A beautiful community for women Life & Memoir writers. This is where we share our writing and life stories.

When I started my memoir journey – in 2016 – I spent way too much time trying to learn how to write. Much of my problem was looking at teachers – online – who either wrote and spoke about fiction writing or, memoir coaches who haven’t written their own memoirs. Some had written and published memoirs I didn’t identify with them.

Writing a memoir is not like writing fiction.

We are not creating new characters or ‘worlds’. We are excavating our own life, turning ourselves into a protagonist and the people in our life, into characters, our future readers identify with and – most importantly – enjoy spending time with on the page.

Of course, there are many outstanding memoir teachers who’ve written their own memoirs. Their courses were (mostly) out of my geographical or price range. I’ve studied their books and include Mary Karr, Dani Shapiro, Cathy Rentzenbrink, Maya Angelou, Joyce Maynard, and Laura Davis among my best teachers. There are many – oh, so many more wonderful Memoir writers and mentors among us.

Readers want a good narrative arc, well-developed characters, great dialogue, sumptuous descriptions and a smooth journey on the timeline. Mind that you don’t give your readers a Whiplash trying to follow your chain of thought on a timeline that jumps around too much. Readers come to memoirs because they want to discover something about themselves. If you want to publish your Memoir give them that!

Unless we are already famous, readers won’t pick up our memoir because they want to know about us. They choose our memoir because of the theme we write about. They want us to show them what it was like to be you, me, us – in the situation or time we write about – and how we handled it, They also want ot know what we learned from our experience and how it change us. Oprah calls this Life Lessons, she did a great series on it.

I highly recommend ‘Good morning, Monster’ by Catherine Gildiner as a companion to both learning the craft of a good memoir and figuring out who we are as humans. From your past, in the present, and into the future, who were you? Who are you and who do you truly WANT to become? I visualise the future I want, near or far in time, I visualise and manifest.

Having a circle of friends to share my writing with is crucial for my memoir writing journey. I must feel safe in the circle, I must feel I belong there. We all come to the circle vulnerable. We are figuring out, not just how to craft our stories but what our stories are about. Together we figure out who we are, and we write and read.

We write memoirs to get validation that our story matters. In my circle of writer’s friends, Big Magic happens. Our confidence in our writing grows together with our understanding of the craft and our stories.

My circle of friends is a tribe of women – with the same desire – to finish our memoir and share our story with the world.

My Memoir & Life Wrirng Circle meets, online, every two weeks for 90 minutes. This gives 8 of us time to read and receive compassionate feedback on our memoir and life writing pieces.

Apply to join The Memoir Circle today. this link might not go where I’m planning it to go πŸ™‚

If you like my writing and what I write about you will love my emails. Get them here.

Making Memoir

I can’t believe I’m here, that I’ve made it this far. It's been seven years! Seeing β€˜The End’ at the bottom of that page, three weeks ago, sparked excitement all over. Today I received feedback […]

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This video, by Ira Glass, has been a wonderful companion and reminder for me – while I learn to write. It’s taught me to be patient, to start small and grow slow. To nurture my hArt and be kind to myself. I never thought writing this memoir would take this long, coming back to Ira Glass’ video, reminds me to be kind to myself. I want you to be kind to yourself too.