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How to Use a Writing Buddy to Start (and Finish) Your Memoir

How to Use a Writing Buddy from National Association of Memoir Writers

Find a writing buddy. Writing means going into your cave and spending a lot of time alone, with yourself and your memories. Delving into the past. You find yourself leaving this dimension behind. While all that is necessary to find your memories and thoughts, it can get lonely. We writers can spend too much time with ourselves. We need to connect with others, we need to talk with other people about how writing a memoir affects us. We need feedback and support.

Memoir writers need to bounce off our ideas, our scenes and challenges on other people. This is where your writing buddy, and your writing community come in. During our seminars at NAMW, people discover others who are writing about similar life issues, or people who live near each other.  Several successful writing buddies have found each other through these seminars and group coaching.

Your buddy can help give you accountability, someone who cheers you on daily or weekly.

With your buddy, you can:

  • Let them know when your writing session is starting. Send them an email to tell them you are writing, then another when you are done. This way you have accountability.
  • Your writing buddy can be an early reader for you. They would read not to critique as much as support. Be clear about what you want in terms of feedback and what would get in your way. It’s probably best not to ask family members to do this at an early stage of writing your book.
  • A writing buddy can be there for you when things get tough. Maybe you need to let your buddy know how much your inner critic has been beating you up. You could ask your buddy to let you know if the inner critic’s comments are correct, for instance. Your buddy is more objective than you when you are in the middle of your story!
  • A writing buddy can help to create your network on Facebook and other social media when you are ready for that. Networking is the way to create your platform, even in an early stage of your writing process.
  • You and your buddy can widen the net to include other writers. You can meet in person—I do this with a group I’ve been with for 15 years—but you can also meet through Skype, video conferencing, or on the phone. You can meet in group emails. There are so many ways to connect now.

PRO TIP => You and your buddy can widen the net to include other writers.

You can also use NAMW and our community of memoir writers, to connect with a virtual community of writing “buddies.”