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Free: What Made Love Warrior a Best-Selling Memoir?

Monday, April 17th 

4pm PT | 5pm MT | 6pm CT | 7pm ET

We chose Love Warrior for the next installment of our popular best-selling series because of all it has to offer—baring it all, grappling with emotional pain and insecurities, deciding what to share and how much is too much.

And, as always, we’ll be looking at craft too—scene-writing, reflection and takeaway, voice. This memoir gives us so much good content to work with, and we hope you’ll join us.

 


Turn Up the Dial on Your Memoir: How to Bring More Heart and Craft to Your Story 

Friday, April 28

Please take a moment to look at the 6 amazing sessions we have lined up. We’re so jazzed, too, about who’s joining us and what they have to share. Recordings for all sessions will be available to registrants the day following the event.

 

OUR LINE-UP:

• Julie BartonNYT bestselling author of Dog Medicine
•Jenni Ferrari-Adler is a longtime agent at Union Literary in New York 
• Linda Joy Myers, PhD, award-winning memoirist and President of the National Association of Memoir Writers 
• Jordan Rosenfeld, author of seven books, most recently Writing the Intimate Character 
• Deborah Siegel, PhD, author and Coach-in-Chief at Girl Meets Voice, Inc. 
• Brooke Warner, author and Publisher of She Writes Press

SIGN UP TODAY: $39 for all 6 sessions.

 


Magic of Memoir 2017 Intensive

September 22-24
Corte Madera, CA

Last year’s Magic of Memoir conference in Oakland, CA, was amazing. People wanted more, but they also wanted to dive deeper. So this year we’re taking a break from the conference and answering your call.

The Magic of Memoir 2017 Intensive starts Friday night and ends on Sunday, and there’s an application process to get in. Spaces are open now for 30 serious memoir students. We can’t wait to read your applications. We’re looking forward to all your stories, and after the amazing work we saw at our Magic of Memoir conference last year, we know this weekend will be incredible.

Check out the full details of the program here.

Applications (and a refundable deposit of $99) due June 1st.

 

The Creative Process

The Creative Process

The Creative ProcessHow do we create something out of nothing? Or perhaps a better question is—how do we create, period? Where does the creative impulse come from, and how can we find it? How do we know when we have “it”?

These circular questions arise with writers and all creative artists, and there is no answer that fits everyone. The “answer” is the process itself. As a writing coach and teacher, it seems important to have us examine the energy and art of being creative, and be able to find ourselves in the flow of it.

What’s interesting is that the process takes focus, yet we need to allow time to be unfocused, which invites the unknown to make its way into our consciousness. Most writers talk about how they find themselves as a channel for a force that moves through them. They are not “trying” to write. Then there are those times when no matter what we try, we can only squeeze out a few lines. And they are bad lines at that. What to do?

Last year, I had to stop writing the memoir I was working on at the 85,000 word mark when I realized that I was coming at it with a theme and voice that wasn’t working out. And worse, I felt that the voice of the narrator was wrong. I began to feel that the writing didn’t fit my inner intention, which wasn’t clear until I had written nearly the whole book. Well, I can say it was a bit disconcerting, but by then, I was relieved to make the decision to stop because the sense that it was not going in the right direction had been niggling at me for some time.

I was not sure that I would find the “right” voice, but I knew that I had to go into silence to discover it. I allowed myself to stop thinking about the book and find silence within, where perhaps something new might be born. I read novels, poetry, and allowed my imagination to flitter about while taking care not to pounce on any particular idea. I didn’t write anything down during that month-long period. I meditated on the idea that my creative process would let me know when there was something interesting to pay attention to, and sure enough it did. About five weeks after the experiment started, a phrase popped into my mind in a voice I felt I could live with. They turned out to be the first lines in the book I’m about to publish.

I learned so much from writing the first version that I abandoned. I knew what I needed to leave out, and I had a clearer sense of my themes and how to carry the project through.

Writing a book is a fraught activity. There is no guarantee that you will get to the end with something you feel good about. It can feel fine then jump off the rails just when you feel you have “arrived.”

The lesson, I believe, is to write with faith and hope, and not get attached to the outcome. To listen and capture what arises, in hopes that we can keep going. It’s important not to worry about the process Worry creates a blockage and that doesn’t help. We want to keep the flow going as much as we can, and enter into the stream where we flow into the next paragraph and chapter, one by one. The book begins to build itself, it begins to become what it’s trying to be.

I hope you can join us on Friday, March 17, when Kay Adams will talk about Writing Your Creative Manifesto!

