I attended my first HippoCamp four years ago. Four years that have gone by in a flash and at the same time feel like a lifetime ago.
Is that what time feels like for dogs? I've often wondered, being a new-ish dog mom to Lucy, my 9 lb. chihuahua mix. But I digress ...
When I walked into the Lancaster Marriott for HippoCamp 2018, I was just on the other side of a couple of very difficult years navigating coming out as LGBTQ+ and a divorce resulting from that coming out decision.
I had been furiously writing since coming out, trying to make sense of the life-changing experience I was going through. What was it really about? Why had I made the choices I'd made? Why would anyone care about my story?
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...
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...
Writing is solitary and it can be lonely. You spend lots of time in your head, perhaps wondering if anyone will even care.
While you are the only person who can put your butt in the chair and get your words on the page, your writing life will improve if you can find your people.
This is Step 3 of The 4-Step Solution to Getting Your Nonfiction Book Out of Your Head and onto the Page: Seeking Out Community.
Here are some ways I have found my people:
Writers Conferences: In-person writers' conferences have been a huge source of writing community for me. Of course, they are mostly on hold now due to COVID-19, but when they return (and they will!), find one that speaks to your writing interests and fits your budget. When I was just starting out as a memoir writer, I attended the Southampton Writers Conference where I workshopped with luminaries such as Mary Karr and Roger Rosenblatt. As awesome as those experiences were, what was even more valuable were the...