earlier in her life. I felt that her cancer–cancer was called the disease of hopelessness in the 19th century–had roots in her early family life. The influence of these years perdured into the present.

Because of this belief, I wrote A Sugary Frosting. The, having written that book, I wanted to write about the time of her illness—which was my real goal. This task was actually easier as had her voluminous journals to quote. When I combined them to mine, I had a text.

Even in My Eye Fell Into The Soup, I had to create some text. Sometimes, it was to explain an element and other times it was to create a transition from one entry to another, a transition that she had not made but which was necessary for the reader.

 

In conclusion
I have one more volume to write of Martha’s illness, and then I will be through with writing biography as memoir. I have no intention of ever writing a straight biography.

 

Bio
Denis Ledoux’s flagship book, Turning Memories Into Memoirs / A Handbook for Writing Lifestories [available both in e- and hard copy], has been joined on Amazon by a number of other how-to books. Among them are Don’t Let Writer’s Block Stop YouStart Your Memoir Right and the free Memoir Writing 101. In the summer of 2017, he published the e- and the hard-copy of My Eye Fell Into The Soup / A Journal Memoir of Living with Stage 4 Cancer. It is drawn both from his wife’s journals and his own. My Eye Fell Into The Soup is the third in a series of five memoirs focused on his wife. The first in the series, The Nice-Nice Club Holds Its Last Meeting, is available free on Amazon.

  1. To access the most current catalog of his writing books, his memoirs, and other titles, visit the memoir store.
  2. To read over 500 free articles on memoir writing, go to http://thememoirnetwork.com/memoir-blog.
  3. To participate in the free membership offering multiple downloads: http://thememoirnetwork.com

 

 

Fourth of July Sale 2017

Over the next few days, we celebrate our independence. At this time of year, we celebrate being part of a country that created a new identity with new ideas: freedom of speech, the belief in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

When we write a memoir, we’re engaged in bringing our memories to life! We gather the stories of our life together in a narrative that makes sense and connects the dots between past and present. That’s how writing a memoir empowers us: piecing together fragments, weaving themes, and discovering hidden parts of ourselves, our family, and our identity. It can be an ongoing experiment!

Independence is the hallmark of writing. We want to support you and celebrate being free to write and share the stories of your life. It’s great for you, and it’s a valuable legacy for family and friends.

This weekend, we’re offering you the opportunity to join NAMW at $20 off our annual membership fee.  From July 1 to midnight July 4–it’s just $129.00 for an annual membership, and $119 for renewals!

When you join NAMW this weekend, you’ll receive the full benefits of membership as well as our new guide, Secrets, Lies and Scandals Behind Closed Doors –Challenges with Family and Truth When Writing a Memoir as well as access to the audio recordings of the Telesummit “Breaking Silence.”  NAMW features a variety of industry pros and fellow writers throughout the year for our members.  We provide resource to inspire you and encourage you to keep going on your journey toward publication, whether it’s a blog, a book, or articles.

Writing your story offers your family and audience a slice of life, a personal history that tells a bigger story about where you are from, your traditions and your cultures.

Join NAMW today and we’ll support you in your journey toward healing and sharing your life’s stories!

12-Month NAMW membership, $149 $129

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12-Month NAMW renewal, $139 $119

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Writing Your Story Will Change You

Writing Your Story Will Change You

Writing Your Story Will Change YouDo you have a family story that won’t leave you alone? Have you spent time not being sure you should or can write it?

That’s how I felt as I approached trying to write both memoirs—Don’t Call Me Mother and Song of the Plains. I tried to push aside completing my first book because it was painful to drop into the past again and revisit scenes of abuse and loss when I was a child, though I relished the happy moments with family, my cello teacher, and friends. I didn’t think I could write; I was afraid to put things on the page that were true but unspoken. I knew that my family would severely criticize me for it—if they were alive. But even though they weren’t, it was still a challenge to keep writing through the layers of time. I worried about being exposed about my life and my crazy family if I were to finish the book, which lead to twelve years or writing and rewriting before I felt I could let it go. There was shame, too, in having lived through some of the events in the book. Do any of these concerns go through your mind about your memoir?

