Memoir Professional Program Creator
In the fall of 1988, I was engaged in a book tour for my first book, What Became of Them. One day, I was to do a book program for a group of Foster Grandparents. At the appointed time—I was asked to arrive half way through their meeting—I stood outside the room door and waited as I listened to the sound of their voices.
“Was I about to waste my time?” I wondered. Did I think I would really sell books here?
A friend had shared, “The most important program of your career is the next program!” With this in mind, I opened the door, determined to give these Foster Grandparents the best program I was capable of.
After I had shared my stories which were strongly autobiographical, I asked folks to share theirs.
What ensued was an outpouring of memoir material and…
Only later did I realize that I had opened the door that afternoon to my future.
As a Memoir Professional, you will play a satisfying and important role in nurturing memoir writers.
Over the years, I found this to be so and below I offer you a few insights into how much I have appreciated and enjoyed the work I have done.
The Develop Vivid Characters Program
- Are the characters in your memoir captivating your readers—rather than boring them?
- Are you at a loss—“Help! What can I do!”—about how to make the people in your memoir more relatable?
- Are you embarrassed by the “stick” characters you have presented? “She really was a complex person, but I don’t know how to show her that way.”
As a workshop leader:
” Looking around the room, I saw memoir workshoppers engaged in a lively discussion of a manuscript—praising what was good and suggesting modifications where they felt some change in perspective or language or characterization would bring readers more insight. What was sure to evolve was a better memoir. How satisfying can my work be—and to think I was getting paid for this!”
As a coach and editor:
“With some clients, our work together has started with much apprehension on my part. ‘Can this person ever learn to write! The prose is so stilted, the insight so limited, the imagery too complicated to create any meaning.’ Then over the months as we work together—patiently and respectfully— the client begins to be a better writer. The dull manuscript begins to shine, and I feel such satisfaction about what I have helped bring about.”
As a ghostwriter:
“People will say to me as they read what I have ghostwritten for them, “Were you ever a… [here fill in the blank: trial lawyer, cost estimator, nurse]? How do you know all of this?” All I can say is I am using my intuition to get inside of people’s lives, and I earn an income in the process. It doesn’t get better. This can be your future also.”
I hope you will join me in becoming a memoir professional.