A Guest Post by Memoirist Jonna Ivin on How Writing a Memoir Helped Her to Move From “Will Love for Crumbs” to “No More Crumbs”~

“How do you go from where you are to where you want to be? I think you have to have an enthusiasm for life. You have to have a dream, a goal, and you have to be willing to work for it.”  Jim Valvano When I started reading Jonna Ivin’s memoir, Will Love for Crumbs, I literally could not put it down. Here’s my Amazon review. I am thrilled to have Jonna describe how her memoir writing helped her to heal and find a positive direction in her life. Jonna is also over at The Heart and Craft of Lifewriting being interviewed by Sharon Lippincott this week so be sure to stop by there for more insights into memoir writing and Will Love for Crumbs. Welcome Jonna! No More Crumbs. When I decided to write my memoir Will Love For Crumbs I didn’t fully know...

Digging for Treasures~Discovering the Gold Nuggets of Your Story

“Where you stumble and fall, there you will find gold.” Joseph Campbell, “The Heroes Journey” We’ve all heard that everyone has a story to tell. And from what I’ve learned over the past two years of studying the art and craft of writing, it needs to be universal so that others can relate while highlighting our own uniqueness so the story only we can tell can be told . We all have a treasure chest inside of us just waiting to be opened… Given that we move past that pesky inner critic who tries to convince us that our story is boring, sappy, not believable or whatever else it needs to convince us not to move forward, let’s talk about how we do find our story. We are on a treasure hunt and those gold nuggets deep...

Finding the Story Only I Can Tell: Themes and Threads

“Although nobody’s life makes any sense, if you’re going to make a book out of it you might as well make it into a story.” Columnist Russell Baker on why a memoir needs to tell a story from Your Life as Story by Tristine Rainer (p.39) How many times have you thought: My life is a novel or there is a book inside me? The truth is, if we have lived,we all have stories to tell and we all have our own meanings attached to these stories.Not everyone feels driven to write a book about their life but for those of us who do feel that passion, we have to learn to structure our life events into a story with a beginning,middle and end, a plot, conflict, climax and transformation. As author Tristine Rainer says in her amazing book Your Life as Story,...

Match Point~Can it be Achieved in Memoir Writing?

” YOU KNOW YOU’VE READ A GOOD BOOK WHEN YOU TURN THE LAST PAGE AND  FEEL A LITTLE LIKE YOU HAVE LOST A FRIEND.”~Paul Sweeney. Publishing a memoir is  like achieving a” match point ”, the final point needed to win a match, as in tennis. I pondered the question of achieving this after reading this New York Times  critique of memoir as a genre. The critic claimed that “the glut of memoirs needs to be stopped as we don’t have that many trees left.”  OUCH! My writing circles have been abuzz with responses both acknowledging the drawbacks of publishing memoirs  and defending the  legitimacy of them in the current publishing environment .  It’s always good to know the “devil you are dealing with”~ What is...

Defining “The High Concept”

“I BELIEVE THE ART OF LIVING CONSISTS NOT SO MUCH IN COMPLICATING SIMPLE THINGS AS IN SIMPLIFYING THINGS THAT ARE NOT.” ~ Francois Hertel Before I can shape my individual scenes and vignettes into a story  structure, I have to be able to identify an overriding story idea, the ”high concept” . According to James Bonnett  high concept involves” being able to reduce your story idea into something powerful that the reader will be able to make an emotional connection with~ a logline with a twist”  He goes on to explain that  defining your high concept will “force you to come to terms with what your story is about”. Distilling the complexities of life into a few words is not something I view as simple and I am realizing...

Who Am I,Really?

‘WE MUST ACCEPT FINITE DISAPPOINTMENT,BUT WE MUST NEVER LOSE INFINITE HOPE.” Rev. Martin Luther King ,Jr. When I think of MartinLuther King,Jr, I think of his overall message of hope. His words, his faith,his message have lived on through the decades since his untimely death. We all know who Martin Luther King is and what he stood for. Now,at the risk of comparing myself to a legend, I know I need to take my lessons from him . I have to ask myself:  Who Am I , Really? I need to answer this question first before I can promote myself  as an author. It’s called finding your author brand, building your platform and marketing yourself. These have all become necessities in today’s publishing environment. I take my lead from the experts,...