Memoir Writing Workshop
I just returned from Corte Madera, a beautiful, small town just north of San Francisco. Nestled in gorgeous Marin County, tree covered hills and ocean air surround you wherever you stand in Corte Madera.
I drove up the middle of California with a writer friend from home. Her company made the five and a half hour trek seem more like two hours. We talked non-stop and had a great time. Thank you, Starbucks. And thank you, my friend--you know who you are.
The writing workshop was an intensive two days taught on memoir by Linda Joy Myers (founder of The National Association of Memoir Writers, NAMW), and Brooke Warner (publisher of She Writes Press and President of Warner Coaching, Inc.). Two full days of taking notes and meeting some interesting ladies. There were forty participants, thirty-seven women and three men. It seems memoir suits more women than men. This was my second in-person workshop with Linda Joy and Brooke. I've also taken their six month online course twice. I've certainly learned a lot from both of them over the course of three years. Writing memoir is not easy.
It was interesting hearing the stories that were being written. Some humorous, some encouraging and adventurous, and others, heart wrenching. Certainly, everyone has a story to tell. Learning how to write memoir is incredibly hard and time consuming to be able to write in a readable format, making your story interesting enough for a stranger to care about other than your friends and family. Not to be negative, but realistic, more than likely I will never get published by a Big Five publisher. I'm not famous nor am I a well known author. That's pretty much who you have to be these days. Publishing has changed a lot. Sure, I've had some essays published, but I've never been published in Vanity Fair. That's what I would need; not gonna happen.
I had such high hopes leaving the workshop this weekend, buoyed up by the energy of all the hopeful writers around me. Now that I'm home and by myself, my mind is clicking away, seeing reason stand before me. I've been researching (again) the past few days about memoirs on adoption. There are so many out there on Amazon already. What makes me think mine is so special? I don't really. And, who's going to really care about my story other than close friends and some family members? How can I help someone by sharing my story? My inner critic is loving me this week!
I made a decision today that I'll finish editing and one day have my book published. I love the process of writing and the art of it all. I'll go towards that direction as I'm not looking for fame or to make money. For now, I'll work on making my book the best I can for the love and art of story telling, and hopefully I can help someone in some way by sharing my story. Let the book fall where it may, call the muse, I'm still writing.