January 2012 Memoir Writing Newsletter | Issue #52
“I believe that – if you are serious about a life of writing, or indeed about any creative form of expression – you should take on this work like a holy calling. I became a writer the way other people become monks or nuns…I was writing’s most devotional handmaiden. I built my entire life around writing.” Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love (quoted from her website)
I hope your holidays were blessed and that you enjoyed contemplating your creative writing life. Perhaps you’re thinking about your dreams and plans for the New Year–the Year of the Memoir!
Here at NAMW, we have all kinds of great events planned and we look forward to seeing you. It’s a time of great energy and forward motion, when the year is ne, and we have rested during the dark winter nights. The light is increasing every day, and it’s time to launch your creative projects. I’m excited about new board members at NAMW, and some new offerings that will help writers begin, develop, and finish their memoir.
Whether you are a member or not, you will find quite a few discussions, audios, and book reading lists to feed your creativity, along with writing prompts that we send out from time to time, and news about writing resources that we discover and share.
The general Facebook group for NAMW is a place where you can talk, share, and let everyone know what you are doing. Click here to join.
Members–Join us at our NAMW Facebook Membership Group–click here for more information.
We’re so pleased to have some terrific speakers for our Roundtable and Member Teleseminar events as we begin The Year of the Memoir.
Remember–be brave, and write your stories!
Linda Joy Myers, MFA NAMW President & Founder
2012 The Year of the Memoir!
Roundtable Discussion: January 12, 20124 PM PST, 5 PM MST, 6 PM CST, 7 PM EST
Teresa LeYung Ryan will begin the year by educating and inspiring us to create our platform in 22 days! Even if you have just started writing, it’s not too late to muse and think about what your audience might be and the themes of your work. Platform is not the scary subject that you might at first think–it’s a natural way to think about your audience, and as you write, you can jot down your ideas as you go. Your first job is to write, write, write, while you learn about the process of writing and publishing, so when you’re ready, you can draw upon your resources.
Sign up here to get the audio download and call in number.
Member Teleseminar January 27, 2012 11 AM PST, 12 PM MST, 1 PM CST, 2 PM EST
We’re so pleased to have an author I have admired for a long time with great talent and style–Jane Vandenburgh. And we’re neighbors as well here in California!
Jane is going to continue the conversation we started at NAMW last year about the edges between truth and fiction. If you are a member, be sure to join us live on the call. If you’re not a member yet, consider joining us for a year’s worth of amazing presentations and for access to over 80 audios from previous presentations. Join here for this terrific presentation.
This month celebrates love, creativity, and the harbingers of spring. There’s a lot going on at NAMW too, with a new course by Sharon Lippincott–
Roundtable February 9, 2012 4 PM PST, 5 PM MST, 6 PM CST, 7 PM EST
Memories Are Made of This….Or Are They?
Get to know Sharon at our free roundtable discussion where she will share with us her insights about memory–what is memory, how do we know what we remember is true? How much do we count on our memory when we are writing memoir–and much more.
I’m sure most of you have asked these same questions. She brings her research on the subject and her experiences with other writers to enlighten us. The line will stay open for your questions and ideas. Sharon is on the NAMW advisory board and has been a long time memoir teacher, presenter, blogger, and author. She is teaching a new course.
Member Teleseminar February 24, 2012 11 AM PST, 12 PM MST, 1 PM CST, 2 PM EST
Social Media–Fun, not Fraught
Beth Barany will talk with us about getting acquainted–in a friendly non-threatening way–with social media. Why this is the best way to get your work and yourself noticed in a busy whirlwind world? Why do you need to know about social media even if you are a serious writers? Join us to find out.
Welcome to Jennifer Lauck and Brooke Warner–New Advisory Board Members!
We are growing at NAMW and are so happy to welcome new members to our board–two people who have so much to offer.
