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The Art of Slow Writing

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Date: March 5th, 2015

Time: 4 PM PST / 5  PM MST / 6 PM CST / 7 PM EST

Guest: Louise DeSalvo

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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
    process.
  • 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.

Sign up today to get the call information. A recording of the call will be emailed to everyone that signs up.

www.writingalife.wordpress.com

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.

New Member Benefit—Become a Featured Member on the NAMW website!

Everyone is talking about platform these days—I’m sure you keep hearing about how important it is to create networks where people have heard of you and your work. Writers are encouraged to start a blog and be active with one or two social media networks where you connect with an audience.

Here at NAMW, we want to help give our members a boost toward building platform! Each month a member can be our “Featured Member” on the website and in our newsletter. You can talk about your book, your writing project, and give links to your website or blog.

To be considered as a featured member, you need to be an active NAMW member.

If you are a member, log in to the member area and select “Become a Featured Member” from the menu. Simply enter your information in the form. You can include a brief write-up about your memoir, your website links, and a great looking photo of you! Once we hear from you, we will put you on our list of members to be featured.

Writing a Spiritual/Healing Memoir Workshop with Linda Joy Myers

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Date: January 22, 2015 to March 26, 2015

Time: 3 PM PST/6 PM EST

We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies. ~Shirley Abbott

In this workshop, we silence the noise of everyday life and dig into memories, tune into writing our stories, and learn the skills needed to write a satisfying memoir—to get all the way to “The End.”

It’s important to write freely without worrying about your inner critic or being published just yet—though that may be your ultimate goal. In order to get your memoir done, you need to feed your creative spirit, and have accountability to help get your stories on the page in a first draft.

The workshop:

  1. Send that week’s story to your classmates through email.
  2. Workshop members read and write feedback through email—reflecting on what works; offering feedback about what could be different or clarified.
  3. At class time, we gather by phone to talk about the stories—discussing what comes up as you write, your inner critic, doubts and dreams about your stories, and questions about structure. Find out in person on the call what you want to know from the group that will help you continue and develop your work.
  1. I guide the group, offer writing tips, and teach techniques that help you keep writing and learn how to grow as a writer.

This class is currently full. Fill out the form if you want to be notified of the next workshop.

 

So, What? The Reflective Voice in Memoir & Why It Matters | Public Roundtable

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mb desk croppedDecember 4, 2014

4 PM PST   5 PM MST   6 PM CST   7 PM EST

Guest: Marilyn Bousquin

Listen to call recording.

Writing a memoir of substance requires more than a one-dimensional recounting of events. As Vivian Gornick puts it, “What happened to the writer is not what matters; what matters is the large sense that the writer is able to make of what happened.” No matter how interesting a story, without a deeper, underlying meaning our readers are left asking, “So, what?” The memoirist’s job is to cull meaning from experience. This is where the reflective voice comes in. The reflective narrator not only speaks the truth but also interprets experience and arrives at insight; indeed, the author’s insight becomes an integral part of the story and imbues it with universal appeal.

In this roundtable discussion we will:

  • Identify the reflective voice and how it distinguishes memoir as a genre
  • Explore the differences between the reflective voice and the narrative voice in memoir and the necessity of both
  • Understand the relationship between the reflective voice and the emotional arc of a memoir and how the reflective voice drives a memoir story
  • Realize the power of reflection to lead to discovery both on the page and off the page and how reflection can help you gain the emotional distance necessary to shape your material
  • Learn reading and writing practices that will help you to cultivate the reflective voice in your own writing

Call Recording

Bio

Marilyn Bousquin, founder of Writing Women’s Lives™ (www.writingwomenslives.com), specializes in teaching both the craft of writing memoir and the consciousness work that leads to recovering one’s voice and claiming one’s truth both on the page and off the page. A certified Amherst Writers and Artists group writing coach, Marilyn holds an MFA in creative nonfiction. Her work appears in River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative, in Kate Hopper’s Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers, and is forthcoming in Under the Gum Tree. You can read her book reviews in Literary Mama and River Teeth. Her essay “Against Memory” was named a finalist for AROHO’s Orlando Prize for Creative Nonfiction 2013. In addition to teaching classes and mentoring women writers at Writing Women’s Lives™, Marilyn teaches writing at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia. She is currently at work on a memoir titled Searching for Salt.

Do You Need Accountability and Support to Write Your Memoir?

Many memoir writers find that they are better able to make progress with their book when they have accountability and a deadline, who can share their work  with someone who will read their work carefully and who understands the demands of writing a memoir.  Memoir writers find it’s helpful to work with someone who not only focuses on the structure and theme of the book but can offer insight into the psychology of writing a memoir. Writing a memoir means that we need to dig deep into our feelings, psyche and past as we lived it, where we can encounter challenges in either writing about those times, or feelings where we get stuck in exploring who we were then, and what we did. Sometimes writing a memoir is an act of testimony about our lives, and sometimes it can put us on the path of forgiveness and a deeper resolution. In a month where we celebrate gratitude, we can turn our attention toward the healing, positive, and growth potential of writing our memoir—telling the stories that we have always held close to our hearts. In the New York Times article about memoir writing last month you can find out more about how writing a memoir offers self-growth and awareness, which is immensely valuable.

Benefits of coaching

  • Learn how to develop your story-writing skills.
  • Find out what makes a good story great.
  • Discover the three stages of memoir writing: Kickstarting Your Memoir, The Muddy Middle, and Birthing Your Book Into the World (learn more about that here!)
  • Create deadlines so you are motivated to get your work done.
  • Get help with the editing and publishing process.
  • Gather resources about writing and publishing your book.

 

If you are interested in exploring the idea of coaching, we can set up a free strategy planning session to talk about the theme of your book, your goals, and where you want help. To contact me about coaching, please write memoirguru@namw.org

Special for the month of November—

National Lifewriting Month

6 sessions $529 (Save $66) – Add to Cart

3 sessions $279 (Save $10) – Add to Cart

1 session $120 (Save $5) – Add to Cart


To get your discount use
PROMO CODE: lifewriting

Next Free Roundtable

To learn more click here.

Sign up today to get the call information. A recording of the call will be emailed to everyone that signs up.

Testimonials

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