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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?Workshop

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.

As a workshop leader:

Workshop 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.

The Memoir Network

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Grow Your Memoir Writing Based Company – Don’t Set a Fixed Price

Always tell clients that you don’t know how much a long-term project will cost. Tell them it will almost certainly cost more than they expect. This article takes the anxiety out of setting a price for you and the client as you can grow your memoir writing-based company.

While clients will want to know how much they can expect a project to cost, and that is reasonable on their part, the fact is they don’t know the scope of the project they wish you to assist them with. Below are suggestions for charging for your writing services. (more…)

4 Memoir Business Strategy Steps to Avoid Frustration

Do you have a memoir business strategy plan? As a group, we memoir professionals are idea people. Does this sound familiar? We start projects with great enthusiasm, work assiduously for a while, and then get begin to get bored.  We lack a business strategy or plan for our success.

How do we break the predictable cycle of enthusiasm to boredom? How can we find the energy to finish what we have started? How do we cope with the day-to-day work of running the business when it becomes tedious? To escape, we find ourselves planning new projects. Wow, we’re excited once again–for a while. (more…)

Teach A Writing Workshop with Two Minds

You need two minds to teach a writing workshop.

As you teach a writing workshop, you must always experience the session’s writing with two minds because you are always filling two functions. You are a recipient of the story who is enjoying and being influenced by the story being shared and you are always the teacher whose responsibility is to shape the workshop experience for the group according to a bigger-picture plan. (more…)

Grow Your Memoir Or Writing-Based Company

What action can you take to grow your memoir or writing-based company? Are there steps you can effect today that will change how well you will be compensated for your memoir work? Start with the five steps below for a strong foundation.

I think there definitely are—whether you are trying to earn an income from memoir work or whether you would simply like to earn a bit of extra cash. (more…)

Teaching a Memoir Workshop – Tackle the Hard Parts and Win Accolades

This post ran in a slightly different version at freelancewriting.com.

When you are teaching a memoir workshop, easy is not always best.

In teaching a memoir writing workshop, the teacher’s task is to help individuals to go through and beyond two kinds of barriers to their writing: the technical and the psychological blocks that keep them from success. Our job is to facilitate our participants’ arrival at a point where they are able to “own” their stories, to acknowledge their lifestories as they are and to accept themselves as they are.

A technical barrier to grasping the meaning of the work might be a writer’s lack of familiarity with using varied or complex sentence structure. A psychological barrier would be a writer’s reluctance to search out and tell the truth of the story, or to identify and sustain the persona in which s/he writes. (more…)

5 Rules for a More Profitable Memoir-Writing Business

Run a Profitable Memoir-Writing Business

Recently, while thinking about how to grow a business, I was jotting down some ideas about running a profitable memoir-writing business–the what-do-I-know-now-that-I-wish-I-had-known-then sort of stuff. Here are the first five I came up with to help jumpstart my (and your) endeavor: (more…)