Linda Joy Myers
President/Founder, National Association of Memoir Writers
Creative Nonfiction and Memoir–The Art and Craft of Writing and Publishing Your Work
Saturday, November 15th, 2014 11:00 AM-1:00 PM
Linda Joy Myers, occupying one of the most visible seats in memoir writing, lives by the power of writing the truth. As president and founder of the National Association of Memoir Writers, she’s authored three books on memoir writing: The Power of Memoir—How to Write Your Healing Story, Journey of Memoir, and Becoming Whole. Myers was recently quoted in a New York Times article on memoir writing. A therapist for 35 years, she writes for the Huffington Post, co-teaches “Write Your Memoir in Six Months,” and blogs on topics such as The Changing Landscape of Memoir, How To Capture Emotion in Your Memoir, and Breaking Silence, Healing Shame. Her memoir, Don’t Call Me Mother—A Daughter’s Journey from Abandonment to Forgiveness, received numerous honors. Myers writes fiction, non-fiction, and memoir.
At her November 15 Sacramento appearance, Myers will define memoir, creative nonfiction, and autobiography, and will also cover the important things memoir writers need to address for today’s marketplace, from the art of writing to the craft of a finished book. “Memoir writing is an art, an emotional journey, a journey of courage and learning,” writes Myers. “You will know more about yourself and others through writing a memoir.” Myers will also talk about what makes a good scene, how to create a structure for your book, and what agents and publishers want to see in your work. She’ll discuss ways to keep family out of your writing life until “the end,” and books that can inspire you to keep writing.
Q and A with Linda Joy Myers
Q. What do you say to the person who hasn’t done a lot of writing, or lacks confidence, but has a story to tell?
A. Write down the stories that have meaning to you and know that your family and friends will value such a story. No matter who we are, our story is unique and worth telling. Write stories down as simply as possible focusing on when, where, who was there, and what interesting thing happened. Just write as you would talk, and get that inner critic off your shoulder. Tell it to leave you alone while you bask in your memories. Use photos to help you remember and read old newspapers of the era. You’ll be surprised at how much you remember!
Q. How does a person know if his or her story is “worthy” to tell? (Can we assume anyone will read it?)
A. Most people I talk to, even experienced writers, struggle with the idea of thinking their story is interesting or “worth reading.” The first thing to think about is not your reader—the first thing to think about is YOU. What do YOU want to say, to share, to remember? What were the significant moments in your life and how do you feel about them now? What is your legacy? If you are passionate about what you have to say, other people will be interested. Quit thinking of audience, as until you write, you have no audience, just that inner critic harping at you and causing doubts. Throw away your doubts, and focus on your story.
Q. What questions do you get the most from people desiring to write their story?
A. Where do I start? What about family, how can I be sure about what I remember, can I write what I remember about other people, living or dead?
Q. What’s one thing I can do today, if I want to start my memoir?
A. Write down your most vivid memories in a list, then begin to write each story, one by one. Try to start with about 10-15 most vivid and significant stories—otherwise things get overwhelming—there are so many stories! Then you can branch out and add stories as you think of more. Try to think in terms of themes, and most of all enjoy remembering!
- Monthly Luncheons are open to the public
- Cost is $14 for members, $16 for nonmembers
- The meeting fee includes lunch and beverage
- Cattlemen’s Restaurant, 12409 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova, CA
The restaurant is located just east of Hazel Ave. at the northeast end of the Nimbus Winery complex along Highway 50. Cattlemen’s offers CWC a spacious meeting room with free WiFi, quality AV equipment, free off street parking and excellent food.