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Why I Read and Write Memoir

Behind the public-facing (Instagram) joy of landing my book deal, life is, as Glennon Doyle calls it, "Brutiful." Brutal + beautiful!

My 87-year-old mom fell eleven weeks ago and the stress hasn't let up since. Beth, my sister and only sibling, has shouldered most of the load.

ER visits. Hospital stays. Rehab. Managing caregivers and medication. Grocery shopping. Phone calls at all hours from health care professionals and our mother. I've done what I can from long-distance—primarily dealing with insurance companies and being a safe place for my sister to vent.

We've never had to deal with a situation like this before. Our mom was the caregiver for our dad, who died eleven years ago at age 73 after living with Parkinson's disease for 22 years. Now we're the ones on the front lines.

We're exhausted. Angry. Frustrated.

And many days we feel alone—and hopeless.

We're grasping at straws, searching for help, information—something to help us get through this.

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How to Combat Your Doubt Demons While Writing Your Memoir or Book

I'm nearing the home stretch with my revision of GRAVEYARD OF SAFE CHOICES, my later in life, coming out memoir, which will be published by the University of Wisconsin Press in Fall 2023!

Hooray!

I'm celebrating my good fortune and hard work!

But something less pleasant is also happening as I near the end of this journey.

The doubt demons are whispering in my ear again:

Your writing sucks.

You are really going to expose ALL this to the world?

Sure, you got a book deal but no one's going to buy your book except for your family and close friends. Because they have to.

You spent how many years of your life on what?

Here's what I do when the doubt demons creep in:

I come back to my WHY. 

WHY am I writing this story in the first place? Why THIS story? Why me? Why now?

The same questions I ask my memoir clients.

Like many memoir writers, I started writing my story because I felt like I had no other choice. I started writing first for ME—to make sense of a very confusing and...

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5 Tips to a Successful NANOWRIMO for Memoir Writers

Last week I wrote about how National Novel Writing Month 2012 (NANOWRIMO) changed my life.

It can change yours too!

No, I didn't write a novel or a memoir in 30 days—in fact I ended up with a tangle of 50,000 words that were largely a stream of consciousness (see below for how you can avoid the same).

But I did develop the habit of putting my butt in the chair and writing—which is the big difference between wannabe writers from real writers.

Most of the LGBTQ+ folx & allies I work with have never written a book before, let alone taken on the challenge of writing a memoir.

NANOWRIMO is a great place to start.

Here's how you can have a successful NANOWRIMO & end up with 50,000 words that you can shape into a meaningful manuscript.

Step 1: Block Out Time

Block out time on your calendar every day to write and set a daily goal. 50,000 words divided by 30=1,667 words a day. The equivalent of 6 to 7 pages double-spaced every day.

If you know...

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