Teaching—Examples of Lisa’s teaching

The Best Memoir I’ve Read, and Why It’s Important If You Want to Sell Your Memoir

The Best Memoir I’ve Read, and Why It’s Important If You Want to Sell Your Memoir

Nearly twenty-five years ago, I happened upon a short blurb about a book in the Quality Paperback Book Club newsletter. That’s going to be a hit! I thought, so I ordered a copy, read it, and watched the world of story roll over in front […]

How Can I Finish My Memoir by the End of the Year? Three plans for right now

How Can I Finish My Memoir by the End of the Year? Three plans for right now

Many of you have begun your memoir. Many of you are almost done with your memoir. And some of you are still thinking about it and writing it in your head. Here are three strategies for the Return to School spirit you feel in September […]

Memoir Writing: Avoid the Fiery Issues of the Day, or Take Sides?

Memoir Writing: Avoid the Fiery Issues of the Day, or Take Sides?

We live in a time of intense political debate. Siloed in our separate value and belief systems we find it hard to talk with strangers because we do not know what they believe, so we side-step controversy and avoid topics that might upset them. But […]

How Long Does It Take to Write a Memoir?

How Long Does It Take to Write a Memoir?

When you sit down to write a memoir you may wonder how long it’s going to take to finish the thing. The fact it, there’s no standard time frame. I have encountered several writers who say they worked for fifteen years to get it right—to […]

Is It Okay to Begin Writing a Memoir and then Turn It Into a Novel?

Is It Okay to Begin Writing a Memoir and then Turn It Into a Novel?

Sometimes the story we begin writing outgrows the boundaries of memoir and branches away from the task of reconstructing real people and lived events and leaps imaginatively into invention—first, invention of little this’s and that’s, and then (oops!) into the invention of bigger this’s and […]

Thinking About Truth and Your Family When Writing Memoir

Thinking About Truth and Your Family When Writing Memoir

Concerns about hurting family and friends are some of the most worrisome for memoirists. My advice? Quit obsessing about it and get on with the writing. Plenty of would-be memoirists have stopped themselves before even getting started, due to such concerns, and many who have […]

What’s the Biggest Challenge for the Memoirist Today?

What’s the Biggest Challenge for the Memoirist Today?

The biggest challenge facing today’s aspiring memoirist is little different than the biggest challenge facing the memoirist of twenty years ago when memoir underwent its contemporary resurgence: Distraction. The only thing that’s different is the form of distraction. Once it was television, videos, TiVO, DVDs—in […]

Why Do People Read Memoir, and What Are They Hoping to Find There?

Why Do People Read Memoir, and What Are They Hoping to Find There?

     Once upon a time, people who loved stories read novels to find keys for living a good life, for answers to the thorny questions of being human, for understanding why people behave the way to do, or to gain greater awareness of the dark […]

Memoir, Biography, Narrative Nonfiction—What Are They?

Memoir, Biography, Narrative Nonfiction—What Are They?

Here we are in February, the time of year when we throw ourselves back into writing and asking fundamental questions: What is a memoir? How is it different from biography, and how are both related to that thing called narrative nonfiction? Memoir is a story […]

Is Memoir Always About Someone’s Deep and Unconscious Pain?

Is Memoir Always About Someone’s Deep and Unconscious Pain?

The answer is: No. No. And no. But some people do come to the process of writing to sort out life experience, and most people are less likely to do that when things are soaring than when they have hit a bump. Hence, the common […]