Member Teleseminar

Five ways that Writing a Memoir Helps you Find Your Authentic Self and Voice

Jerry Waxler

June Member webinar

June 23, 2017

11 AM PDT  12 PM MDT   1 PM CDT  2 PM EDT

When you first think about writing the story of your life, you may remember major challenges or disruptions. Over time, you begin looking at yourself as the hero/heroine on a quest to find something. What is the thing you’re looking for? What is the purpose of your life journey?

In this presentation, Jerry Waxler, memoir author and teacher, will show how the Memoir Revolution, currently in swing for people of all ages, is about finding the True You, hidden within all the complexities of your unique experiences.

We’ll explore five ways that memoir writing is about finding your authentic self.

  1. Becoming you in the first place (the coming of age memoir)
  2. Reestablishing a sense of self-worth and empowerment after illness or loss of a loved one (grieving, recovery from trauma)
  3. Course correction: Adjusting or readjusting personhood in midlife
  4. Finding true cultural connection (finding one’s way through identity challenges, immigration, mixed culture, religion, or race)
  5. Returning, through your memories, to discover the truth and meaning of your own past

Jerry Waxler writes, coaches, and teaches about how to awaken human potential through life story writing. Jerry’s blog and book Memoir Revolution champions the social trend to turn life into Story. His self-help book, How to Become a Heroic Writer, provides self-help tools to find the courage and time to write your own story. Jerry’s memoir Thinking My Way to the End of the World is about his attempt to come of age during the sixties. He is on the advisory board of the National Association of Memoirs. He has a master’s degree in counseling psychology, and teaches writing classes at Northampton Community College.

 

How Do You Choose the Best Storytelling Structure For Your Story?

Beth Barany

May Member Webinar

May 12, 2017

11 AM PDT  12 PM MDT  1 PM CDT  2 PM EDT 

How to choose the right structure for your story is a question that haunts most writers. Especially intuitive writers — pantsers — who tend to write organically.

Why does a story’s structure make writing it easier…or harder? When you find a storytelling structure that resonates with the kind of story you want to tell, the right structure stimulates your imagination.

Choosing the wrong structure can cause you to get stuck—because the structure works against you as you’re telling the story. You might mistake it for writer’s block. And spend weeks…or months…being stuck.

(Story structure is NOT plot. But story structure gives rise to plot.)

Join us for this NAMW webinar where we discuss “How to Choose Your Story’s Structure.”

In this webinar, you’ll learn the ins and outs of five powerful storytelling structures:

  • The Three-Act Structure
  • The Hero’s Journey
  • The Virgin Archetypal Journey
  • The 5-Point Plot Structure
  • The Five Commandments of Storytelling

We’ll also discuss:

  • what kinds of stories each structure lends itself to
  • how each structure is related to the other four, and
  • how “obligatory scenes” fit into these structures. If you’ve tried to plot according to a traditional story structure but it hasn’t worked…

If your stories feel “off” but you can’t put your finger on why…

If you’ve been confused by the Hero’s Journey or three-act structure in the past…

…don’t miss out on this chance to master five powerful storytelling structures and take your stories to the next level!

 

ABOUT BETH BARANY

Beth Barany is a certified creativity coach, NLP Practitioner, and keynote speaker. She helps fiction writers get their writing done and out into the world via Barany School of Fiction and the Writer’s Fun Zone blog. She’s the bestselling author of The Writer’s Adventure Guide and Overcome Writer’s Block. Her most recent book for writers is Twitter For Authors.

Beth writes young adult fantasy and paranormal romance. Her young adult epic fantasy novel, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, now the first book in a trilogy, won the Grand Prize in the 2012 California Book Fiction Challenge. Check out her free 5-day Writer’s Motivation mini-course: http://bethbarany.com/5daycourse.htm.

 

The Problem of Men in Memoir

Jed Diamond, Ph.D., LCSW

April Member Webinar

April 21, 2017

11 AM PDT  12 PM MDT  1 PM CDT  2 PM EDT

It isn’t easy being a man or writing about men. Yet we all have men in our lives. We were all conceived in the magic moment a lucky sperm was allowed entrance by a welcoming egg. Fathers, sons, brothers, uncles, grandsons; many are important figures in our lives, but writing about them can be difficult.

As a an author and psychotherapist for more than 40 years, I have helped men and the women who love them to live long and well. In this seminar, I will help you better understand the nature of men so you can write more deeply and honestly about the males in your life.

In my first book, Inside Out: Becoming My Own Man, I recall the day my father took an overdose of sleeping pills and was hospitalized at Camarillo State Hospital, north of Los Angeles. I was five years old and grew up wondering what happened to my father and whether I would someday “go crazy” and end up in the “nuthouse.” When my first son, Jemal, was born in 1969, I made a vow that I would be a different kind of father than my father had been able to be for me and I would work to create a different kind of world where families didn’t go through the traumas that my family experienced.