A couple things kept me going: I wanted to write a book that would support other people who had grown up either abandoned or lost to help them seek healing and resolution. And, I wanted to write the book I had looked for on the shelves as I lived through my story.

When it was finally published, I discovered that I was part of a larger community of people, all who had been silenced and were afraid to speak their truths, but gradually, there was permission through writing memoir, a fairly new genre when I started writing, to write the stories that no one knew. The stories where I was the only witness. Through being able to be connected by the Internet, and social media like Facebook, communities have been built that share similar issues and themes.

To learn more about my new book Song of the Plains, please visit http://lindajoymyersauthor.com

Writing your story will change you! As you are writing your story, perhaps you already have experienced a shift in perspective about your life, your family, and the events you lived through.  Our stories carry a wisdom we didn’t know we had. Memoir makes its demands on us, pressing us for stories we’ve never written before, leading us into moments and memories as we drop into another time and place. To write a memoir means to wrestle with truth. We are the narrator and witness to the life we’ve lived. Writing a memoir means that we learn how to move through time as we draw upon writing craft to create a world the reader can relate to, a world that brings them into the magic of a story.

To support your journey into memoir, I hope you can join us this May for two major memoir events at the National Association of Memoir Writers.

First, our NAMW Member monthly webinar, May 12. Structure is such a challenge, and Beth Barany is going to offer several possible solutions that can solve the puzzle of structure for your memoir.

I’m thrilled to present our FREE NAMW Memoir Telesummit Webinar on Friday, May 19. This talented and well known group of presenters will talk about truth, trauma, resilience and how to tackle challenging themes. Join us for a memoir event that can change your life, for the better!

May 19, 2017

Free Day Long event: 10 AM/1PM to 2 PM/5 PM

We’re very excited here at NAMW to offer a day long discussion about truth in memoir–one of the hottest topics memoirists discuss online, in forums, and in running Facebook posts!

As memoirists, we have to struggle with “the truth.” When we write our stories, we search to discover and reveal various angles of the truths in our lives. As complex humans, there are multiple and sometimes paradoxical truths—love and hate, letting go/holding on, attraction/repulsion desire and rejection of intimacy, and countless other opposites that are part of life. In our stories, one scene may highlight one aspect of truth, and then in another we’re someone else. The characters in our stories may have conflicting presentations   and we feel complex emotions about these real people who become our “characters.” In a world that asks for us to have a single opinion or reaction that defines, writing a memoir and facing its complexities can get challenging. Sometimes we’re tempted to give up. As one of my students said, “I keep changing my mind about what I think and feel each time I write my story. I need to know what position I should take. Shouldn’t I have this all sorted out by now?”

The secret to writing a memoir is that it’s more of a journey and a process than a single destination. We are always becoming and learning as we write. In writing a memoir we uncover surprises, some of which we don’t want to know about. As I wrote both Don’t Call Me Mother and my new memoir, Song of the Plains, I encountered bumpy emotional rides. In my new memoir, I tried to pull back even deeper layers of truth that I either couldn’t write about yet in my first one, or I couldn’t bear to share with the world. By investigating our story, new truths were revealed. Today we are going to investigate truth—how to find it, why we try to avoid it, and what to do when it speaks deeply to us, body and soul.

Join this FREE special webinar on May 19 with these deep and engaging presenters who have agreed to spend time with us. The day will be one of exploration and insight, and I hope you will find support and inspiration for your own work through this special event.

FREE Memoir Webinar: Truth in Memoir: A Journey of Healing and Transformation

May 19, 2017

Free Day Long event: 10 AM/1PM to 2 PM/5 PM

We’re very excited here at NAMW to offer a day long discussion about truth in memoir–one of the hottest topics memoirists discuss online, in forums, and in running Facebook posts!

