IF YOU CONTACT ME about my memoir coaching and writing instruction, and if you tell me the memoir topics you want to braid together in one book include love of food, the struggle to come out and be gay, and how to live with being bipolar, don’t be surprised by my reaction. I will say something like, “Sure,” “You bet,” or “No problem.” What I won’t say is that it can’t be done, because I happen to know that it can. In fact, not only can it be done, but it can be done beautifully, heroically and with terrific writing. How do I know? Because I had the great good fortune to work with David Leite on his just-published book, Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love and Manic Depression, and that’s just what he did. [Read more…]
THE DILEMMA DU JOUR is what to write next. At least it is for me. In fact, the dilemma of the day, every day, is what to write next, isn’t it? And this from someone who lives with a time grid on her wall, the argument for her current writing project also stuck on that wall, and a high quotient of writing students and clients who follow her advice. Yes: I admit it. I, too, struggle daily with what to write next. [Read more…]
PEOPLE ALWAYS ASK ME for my single greatest piece of writing advice. I guess everyone is in a hurry, but honestly, that’s the question I get asked more than any other. And I always say the same thing. I’ve say it at conferences. I said it to the Tribe Writers in Franklin, Tennessee, recently, as well as to a large group of memoir-writing psychoanalysts at another recent convention. I say it to my memoir writing students, memoir writing coaching clients, as well as to myself every single day. What is it? Simple. Write with intent. [Read more…]
There are five essential tools I have on my desk every day when I write — five tools that I cannot write without. They have not changed in many years and I suspect they never will. Why? Because they work. They get used every single day. All of them. And I look forward to seeing them every day when I get to my desk. [Read more…]
DID YOU EVER WONDER what happens before a writer sits down to actually write a book? I’d be glad to tell you. It’s simple. We plan. Much like with any of life’s big projects – college, weddings and feasts, for instance – there is a lot of prep that goes down before the major event actually unfolds. I think the idea of planning for a book is a shock to many. So let’s resolve to start the new year off shock-free, shall we? Here are my 5 simple steps to plan a book. [Read more…]
MEMOIR WRITING PODCASTS are growing in number, and I’m delighted. After all, the very best conversations are literary conversations, and of those, my favorites are when I get to talk about memoir with a smart writer. Speaking of which, let me introduce Jennifer Blanchard, writer, blogger, author and host of the Pro Writer Mindset podcast. We had a ball talking memoir. Want to listen in?
I met Jennifer at Jeff Goins’ marvelous Tribes Writers conference in Franklin, Tennessee earlier this year. Jennifer and I were sitting at the same table and by the end of day one were fast friends. It’s like that at Tribe. We get immediately invested in one another’s success and off we go, talking writing, exchanging ideas and generally doing what Tribe prescribes: Getting better at this thing called writing.
Listen to Jennifer and me talking writing on the Pro Writer Mindset podcast. And then get to work.