Give the Gift of Memoir

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The holidays are upon us, which means that it's time to scramble to figure out what to get your loved ones for their celebration of choice. Here are five fantastic memoirs/essay collections that would make a thoughtful gift for someone who loves to read. All of these have come out in the past year or so and should be easy to find online or in your local bookstore.   The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer An Continue Reading

What NaNoWriMo Has Taught Me About the Writing Process

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Confession time: I've attempted to win National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) four times, and I've only met the 50,000 word goal once. The first year, I was still feeling NaNo out. About two weeks in, I got stuck on my project and decided not to finish it, or NaNo. The second year was the one that I won. The third year, I was busy with grad school and used it to get a little writing done on my memoir, but Continue Reading

How to be a NaNoWriMo Rebel

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November marks the beginning of another National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo). This is my fourth year taking up the challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days along with thousands of other writers around the world. But this year, I’m doing something a little different. I’m being a NaNo rebel. A NaNo rebel is someone who doesn’t follow the NaNoWriMo guidelines in some way. Whether it’s continuing a work in Continue Reading

Is There a Link Between Mental Illness and Creativity?

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Last week, I was invited to do an interview with Kerry K for her blog. Kerry asked me some interesting questions about the connection between artistic talent and mental illness. Brainpickings recently posted an article about Nancy Andreasen's The Creating Brain, in which Andreasen discusses her findings around the occurrence of mental illness in creative people. There have also been numerous studies Continue Reading

5 Awesome Sites to Help You Query Your Book

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I'm in the midst of querying a memoir about my experiences with anxiety disorder and depression as a young adult. It's been a bit of a whirlwind so far with tons of time spent on research and query letter writing. Since weeding through the the immense amount of information online can be overwhelming, I wanted to share a few resources that I've found to be immensely helpful during this process: 1. Chuck Continue Reading

Memoir 101: Finding Your Story (Starts October 1st)

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I'm excited to announce that I'll be teaching a four-week memoir writing course for Antioch University, Los Angeles' new online writing program, Inspiration to Publication! Have you considered writing a memoir but aren't sure where to start? Or, have you already tried to put something together but find yourself struggling to organize your story? This course will help you get a jump start on your project. Continue Reading

10 Must-Read Memoirs About Mental Illness, Addiction, and Disorders

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Memoirs give us the unique ability to enter the mind and experiences of someone suffering from a mental illness, addiction, or disorder. To truly be immersed in someone's story is invaluable and necessary in understanding what they're going through. Here are my top 10, must-read memoirs that deal with these struggles. 1. Loud in the House of Myself by Stacy Pershall A captivating and unflinchingly honest memoir Continue Reading

Robin Williams and The Never-Ending Battle Against Depression

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Hearing the news of Robin William's apparent suicide hit me the way I'm sure it hit many others who have suffered, or still suffer, from depression. It made me think about my own moments of darkness and hopelessness when I seriously considered taking the pills or slashing open my wrists to make it all end. I've spent the past five years writing a book about such moments, so I'm still glued into them like they Continue Reading

I Finished My Memoir! Now What?

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For years, I've dreamed about the moment when I finally finished the first complete draft of my memoir. I imagined confetti falling out of the ceiling, maybe some triumphant trumpet music playing, and a crowd of all the friends and family who have heard me complain, agonize over, and gush about the book for the past five years running into my room, cheering for me and hugging me. Of course, what really happened is Continue Reading

My Short Story eBook Publishing Experiment

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On June 26th, I unveiled my free short story eBook, "Some Kind of Moment." I got the idea to make this eBook from other authors and entrepreneurs I'd seen around the internet who were giving out eBooks for free when readers subscribed to their email lists. However, I noticed that all of their eBooks were informational, not creative. They gave tips on being a writer, shared advice on making money online, etc. I Continue Reading