I first got to know Jennifer through her amazing first memoir Blackbird, a book I simply could not put down, and then I followed her journey into Still Waters, turning the pages to find out more. Each book has shown us that not only can you write a memoir, you can write more than one, and each will teach, inspire, and move our hearts. Her last memoir, Found, is about finding her birth mother after a lifetime of feeling unwanted, and her own journey as a mother is chronicled in Show Me the Way.
I first heard about Brooke Warner a couple of years ago because my friends were telling me what a great editor she was, and what a nice person–and she is. We met at the San Francisco Writing Conference and other events, and she is a gem. Brooke has mentored several of my writing pals into publication with her fine coaching and editing skills.Read more about Brooke here, and you will be learning more about what she has to offer writers in the next few months.
Other important events to Stimulate your Writing Life
Put your work out to editors and agents at these events. Get started with your pitch and professional presentation. Even if your book is not done, these events will help you learn how to be a professional writer.
You’ll learn an 8-step plan to create your own memoir, experiment with writing exercises that will demonstrate how writing your truth and shaping your narrative can propel you toward life-changing discoveries, and learn lots of tips, techniques and tools for your own personal or group work. Required Text:The Power of Memoir: How to Write Your Healing Story, Linda Joy Myers
San Francisco Writing Conference
February 17-19, 2012
Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco
Networking, three days of great workshops, and Speed Dating with Agents. Great conference.
Make sure to check out Spirited Woman. It’s a community for woman where your passion connects YOU to the world. Spirited Woman is positive, empowered, fun, vibrant, and inspired. My book Don’t Call Me Mother is currently being featured on the front page, so take a look while you’re there.
Writing Prompts for January
1. Describe your childhood home, or a home important to you. Use sensual details–color, sound, smell, and taste. What made it feel good? What was uncomfortable? Write a portrait of this place. Be sure to talk about your own room or place.
2. Describe your early experiences with wonder and awe. Did this occur in nature? Use sensual details to describe how you felt and the scene. How old were you? Where were you? What did you think about this experience?
3. Describe a mentor or teacher who influenced you or changed your life. Describe the physical attributes, energy, attitudes, spiritual self, and clothes. What happened in your relationship? How old were you? What do you know, who are you thanks to that person?
4. Write about your philosophy of life: When did you first develop your unique point of view? What influenced your philosophy along the way?
5. What was the best day of your life? Why?
Keep writing! If you have any questions, or would like to suggest a workshop, teleseminar or roundtable topic please let us know. Email us at: email@example.com. And thank you very much for your support of the National Association of Memoir Writers!
Linda Joy Myers, Ph.D., MFT President & Founder National Association of Memoir Writers http://www.NAMW.org
Be brave. Write your stories!
National Assocation of Memoir Writers | 1700 Solano Ave | Berkeley, CA 94707
FREE CALL—What Makes a Memoir a Bestseller? April 23 at 4pm PST | 7pm EST
Using Cheryl Strayed’s Wild as a jumping-off point, this call addresses how you can hone your own skills to make your memoir shine.
Use the sign-up form (click here) to get your invitation to this free call.
About the National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW)
The National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW) is a membership organization that invites memoir writers from all over the world to connect, learn and become inspired about writing their stories. The goal of our organization is to help memoir writers feel empowered with purpose and energy to begin and develop their life stories into a publishable memoir, whether in essay form, a book, a family legacy, or to create a blog. » Learn More
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About Linda’s online writing workshop:
I like the concept of ‘turning points’ instead of stories. It gives a more dynamic sense of flow to the stories and helps me to know which ones to select
[The Power of Memoir by Linda Joy Myers] “With a gentle spirit and a clear voice, Linda Joy Myers creates a safe place for writers. With her 8 Step Program, Myers guides writers through the dark places of the heart, to ultimately arrive at a place of power and grace.”
Sue William Silverman, author, Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir and Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You
[The Power of Memoir by Linda Joy Myers] “A powerful and unique writing guide—one that will lead any writer straight to the heart of their richest material, help them heal, and then teach them how to shape it into literature. Destined to become a classic!”
Jordan E. Rosenfeld, contributing editor, Writer’s Digest magazine and author, Make a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time