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…]
By following the five steps, you can get unstuck and get your story told.
HOW TO BEGIN A MEMOIR rattles most writers, though perhaps none more than those who had eccentric childhoods. When growing up amid the crazy or quirky stuff of life, competing, vivid images provide a virtual funhouse of choices and can leave the writer more than a little stuck for what to write first. It’s at times like these that we should defer to an expert, and in terms of both having an eccentric childhood and being a fine writer, few people can compete with Tanya Ward Goodman. I caught up with her a few years ago, after her remarkable book, Leaving Tinkertown, was named to several best-of lists for 2013. I thought maybe it was time to revisit this interview, this being the start of a new writing year. In a word, the book is perfect. So meet — or re-meet — Tanya. She’ll get you going. [Read more…]
NO MORE WRITING EXERCISES. I mean it. If you are going to learn how to write memoir, you need to learn to write with intent. That’s my phrase — writing with intent — and I’m sticking to it, since I know how well it has worked for others. Ready to come along? [Read more…]
PROBABLY THE SINGLE SENTENCE I say most in my memoir teaching and coaching practice is to “read above your head and write within your means.” These are words I live by, saying them to myself every single day. In fact, if you know me at all, you know I am all about insanely practical writing advice.
IN THE RUN-UP to the holidays it seemed like there was no new memoir to read. Uh oh, I thought. This was not good. And then things changed. “Ah,” I said yesterday, as I read through my Google search results for new memoir, “ah.” Settle back in your chair and let me share my finds with you. [Read more…]