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New Memoir Writing Workshop starting in September!

Linda Joy Myers, Workshop leader

If you’re writing a memoir, all you can think about is where to start, is it boring, will anyone be interested. A good way to answer those questions and be received as a fellow writer is in a workshop setting. You might not think of your memoir as healing or spiritual, but I use these descriptions to talk about the journey of memoir–which does change us, it’s amazingly transformative, informative, and even fun!

Writing a memoir challenges you to find your voice, and invites you to express yourself in a unique and exposing way. There is great freedom in expressing the unexpressed–and on this kind of journey you need companions. See my article on the journey of memoir writing here.

I have been teaching memoir writing workshops for the last fifteen years, and have witnessed many meaningful, heartful, and inspiring moments. Through all these years, along with my 32 years as a therapist, I understand deeply the process of inner growth that writing a memoir entails. And having written a memoir and two books, so far, on memoir writing, I bring the skills of a published memoir expert to the workshop. It’s important to me that everyone feel seen, heard, and witnessed–and also learn how to write a great memoir and feel successful.

The focus is on writing skills and moving forward, and we also talk about blogging, editing, and ways to get published when you are ready.

Some of the questions people ask about my online/teleworkshops

What is a spiritual autobiography?  It is a memoir? Does it have to be religious?

Writing a spiritual autobiography/healing memoir is a means to explore who you are, your philosophy of life, and your journey. It’s more than “What I did on my summer vacation” –though any work can have humor and irony in it. Those who write a memoir explore some kind of meaning, thoughts and feelings about life, and offer these up to the reader.

Can you write a healing memoir and still get published?

Most people’s first draft includes more reflections on the past and the self than they might include in the published version.  Most new writers find writing a memoir immensely cathartic and helpful to putting their lives and the things that happened to them—and how they made sense of it all—into perspective. Any memoir teacher who has written a memoir will tell you that writing a memoir is a surprising and an amazing journey that opens up worlds of insight and healing. It’s helpful if your guide for your memoir journey is someone who has written memoir and understands the process of exploring truth, facing family and the past, and digging deep to come up with the best story that offers the most takeaway for the reader.

Where do I begin?

A whole life is overwhelming and complex. We are all complex! To write a memoir can feel so daunting people can be afraid to start. Starting is simple: begin with the major stories that speak to you, the significant memories that shaped who you are. Think about the lessons you have earned, the teachers and loved ones who affected you the most. Write a character sketch about them. Write about the most important day of your life.

Can I really write the truths that I need to explore—it’s kind of scary.

Writing your truths significant moments or times of insight and “aha” one at a time can keep your memoir project manageable. Focus on listening to your own voice and knowledge, not the inner critic. In the workshop we work with the inner critic and help keep it at bay, and support your explorations and quest for truth.

Will you help me find out if what I’m writing is interesting to other people?

 Almost everyone begins with doubt. The purpose of the workshop is to help YOU see your story as the jewel that it is, and to support you in your writing life to WRITE! We want to help you get all the way to the end of your first draft. It can be messy and chaotic, but the group holds you and offers support for the journey.

 How does the online Teleworkshop work?

We gather once a week on the phone at the appointed time. Each person emails their story for that week to class members for feedback. The feedback is supportive, and also offers useful writing techniques and tips. As the guide, I lead the group and find teaching points that help your writing improve and stay focused on the story you need to write.  

Handouts are sent through email to supplement what we do in class, and I recommend my book The Power of Memoir–a whole writing course in a book. 

If you have  questions about the workshop or are interested in enrolling, please email me at lindajoy@namw.org

Linda Joy’s bio here:


September 27, 2012-November 29. (One week off for Thanksgiving.)

3 PST | 4 PM MST | 5 PM CST | 6 PM EST

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