Lately, one of my favorite hours of the week is Tuesday at noon when I hop on Zoom with my Write Yourself Out Foundations cohort. As these LGBTQ+ writers wrestle to get clear on their books, they laugh—and sometimes cry. They ponder, get vulnerable, and give supportive feedback to each other.
All those things and more happened this Tuesday. But another reality colored our time together—the news that the Supreme Court is about to overturn Roe v. Wade. The implications for this decision—if it is in fact where the Court lands—go well beyond reproductive rights. The right to marry the person of your choice, regardless of gender, may be the next right on the chopping block.
I’m angry—and I’m scared. My less-than-a-year-old marriage may be in jeopardy, not to mention other issues important to the queer community.
Truth be told, to date I’ve lived a life of privilege—I’m white, well-educated, and financially secure. Sure...
Are you searching for your next read? Keep reading below to learn more or watch the video all about this recommendation!
[Video trigger warning: the recommended book mentions sexual abuse]
Like you probably do, I get my book recommendations from people I trust. I’m in several online writers groups and a member of one of those groups is Laura Davis, the author of The Burning Light of Two Stars . I heard enough buzz about the book in the group that I decided to check it out, plus the subject matter interested me.
It’s a story about a complicated mother-daughter relationship and the tension that can arise between siblings when one sibling is bearing the brunt of the care for an elderly parent. A story many adult children can relate to. I certainly can.
Key takeaways for readers and tips for memoir writers:
The #1 takeaway for me from this memoir is that it’s possible to reimagine a challenging relationship with a parent—it’s...
This week in my Write Yourself Out Foundations group coaching call, I had the privilege of listening to queer writers share their dreams and fears about writing their stories.
I heard stories about the importance of finding common ground in the disparate parts of the queer community. About fighting insurance companies for gender confirmation surgery. About being forced to hide who you are to do work you love. About tapping into your divine to live as your authentic self. About losing friends and family as you celebrate finally being yourself.
An hour later, my cheeks were wet and my heart was full as I imagined the impact these books will make once they are out in the world.
In my book coaching work, I ask writers to dig deep to get clear on WHY they are writing their books. These LGBTQ+ writers already have a profound understanding of their “whys.” They are ready to go all in and do the hard work of planning their books so they can write forward with intention and...
If you’re contemplating writing a memoir, you might be wondering “How long will it take?” Roll your eyes if anyone tries to give you a definitive answer. There’s so much variation in the writing process, and then there’s the path to publication, another journey altogether.
Here's my memoir timeline, but yours may look totally different, and that's okay.
This is what it feels like!
Listen to my client Jamie Gehring explain why she felt driven to spend five years of her life on her memoir, Madman In the Woods: Life Next Door to the Unabomber.
Are you ready to take the first step to write your memoir?
Four and a half years ago, at the age of 56, I left what looked like a fairytale existence and moved to a city where I knew exactly one person.
Some called me brave.
Some called me crazy, a few to my face.
I read somewhere that most of us only make big changes when the pain of staying in the known is worse than the pain of leaping into the unknown.
That was certainly my experience.
On the “before” side of my leap, I wouldn’t have called myself brave but I did feel crazy at times as I contemplated leaving a thirty-year marriage to a good man, a life that was financially secure and comfortable in more ways than one.
But one day when I finally got quiet and still enough to hear my own voice, the fog cleared. I wasn’t willing to go to my grave without having really lived my life. The pain of not living authentically was greater than the pain and fear of not knowing what was on the other side.
There’s no way forward without some...
Writers, let me introduce you to Dabble, my new best friend.
Dabble is a simple-to-use online writing tool that helps keep your writing organized.
It keeps you from spending hours hunting through hundreds of Word docs to find that one perfect scene you cut and now want back in your draft.
Dabble makes it super easy to play with scenes, moving them from chapter to chapter.
It’s like Scrivener without complications or frustration.
Sure, Dabble comes at a cost (there’s a monthly or annual subscription), but how much is your time and sanity worth?
As I wrestle with yet another major revision of my memoir, Dabble’s been worth every penny to me.
It’s funny what happens when you set aside non-negotiable time to write.
You get that chapter to your book coach.
You submit that essay and get included in an anthology.
You meet the deadline for submissions to an independent press and increase your odds of being traditionally published.
You actually get...
Margot, my fantabulous business mentor, is a woman of a certain age ... my age LOL. The other day, we were talking about my goals for my book coaching business and my goals for my own writing ... how much time I want to spend working each week, and what I want to spend that time on, in this season of life.
"I like to think of this as the third quarter," Margot said. The first quarter we grow up, the second quarter we build a career and/or take care of children, and the third quarter we get to choose ourselves and do what we want, if we are fortunate enough to be financially secure and healthy. The fourth quarter—85 +? We'll likely be reliant on others to help us manage our life.
"I figure I've got 25 years in this third quarter if I'm lucky," Margot said.
The same math for me. God willing, I have 25 good years left to write, coach writers, travel, spend time with my kids (and hopefully someday grandchildren!), hang out with friends, and continue to build a...
If you’re a writer, it’s impossible to banish doubt completely. I’m guessing you may have wondered:
But while you can’t banish doubt, there are ways to manage it:
Doubt will always be lurking, but it doesn’t have to get the upper hand.
Writing can feel like a slog. You would rather do practically anything else (dentist appointment, anyone?) than put your butt in the chair. But then there are those magical times when...
Opening lines are critical. Ideally, they grab the reader and entice them to read more. They can establish the theme of the book, something important about the main character, or both. “If you ask me where I’m from, I’ll lie to you,” achieves all these objectives. What do you glean from this opening line? Does it make you want to read more? Tell me some of your favorite opening lines.
LGBTQ+ coming out stories are important, especially for readers still in the closet or dealing with trauma from leaving the closet. They’re also important for readers to develop empathy for family members or friends in the process of coming out. And the best coming out stories tap into the deepest parts of all of us. Identity. Belonging. Love. As Lauren Hough notes, there’s more than one kind of coming out.
Not just nachos but nachos from 7-11 - not just chili, but Alpo-looking chili. These are known as...