After reading Mark Wolynn’s book, It Didn’t Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle, I expanded my understanding of men to include my mother’s father, the man I was named after, who died suddenly when my mother was five years old. My mother never talked about him, but he was always a powerful, yet shadowy, presence in my life.

I came to realize that I could never feel totally successful in my life, or in my relationships, until I came to peace with my father and the other male members of my family.

In this revealing and engaging hour you’ll learn:

  • How to understand the conscious and subconscious power men have in our lives.
  • Why men are the way they are—From the Y chromosome to the male brain.
  • To recognize the importance of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in understanding men.
  • How to get inside the heart and soul of men who are reluctant to talk so you can “hear the sound that male cells sing.”
  • Why we must address male shame and how to tell the truth about men without wounding them further.

Jed Diamond, Ph.D., LCSW, is one of the world’s leading experts on men’s health. He has written 14 books including international best-sellers, Surviving Male Menopause, Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places, and The Irritable Male Syndrome: Understanding and Managing the 4 Key Causes of Depression and Aggression. His most recent book, The Enlightened Marriage: The 5 Transformative Stages of Relationships and Why the Best is Still to Come was released in 2016. Visit him at www.MenAlive.com and www.TheEnlightenedMarriage.com.

 


This is our monthly member webinar and is for NAMW members only.  If you are a NAMW member, you will receive the webinar access information via email and can also find it in the Members Area by clicking the Event Phone Numbers link.

If you are not a NAMW member yet, we encourage you to join!  Click here to learn about what other benefits are reserved for our members only.

Writing a Creative Manifesto

Kathleen Adams

March Member Teleseminar

March 17, 2017

11 AM PST  12 PM MST  1 PM CST  2 PM EST

I’m happy to having my colleague and friend Kathleen Adams return to share her wisdom with us. Kathleen is the founder of the Center for Journal Therapy and holds a deep and healing vision for how writing can help us heal, develop the yet to be developed parts of ourselves, and how we can create our work beyond what we had previously imagined.

Kay is going to help us develop our vision today, and invite you to listen into your desires, dreams, and goals. Join us for this exercise in creative visioning through writing your Creative Manifesto. I can’t wait to start!

 

Writing a Creative Manifesto

What are the personal bugaboos that stop you from working on your memoir? Not enough hours in the day? Too much on your plate? Mired in creative doldrums? No privacy? Whatever your bane, it likely causes annoyance at best, despair at worst.

Writing a creative manifesto can bring clarity and resolve to your situation, whatever it may be. Together we’ll gather the bones of your intentions and desires and through a sequenced writing process knit them together into affirmative action. You’ll realistically assess what’s possible, what’s desirable, and what’s simply out of reach for your current reality. You’ll leave with a three-point creative manifesto that can be deepened and expanded beyond our time together.

In this motivational hour you’ll learn:

  • Why it’s important to connect your writing to your core values
  • How to articulate a simple plan for writing success
  • Why “lowering your standards” can bring about a powerful mental shift

Kathleen Adams LPC, PTR is a psychotherapist and poetry/journal therapist in Denver, Colorado. Since 1985 she has pioneered the field of journal therapy. Kay is the founder/director of the Center for Journal Therapy and its professional training academy, the fully on-line Therapeutic Writing Institute, as well as its membership community, the Journalverse. 

 

 

The Craft of Creating Believable Characters in Memoir

Jordan Rosenfeld 

February Member Teleseminar

February 17, 2017

11 AM PST    12 PM MST    1 PM CST   2 PM EST

We’re happy that Jordan Rosenfeld will be joining us again to talk about much needed craft issues for memoir writers—creating “characters” in our story, based on people we know. Most memoir writers don’t see that they are not building a character because that person lives in their memory—but the reader can’t see them unless you create and build the character chapter by chapter in your story.

How do you do this—by using character cues such as physical action, dialogue, sensory imagery, internal monologue and analogies. These are techniques that fiction writers use to make their characters believable—people who are not real, but made up, and yet who live in our imagination forever—think Jane Eyre, Mr. Darcey, and David Copperfield. In memoir, Helen MacDonald creates a full character of her hawk, and Cheryl Strayed brings to life herself and her mother, along with the “character” of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Join us for this important webinar by Jordan—she’s been with us before and always delivers powerful and important skills that we as memoir writers need to know.

You will learn:

  1. To understand how to use your point of view consistently to establish yourself as character—you are the protagonist in your own story.
  2. How to use strong character cues so they come alive on the page.
  3. That showing your characters in action is a dynamic way to bring them to life.
  4. How dialogue enriches your characters.

And more… We’ll talk about her book Writing the Intimate Character as a resource for you as you deepen your skills in creating character so they live vividly on the page!

 

Bio

Jordan is author of seven books, most recently: Writing the Intimate Character (Writer’s Digest Books). Her freelance work has appeared in The Atlantic, GOOD, New York Magazine, Scientific American and many more.

Jordanrosenfeld.net

 

 

 

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