As memoirists, we have to struggle with “the truth.” When we write our stories, we search to discover and reveal various angles of the truths in our lives. As complex humans, there are multiple and sometimes paradoxical truths—love and hate, letting go/holding on, attraction/repulsion desire and rejection of intimacy, and countless other opposites that are part of life. In our stories, one scene may highlight one aspect of truth, and then in another we’re someone else. The characters in our stories may have conflicting presentations   and we feel complex emotions about these real people who become our “characters.” In a world that asks for us to have a single opinion or reaction that defines, writing a memoir and facing its complexities can get challenging. Sometimes we’re tempted to give up. As one of my students said, “I keep changing my mind about what I think and feel each time I write my story. I need to know what position I should take. Shouldn’t I have this all sorted out by now?”

The secret to writing a memoir is that it’s more of a journey and a process than a single destination. We are always becoming and learning as we write. In writing a memoir we uncover surprises, some of which we don’t want to know about. As I wrote both Don’t Call Me Mother and my new memoir, Song of the Plains, I encountered bumpy emotional rides. In my new memoir, I tried to pull back even deeper layers of truth that I either couldn’t write about yet in my first one, or I couldn’t bear to share with the world. By investigating our story, new truths were revealed. Today we are going to investigate truth—how to find it, why we try to avoid it, and what to do when it speaks deeply to us, body and soul.

Join this FREE special webinar on May 19 with these deep and engaging presenters who have agreed to spend time with us. The day will be one of exploration and insight, and I hope you will find support and inspiration for your own work through this special event.

 

Mark Matousek

Transformation through Telling Your Truths: Memoir as a Healing Path

10 am PDT  11 am MDT   12 pm CDT  1 pm EDT

When you tell the truth, your story changes. When your story changes, your life is transformed.  Radical truth telling and self-inquiry in writing are incomparable tools for personal healing, creative expansion, and spiritual insight. Over the past 30 years as a memoirist and teacher, I’ve come to see that the narratives we use to describe our lives are frequently more fiction than fact. Once we begin to examine these stories, and tell the whole truth as we know it, these narratives begin to collapse, revealing the falsehoods we’ve carried, and giving us enormous freedom as writers of memoir.

But how to we learn to tell our whole truth? How do we separate fact from fiction? What is the role of imagination in unlocking preverbal experience?  Is it possible to heal personal trauma by changing the story we tell ourselves, as some psychologists suggest? How do we avoid the danger of triggering old trauma when exploring it?  What tools and practices are useful in helping to explore shadow material in memoir?  Finally, how is healing facilitated through the process of radical truth-telling?

These are some of the questions we’ll be exploring together during this thought provoking session. You will come to understand the importance of taking the witness perspective as a memoirist in order to step beyond your personal fiction. This gives you enormous freedom as a writer and demonstrates – beyond any doubt – that you are the storyteller not the story, the mythmaker not the myth.

During this webinar, you will learn:

  • How to use radical truth telling in memoir
  • How to use writing as a path of healing
  • How to explore shadow material
  • How to distinguish your wounds from your gifts
  • How to cultivate witness consciousness
  • How to change your trauma story

www.markmatousek.com

http://www.markmatousek.com/writing-to-awaken-italy-2017/

https://secure.madelineartschool.com/Classes_detail.cfm?recordno=1&Product_CatalogID=517&ProductNumber=WMM091117&ProductCode=49

