Your Story Matters

What Memoir Writers Fear Most

Beck came to me last spring with a vague idea about the story he wanted to write.

Snippets of experiences from my childhood living as a girl and moments of parallel in adulthood, as I re-experience firsts as a man.

Okay.

I knew there was an important story there, and I also knew that "snippets" weren't going to do it justice.

"What are you most afraid of?" I asked. I figured the snippets approach was a way for Beck to protect himself, to guard his heart from further trauma and judgment.

Snippets! So light and breezy!

Because this is a writer who has been abandoned over and over by the people who are supposed to love him most.

"Oh, I'm afraid that people will think my book is a narcissistic journey into nothingness," Beck said.

I chuckled, not because this was funny but because I hear a variation of this fear all the time from writers.

Being afraid that people will think you're a narcissist if you write your story really means you're afraid that no one will...

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This is What a Writing Community Looks Like

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...

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Why It Makes Sense to Plan Your Book First

There's value in building your book’s foundation first, even if your preferred style is to just “get the words out on the page.” Planning doesn't have to squelch creativity. 

Two different styles of writers: Pantsers & Plotters

Pantsers comes from “fly by seat of pants”—just getting your words onto the page.Freewriting: the proverbial "shitty first draft," memorialized by Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird . Some writers do find their story, their message by writing first.

Plotters plan out the PLOT or the trajectory of their book. Some  like to plan out every detail in advance. They like to know exactly where going before they write a single word so then they just have to execute.

In my experience, the style of writer usually mimics their personality style. If you are familiar with the Myers-Briggs personality test, take a look at the fourth set of personality pairs: “Js” & Ps—judging and...

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From Idea to Publication: Key Decision Points Along the Way

Sometimes the book-writing journey can feel like a long winding road. 

While every journey is different, there are common steps and common decision points in every journey:

Every book starts with an idea. Test your idea. Talk to colleagues. Do some research. Make an initial decision: Go or no go.

Decide on your genre: Memoir? Self-help? Something in between. Each genre will have implications for next steps and for your structure. 

Decide on your publication path, at least make a tentative decision early on. With my clients we talk about this early in our process: their goals and the pros and cons of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing.  This is a big decision. It will set in motion your next steps. Do I write a book proposal or draft my manuscript? It also will have a huge impact on your timing.. If you are self-publishing, you can get your book out much more quickly.

Another big decision: do I go it alone or get help? That was an easy...

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