Pitch-O-Rama

 

Pitch your book to agents and editors at PitchORama on Saturday, March 25, 2017 from 8:00 AM – 12:30 PM, at the Women’s Building, 3543 18th Street (between Guerrero & Valencia), San Francisco.  Sponsored by the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, women- and men, too- will have an opportunity to work with professionals on how to improve their pitch and then have two hours to pitch their work to top agents and editors! The morning also includes information on social media success and getting your book from page to screen. Pre-registration required, space limited to the first 60 ticketed attendees. $65 WNBA members.  $75 Non-members. Includes a continental breakfast. http://wnba-sfchapter.org/pitchorama-2017/

Free Webinar (Monday, April 17): What Made Love Warrior a Best-Selling Memoir?

SIGN UP TO JOIN US for this free one-hour installment of our popular best-seller series.

Monday, April 17th, at 4pm PT | 5pm MT | 6pm CT | 7pm ET

In this hour-long free webinar, Linda Joy and Brooke be exploring memoirs that bare all—and spare no one—using Glennon Doyle Melton’s new memoir, Love Warrior, as a guide. They will address the fears that invariably come up for writers who want to write their deepest truths and expose their most intimate—and often shameful—secrets. The webinar will address the fallouts of such naked writing—and talk about how sharing your truth has a way of both leveling everything and setting you free.

During this Free Webinar You Will Learn:

  1. The hard truths—how to share them, why to share them, and what the consequences are for you, the writer, and the story if you don’t.
  2. Intentional omission. What did Glennon leave out? How did this impact the story and her readers?
  3. How to tackle hard themes, and the balance a memoir must strike when you’re sharing the intimate details of your sometimes-messy life.
  4. Whether the fallout is worth it. A look at the repercussions of writing a memoir, how to determine your tolerance for other people’s reactions, and ways to know whether the timing is right, and if you can weather the possible consequences.

CLICK HERE TO GET MORE DETAILS AND TO REGISTER! It’s FREE.

Brooke & Linda Joy welcome you!

The Psychological Journey of Memoir Writing

The thrill of our destination spurs us on

The thrill of our destination spurs us onWhen we begin a journey, we’re excited. We pack our suitcase, imagining the moments to come. The thrill of our destination courses through us, spurring us on. We begin with high hopes for what we’ll encounter.

I remember when I prepared for my trip to France not long ago how excited I was go to Paris, then Lyon and the southern mountains where Cezanne and Van Gogh used to paint. It was of course a wonderful trip—the vision of the Eiffel Tower even better than my imagination, but there were challenges—the suitcase was too heavy to lift upstairs, the Metro was stuffed with TONS of people, and I got lost dozens of times on tiny country lanes. There were moments of being exhausted, and others of being exhilarated. But the images I had when I packed my suitcase changed. The real journey was different, and it changed me.

So, it is when we write a memoir. We begin putting in our suitcase the memories, people, and events that we’re eager to celebrate and remember. Even if our story is a dark one, we have a handle on it; we’ve been journaling and we know the basics of the story. We launch into our writing eagerly, capturing images and moments, freely writing, doing research. We even feel brave enough to tell people we’re writing a book!

Then something happens. The doubts creep in, “I’m not sure what I wrote is the real truth. My sister says I made things up.” Or, “Gee, I don’t want to reveal x and y and z. It’s too personal. I don’t want people knowing all these things about me.” Or you read a bunch of other memoirs and think that you can’t write well enough, you feel that it’s really too big a job, this memoir project. You decide to put it away for a while.

There’s another scenario: You’re starting to remember things, memories you thought you’d handled, you begin to reflect on the past in a new way, and start to write about it, but you feel sad, depressed or angry. You try to put it all aside, but you can’t. The writing doesn’t work. You are stuck in the middle of your book, you feel conflicted. You put the project away.

This is all good news. I know, it doesn’t sound like good news to you. You just want to get your memoir done!  You want to brush away the doubts.

The good news is that you are in the middle of your memoir journey, and you’re doing fine. There are three major stages in writing a memoir. The first is the eager beginning, “downloading” as some people call it. Then there’s the Muddy Middle, where themes, stories, and memories begin to build into a larger story, one that you don’t have control of. The muddy middle is the biggest part of the journey, by the way.

The later stage is where you find your stride, the journey has changed you, and you are grateful for the riches it gives you. It’s not the same journey you imagined. You are different. The muddy middle becomes your teacher, your mentor. As Dr. James Pennebaker, says, “Story is a way of knowledge.” He has done hundreds of studies that show how writing helps to heal trauma and create a new story for you

Some tips for your trip:

  1. Accept that writing your memoir is a longer journey than you imagined. Be patient.
  2. Take good care of yourself on the journey. Rest, set a schedule, make a map.
  3. Allow the writing process to guide you, allow in the unwanted stories, images, and memories. They have something to teach you.
  4. Trust in your creative muse, the excitement you felt when you began your journey. Allow it to urge you forward.
  5. Invite your unconscious to help you write and remember.
  6. Know that you will write the same story over and over again, but in a new way. Know that you will find the muddy middle, that you will get stuck and lost, but keep going.
  7. You will find your way out of the muddy middle if you just keep writing!

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