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Memoir-Writing Coach: How to Choose the Right One

Your relationship to your memoir-writing coach is likely to be a long one. There is no other way to make it effective. Coaching is like counseling in a way. Counseling requires an introductory, getting-to-know-you phase before both of you can move on to a productive phase. You can’t expect a counselor to help you with […]

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How to Know if You Have the Right Memoir Coach

How to Know if You Have the Right Memoir Coach

Can your coach work with you so that you meet your deadline? As you develop your memoir project, you may become aware of a natural deadline, such as a family reunion or a birthday. The right memoir coach for you will be able meet your date. This deadline should be discussed before the coach and […]

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The Memoir Network

When Should You Start Working With a Coach?

When is the best time to start working with a memoir coach? The obvious answer is when you feel the need to, but “the need to” is not always obvious. Many times, writers will decide that they need to submit polished material to a coach and so will put off the coaching process. This is […]

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The Memoir Network

3 Things Your Writing Coach Can’t Do For You

Coaching almost always proves to be a great pick-up experience for a person whose memoir is floundering. Your coach can help you access process and technique and point of view more rapidly than most people can on their own. But, a coach—even a great one—can only do so much for you.

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Organize Your Memoir: Life Phases

Life phases are one way in which you can organize your memoir. Life phases are the emotional and psychological cycles or phases that have marked your life. They are a great tool to give depth and cohesion to your memoir.

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Don’t Use A Writing Prompt Unless…

A writing prompt seems like a good idea—but is it really?

You are given a writing based on a writing prompt—let’s say, “Write about something physical you were afraid of as a child?”—and you instantly start to write about the water slide at Camp Algonquin you were sent to as an eight-year old. You are not sure why you are so moved to write this story but you do not hesitate. You write about standing at the top of the slide and about Martha Cocciardi in back of you on the ladder, shouting “Get going, Patty. I want to slide, too” and, at that moment,  you realized there was nothing to be done but to throw yourself at the mercy of fate and hope you survive to enter the fourth grade. You write with some humor and emotional distance suggesting “Oh, silly me! Oh, what little problems we have as children!” [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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Thinking About Memoir Writing

Our right thinking about memoir writing projects or our right talking about them can lead to success or failure. We can be very clever about our evasive tactics and disguise them as right thinking. Here are three examples that can pass for thoughtfulness rather than evasion.

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