Why It’s Okay That I Quit NaNoWriMo

Photo © Alana Saltz

It looks like I won't be finishing NaNoWriMo this year. Despite my best efforts and intentions, it just didn't work out. I fell way behind after a deep bout of writer's block and needed to give priority to my grad school writing project due a few days ago. And after the semester I've had (and the ups and downs in my personal life), I don't want to scramble and stress to make the word count. I made it to about 22,000 words. Although I had hoped to finish my series of NaNoWriMo posts with a Continue Reading

Who Am I, Really?

Simon Howden

Lately I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about who I really am. I’m not sure there’s a “true self” exactly. I think all of us are a big mess of contradictions and personalities. For example, some people would describe me as being a quiet person while others have told me that I talk too much. Both things are true. When I’m in a new social situation, I’m often shy. When I’m with close friends, I might end up talking a lot. I guess we present different sides of ourselves to different people…or Continue Reading

Getting Over Heartbreak The Writerly Way

I haven't been sure whether or not I should talk about the biggest change and challenge in my life right now. About two months ago, the relationship I was in ended very suddenly. Part of the reason I hesitated mentioning it was because I thought he might read my blog, and another part of me wasn't sure it was okay to open up here. But as a memoir writer, I think it's important for me to express myself openly and honestly on my blog. So here it is: The past two months have been really, really Continue Reading

How to Structure Your Memoir


First of all, the winner of the Publish This Book giveaway is Dawn! Thank you to everyone who commented on my interview with Stephen Markley. I hope to make author interviews a regular feature of this blog. If you're an author interested in doing an interview, please let me know. I welcome both indie and traditionally published writers. Now, onto today's overdue blog post: Structure can be one of the most challenging aspects of writing a memoir. Contrary to popular belief, writing a Continue Reading

An Interview with Stephen Markley, Author of “Publish This Book”


I first read Stephen Markley's memoir, Publish This Book, shortly after graduating college. Stephen's book chronicles the unique journey that he took in becoming a published author. Stephen was only 26 when he started the project, and has since added himself to the growing list of talented and accomplished young memoir writers. I found Stephen's memoir to be incredibly funny, honest, and inspiring. It really spoke to where I was in my experience of being a recent college grad with no real Continue Reading

Music and Memoir


Music is powerful. Songs have the ability to transport us back in time, to stir up long lost emotions and memories. Music can also be an amazingly helpful tool to use while writing, particularly when it comes to writing memoir. A while back, I decided to go through my iTunes library and make a few playlists for my memoir. I created a playlist for each couple of years of my life that the memoir would be including as well as a single soundtrack for the entire book. Just going through some of Continue Reading

Five Awesome Memoir Blogs

I was going to call this a Top 5 list, but since I'm always discovering new and wonderful memoir blogs, I want to leave room for additional compilations in the future. Here are five awesome memoir-related blogs. If you have a memoir writing blog/site or know of a great one I haven't listed, feel free to leave a comment with a link! 1. Brevity's Nonfiction Blog - Updates on the world of creative nonfiction, Brevity's literary magazine, and a collection of posts written by authors of creative Continue Reading

The Lost Art of Shutting Up


An article called "The Problem With Memoirs" came out in the New York Times back in January. Neil Genzlinger begins the piece by saying: "A moment of silence, please, for the lost art of shutting up." Genzlinger goes on to talk about how, back in the good old days, only famous, remarkable, or accomplished people wrote memoirs. However, as a result of our age of "oversharing," everyone in the world now feels comfortable writing memoirs about their lives. And these memoirs are, in his opinion, Continue Reading

The Top 6 Memoir Writing Tips

1. Be Yourself – This may seem obvious, but the voice you use in your memoir is completely up to you. I suggest using your natural voice. You don’t want to write your memoir like you’re writing a third-person novel. Be engaging and present. Talk to your reader like you’re telling them a story that matters to you. 2. Be Descriptive – Include specific details when writing your scenes, especially if those details can root your reader in a particular time and place. Mention the TV shows you Continue Reading

On Writing Memoir: The Importance of Carrying a Notebook


I'm sure you've heard the advice that fiction writers should keep a notebook with them at all times, just in case they overhear an interesting conversation at a cafe or the ending to their novel reveals itself to them in the cereal aisle of the grocery store. However, the idea of carrying a notebook is just as important for memoir writers as it is for fiction writers. You never know when you'll be hit with a memory that could be included in your memoir. It might be something as small as a Continue Reading