http://www.markmatousek.com/e-courses-2/

Mark Matousek is the author of two acclaimed memoirs, Sex Death Enlightenment: A True Story (an international bestseller) and The Boy He Left Behind: A Man’s Search For His Lost Father, as well as When You’re Falling, Dive: Lessons in the Art of Living, and Ethical Wisdom: The Search for a Moral Life.. A former editor at Interview Magazine, he is a featured blogger for PsychologyToday.com and the Huffington Post, and has contributed to numerous anthologies and publications, including The New Yorker, O: The Oprah Magazine (contributing editor), Harper’s Bazaar, Yoga Journal, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, and The Saturday Evening Post. A popular speaker and teacher, he offers courses in creativity and spiritual growth in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Europe, based on his book, Writing To Awaken: A Journey of Truth, Transformation, and Self-Discovery.  He is a founding member of V-Men (with Eve Ensler), an organization devoted to ending violence against women and girls. His new book, Mother of the Unseen World, will be published in November. He lives and works East Hampton, New York.

 

John Evans

11 am PDT  12 pm MDT  1 pm CDT  2 pm EDT

Flourish: Writing for Resilience after Challenging Times

Expressive Writing heals and builds resilience through a process focusing on feelings related to a trauma, by imagining a fresh perspective about that trauma, and by creating a meaningful narrative about the trauma.

John Evans has taught expressive writing for over thirty years and believes that it may provide a ready springboard for memoir writing because it allows for the detailed connection of events with emotions that can be shaped into a complex, coherent story that moves experiences out of the body and mind connections on to the page.

If you have been touched by a life-changing event, diagnosed with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, job loss, divorce, separation, death of spouse, death of a parent, you know the mind/body connection first hand.  It is never more apparent than when we experience a significant emotional event in the form of such traumas.  We don’t sleep well, we stop eating or we sleep all the time or we eat everything in sight.

In this webinar you will learn how expressive writing leads to helping you:

  1. Create your vision of vibrant wellness,
  2. Set intentions and clarify values
  3. Change perspective and remove obstacles
  4. Build confidence and resilience
  5. Express joy and optimism
  6. Stimulate thinking that leads to insights and understanding.

Flourish is an evidence-based, expressive writing approach and includes seven types of writing to heal: mindful writing, HEALing writing, as well as expressive, transactional, poetic, affirmative, and legacy writing.

Evans works with groups, individuals, and health care professionals, teaching them how to use writing for better physical, emotional, and spiritual health.  He has authored five books and has taught journaling and writing for self-development for over thirty years. With James Pennebaker, Evans co-authored Expressive Writing: Words that Heal (2014). His book, Wellness & Writing Connections: Writing for Better Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Health (2010), is a collection of essays from the Wellness & Writing Connections Conference Series (2007 – 2010).  Evans is a faculty member of 1440 Multiversity in Santa Cruz, CA and is leading a year-long online expressive writing project, Pen My Path, for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society sponsored by Pfizer.  At Duke Integrative Medicine, Evans teaches Transform Your Health: Write to Heal, Leading Patients in Writing for Health, and Writing as a Tool for Integrative Health Coaches.

 

Mark Wolynn

12 noon PDT  1 PM MDT  2 PM CDT  3 PM EDT

It Didn’t Start With You

How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle

We’re very excited that our guest Mark Wolynn, author of the book It Didn’t Start with You, is going to talk with us about how trauma affects the generations, and what to do to create a new legacy. He reveals the science about how we inherit trauma and how we unconsciously are carrying patterns from our parents and grandparents. What has happened in the past lives in the present unconsciously within us, creating pain and problems in our own lives that mirror similar issues that faced the generations before us.

The good news is that there are ways to break these patterns, and it has to do with becoming aware of what they are, and finding ways to dig into the story of your family and understand how it affects you.

We have learned in other seminars about how writing helps to heal, and in this presentation we will learn why and how discovering the family story and using it to unlock generations of trauma and pain is so important to all of us.

You will learn:

– How trauma is passed from a parent to a child.

– The scientific research that supports inherited family trauma in humans and animals.

– How people can tell if they are suffering from inherited family trauma. What are the signs?

– How a person suffering from inherited family trauma can heal.

