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12 Guilty Pleasures for Memoirists

12 Guilty Pleasures for Memoirists

 Writing memoir is hard work. You spend hours gazing into your past, mining memories for emotions and details, and coming to insights that

10 Ways to Prime the Creative Pump

10 Ways to Prime the Creative Pump

You haven’t heard from me in awhile. I’ve been in hibernation. Ever have one of those periods? I’ve been finishing a book and–let’s face it–grieving the loss of my mother and my dad, too, who died a few years earlier. I’ve been trying to figure 

Writing Memoir To Find Meaning In Your Life

Writing Memoir To Find Meaning In Your Life

I don’t know about you, but for me, this last year has been one long blur of unexpected events, time consuming changes to the daily round, and disorienting new “norms” that only end up being normal for a week or two. In the midst of 

How To Take Your Memoir Beyond Memory, and Make It A Story

How To Take Your Memoir Beyond Memory, and Make It A Story

These past months of lockdown have given me many manuscripts to evaluate, and ample time to think about why so many memoirs need revision, even when the writer thinks the story is done. Here’s how the root problem can arise: If you write memoir from 

Naming Your Memoir’s Premise—A Key to Structure

Naming Your Memoir’s Premise—A Key to Structure

I’ve been thinking more this month about how to find your way into the wealth of material that is your life, and compose from it a memoir. I wrote about this last month, and actually in all my columns since the pandemic began, and the 

How To Structure Your Memoir (third and final in the pandemic series: stay at home and write your memoir )

How To Structure Your Memoir (third and final in the pandemic series: stay at home and write your memoir )

When the pandemic started, I wrote about using stay-at-home time to work on your memoir, and then followed up with a column on the basics of organizing your shimmering images—your vivid memories.With back-to-school mentally kicking in (even if back-to-school is unfamiliar), it’s time to find 

Stay At Home—And Write Your Memoir #2 (from May 2020)

Stay At Home—And Write Your Memoir #2 (from May 2020)

Last month I wrote about using your time, while at home, to work on a memoir and suggested the basics for getting started. This month here’s the next step: what to do with all those memories you’ve been stockpiling, or with all the stories you’ve 

Stay At Home—And Write Your Memoir

Stay At Home—And Write Your Memoir

We are all going to have time eddying around us in these coming weeks, as life shifts into a new and unfamiliar rhythm, but once we strike that rhythm—whatever it is for each individual household—once we get past the panic and stock piling of supplies, 

How Do You Handle Dialogue In a Memoir?

How Do You Handle Dialogue In a Memoir?

People talk. And in your memoir, even if you are the kind of writer who leans more toward the meditative/reflective style of memoir writing—at some point, your characters will open their mouths and speak. So, the question becomes: Are you allowed to invent? Obviously, you 

2020—The Year of Seeing Clearly, by Ann Carnes

2020—The Year of Seeing Clearly, by Ann Carnes

It was 1973 when Gene and I settled into a pattern of living together in my Canoga Park, California apartment where I’d lived when I was married and where my toddler son, Jim, and I continued to live after my divorce. Gene was the only 

2020—The Year of Seeing Clearly, by Ann Anderson Evans

2020—The Year of Seeing Clearly, by Ann Anderson Evans

I love men, prefer their company, and sympathize with them, maybe because I had two brothers. Men don’t have it easy—for millennia, they’ve been suffering oceans of anxiety because they had to support their families and fight our wars, but I’m a woman, and I 

Stephanie Davis-Namm, Richard White, Park Plazas & Santa Fe—Why We Write Memoir: A Manifesto for 2020/The Year of Seeing Clearly

Stephanie Davis-Namm, Richard White, Park Plazas & Santa Fe—Why We Write Memoir: A Manifesto for 2020/The Year of Seeing Clearly

I often get queries about how to write a short memoir and make it worth reading. I have decided to share a gnarly situation from my own life to show you how to take the content of your day-to-day and turn it into a short