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The Crucial First Step to Coming Out as a Writer

Everyone has a closet.

In her memoir The Family Outing, author Jessi Hempel writes: "The more I live in the world, the more I come to understand that everyone has a closet."

I agree.

Maybe your closet is:

  • Your faith—or lack thereof.
  • An eating disorder or a drinking problem.
  • The desire to leave your "good enough" marriage.
  • Your grief over a loss the world doesn't acknowledge.
  • An estrangement with a family member.

Memoir writers bravely open the door to their closets—for their own sake and for the sake of their readers.

Claiming your identity as a writer—someone who has something to say to the world—is brave and it's scary.

I know what that feels like.

When I first came out in 2016, I couldn't say I was gay or lesbian or queer—let alone that I was a queer writer. I didn't really know what label to attach to the life-changing awakening I'd experienced at midlife.

Shortly after my husband and I decided to divorce, I...

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What Brave Looks Like For a Memoir Writer

I smiled earlier this month when my business coach asked a fill-in-the-blank question during a goal-setting workshop:

I wish I was brave enough to _________.

Really? My memoir, GRAVEYARD OF SAFE CHOICES, is all about breaking free from a play-it-safe and small life. Do I have to keep being brave? Wasn't leaving everything I knew behind and starting over in my mid-50s brave enough?

Yes, that's a photo of my condo on move-in day five years ago.

But as I held a pen in my hand, the answer came quickly:

I wish I was brave enough to put myself out there more.

I’m going to have to put it out there soon—my coming out later-in-life memoir will be published in late Fall 2023 or early Winter 2024.

It feels so VULNERABLE. So visible. So public.

Truth bomb: Writing your personal story is an act of bravery.

This is especially true for people in the LGBTQ+ community who've been judged and shamed for simply being who they are.

These writers are brave souls who know there are readers...

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