– Tips on how to break the cycle of inherited family trauma.

 

Mark Wolynn is a leading expert on inherited family trauma. As the director of The Family Constellation Institute in San Francisco, he trains clinicians and treats people struggling with depression, anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive thoughts, self-injury, chronic pain, and persistent symptoms and conditions. A sought-after lecturer, he leads workshops at hospitals, clinics, conferences, and teaching centers around the world. He has taught at the University of Pittsburgh, the Western Psychiatric Institute, Kripalu, The Omega Institute, The New York Open Center, and The California Institute of Integral Studies. His articles have appeared in Psychology Today, Mind Body Green, MariaShriver.com, Elephant Journal, and Psych Central, and his poetry has been published in The New Yorker. www.markwolynn.com

 

Transformation and Forgiveness: How I Uncovered New Truths in My Second Memoir

Linda Joy Myers

Interviewed by Brooke Warner

1 PM PDT  2 PM MDT   3 PM CDT   4 PM EDT

When I wrote my first memoir, Don’t Call Me Mother, I thought I’d cracked my family story. I believed I’d come to understand and forgive my grandmother and mother for the abuse and rejection in my life. I’d written the story that I’d carried since I was a child, and enough time had passed that I felt I had perspective and distance from the daily sting of abandonment and loss that marked my early years. But that story was written and lived before I myself became a grandmother. When they were born, I had new reasons to investigate our family legacy and offer up a well-researched and documented family story. Of course, the deeper reason I wanted to write another memoir was about me.

About three years after I published Don’t Call Me Mother, I started noticing a longing to further explore and research the histories I’d gathered in courthouses and local libraries in Iowa where my mother’s family was from. I got only a few stories from family members—they seemed dedicated to stay silent about a number of important family stories.

These unfinished threads wouldn’t leave me alone, nor would the poetry, stories, and histories of the Great Plains that I’d collected over the years. I noticed the heartache I felt whenever I saw photographs of my mother when she was young. My discovery of Ancestry.com was another huge impetus to explore my story from a new point of view, that of myself as an older adult. From this vantage point, I discovered that the road to healing is not a straight line, and the beckoning of new stories is not a force to ignore, no matter how impractical it might seem.

In this interview with Brooke Warner, my colleague and publisher of She Writes Press, we’ll explore the seeds that led me to dig deeper into my new memoir, the themes that make Song of the Plains a hybrid memoir of sorts, and why I think it’s important to allow the creative process to unravel in its own time.

You will learn:

  1. Why I threw away 85,000 words of my first draft and started over again.
  2. The process—and problems—of writing a second memoir.
  3. How truth has different angles depending on your point of view, and how to find them.
  4. How to write an authentic story about family in their points of view.
  5. The importance of place and poetry in the healing process.

Linda Joy Myers is the author and co-author of several books about memoir, and the founder and president of the National Association of Memoir Writers. Her first memoir, Don’t Call Me Mother, won several awards, and her Power of Memoir has been used to teach writing as healing techniques. Linda Joy grew to love stories in a featherbed with her eighty-year-old great-grandmother, and since then has pursued family history, secrets, and research to understand the lives of her family, and to find the keys to unlocking the past and creating a positive present and future. Her passion for stories drives her love of teaching memoir.  She leads a biannual intensive course, Write Your Memoir in Six Months, with Brooke Warner. She shares her love of reading with her three children and three grandchildren, her two kitties, and her friends. A great day includes reading a book and watching a good movie. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

www.lindajoymyersauthor.com

www.namw.org

www.writeyourmemoirinsixmonths.com

Twitter: @memoirguru

 

Testimonials

Myers makes a compelling case for the power of words as a form of healing and growth.

James W. Pennebaker, Ph.D. professor of psychology, The University of Texas at Austin and author, Opening Up and Writing To Heal

...the NAMW memoir classes with Linda Joy Myers are wonderful

Kathy Pooler