Write Your Memoir in Six Months offers the support, encouragement, and accountability you’re looking for to write the book that’s in your heart and ready to be on the page—and all you have to do is write one page a day! We are here to make sure that happens by providing you with structure, skill, deadlines, and community.
If you’ve been wanting, trying, or longing to write a memoir, know that you’re not alone. It’s hard work to write in isolation, and sometimes in fear of churning up memories that you might feel are better left buried underground. The inevitable questions of who you might hurt and whether you’re telling the whole truth can niggle their way into your writing process, creating paralysis and self-doubt. Or maybe you’re just a busy person who would benefit from knowing that others are going through the same thing you’re experiencing. There is comfort in hearing others’ stories and knowing that you aren’t alone. No matter what has prevented you from completing your memoir, we will address it here, and you will have the support of your team—your two mentors, Linda Joy and Brooke, as well as eleven other memoirists who are equally passionate and compelled to bring their story into the world.
Where do you get stuck?
There are generally 4 places where memoirists get stuck:
1. Not knowing the scope of your memoir.
This is for anyone who has a big story to tell. Maybe you’ve considered that you might have two books on your hand, or that your story needs to be pared back. Maybe when you tell people about what you want to write, what ends up coming out is a 20-minute diatribe that you don’t really know how to condense. If you have a sense of what you want to write but haven’t been able to wrap your mind around what your book is, you’re dealing with a problem of scope.
2. Feeling worried about what others think.
This is a big issue for anyone delving into personal histories that are fraught with pain, emotion, or intensity. You may come from a family who doesn’t believe in sharing secrets. You may have been hurt in some way and told never to tell. You might be worried about the other people involved in your story, not wanting to out them or misrepresent them in some way, and yet you know your story is your story. There are ways to handle these issues, and if they’re holding you back, we have solutions!
3. Not having a clear sense of your process.
Process is how to structure your book, how to create an outline, how to develop an arc. Process involves chronology, theme, and takeaway. It’s about knowing the milestones of your life and your story and knowing how and where to weave them into your book. In the very first month of this course we will be taking you deep into process; in short order you’ll become a process addict, just like Linda Joy and Brooke, and you’ll never write the same way again.
4. Feeling paralyzed, not knowing where to start, or not knowing how to continue.
Falling into this category of writers are any of you who feel you don’t have enough time, energy, or motivation to write or keep writing. Sometimes real time issues come into play, but oftentimes—most times—this is the inner critic at work. It’s just in disguise. This can be overwhelming: knowing you have something to say but not knowing what it is; feeling fuzzy or scared or just plain stopped in your tracks. Getting to the root of this and understanding what’s holding you back will set you free.
Write Your Memoir in Six Months
In thirteen sessions over six months (including an orientation), you’ll be filled with information about process and craft, as well as given the support you’ve been craving as you delve into your life story, your memories, and the essence of who you are and what you have to say. We honor your voice and your story in this course, and it’s our job to ensure that by the end of our time together you will not only have 60,000 words written, but 60,000 words you can be proud of—words that speak your truth.
You will quickly feel much more supported in the scope of your book and where it’s going. You will have a community of like-minded writers to give you encouragement that you are not alone. And you will have two experienced mentors who have coached hundreds of memoirists to manuscript completion and publication.
Best of all, you’ll be able to say you’re an author. As long as you complete your homework (and we’ll make sure you do!), you will have a complete book by the end of this course.
Our January 2017 class is full! Please email Brooke if you want to be on the waiting list, or go ahead and register early for the next class, starting in June 2017.
Here’s what you’ll learn in these 13 supportive and fun classes. All classes are 1 hour and 15 minutes.
• Introduction to your mentors
• What a memoir is and the challenges of memoir writing
• Accountability and expectations
• Goal-setting and information on how to make this course work
• How to take advantage of online forums and/or partner with fellow students
• Confidentiality agreement
Class 1. Types of Memoir and What You’re Writing (Jan 11, 4pm PT/7pm ET)
• Every student shares briefly about what they’re writing
• How do you feel about your memoir?
• The emotional terrain of writing your personal story
• Introducing the inner and outer critic
• How to get started and getting writing immediately—a page a day
• Types of memoir—travel, healing, misery, cooking, immersion, and many more
Course 2. The Joy of Outlining (Jan 25, 4pm PT/7pm ET)
• Content buckets—what are they and how do they work?
• Outlining—your new best friend
• Structure is king
• Roadmapping your memoir
• What makes a scene?
• How to recognize when you’re telling vs. showing
• Narrative summary vs. dialogue
• Understanding horizontal and vertical movement in scene
• Who’s the author? “Now” vs. flashback narration
• Past vs. now reflection
• Scene breaks/line breaks
• Theme—big picture, through-threads, and containment
• Writing the family memoir
• Whose memory is it?
• Point of view in memoir—when can you take creative license?
• Jumping heads—keeping track of point of view like a novel
• Metaphor, simile, and analogy to build a fictive dream
Class 5. The Journey of Writing Memoir (March 8, 4pm PT/7pm ET)
• The 3 stages of writing
• When to research and when not to
• How to be more prolific
• Making time for your creative process
• Tips for dealing with lapses in memory
• Learning how to keep on track by using “TK”
• Dealing with crises of confidence, writer’s block, resistance, and more
• How to start or build your platform
Class 6. Character and Dialogue (March 22, 4pm PT/7pm ET)
• Characters—composites vs. real people
• Balance of narrative versus dialogue
• Body language
• Varying up “she said” and “he said”
• Writing good dialogue—writing how people talk so they’re not talking heads
• Tools for drawing motivation from inspiration
Class 7. The Psychology of Memoir Writing (April 5, 4pm PT/7pm ET)
• Dealing with your inner and outer critics
• Doubts about memory and truth
• What to do about memories and truths that are emotionally jarring
• Secrets, lies, and shame
• Affirmations—the antidote to the inner critic
Class 8. Halfway (and a little more) to the Finish Line (April 19, 4pm PT/7pm ET)
• Commitment and accountability at the halfway point.
• Breaking through silence—the labyrinth of truth, memory, and trauma.
• Working through the kinks—what gets in the way.
• Revisiting your scenes—how they get you through the labyrinth.
Class 9. Recapping Craft (May 3, 4pm PT/7pm ET)
• Scenes, dialogue & transition
• Theme & through-threads
• Narration & flashback
• Takeaway & reflection
Class 10. The Long-Range Vision of Your Book (May 17, 4pm PT/7pm ET)
• You’re in the thick of it—what do you do now?
• Problem-solving to the finish line.
• Where are you stuck? What do you do when it’s not working?
• Your finished product.
• The author mindset
• The writer’s life, and living as an author
• The spiritual tending of your story
• Sharing your work with others—rules of engagement
• Why you need comparative title research early in the game.
• Building and maintaining a platform
• Social media and blogging
Class 12. All the Way to the Finish Line (June 14, 4pm PT/7pm ET)
• Getting published—is it on your horizon?
• How far to your finish line?
• Closing sharing
- New bonus! Two one-on-one 15-minute coaching calls with your mentor—one at the outset of the course and one halfway through (in the Muddy Middle).
- A download of Linda Joy’s Journey of Memoir, a fantastic resource for memoirists at any stage in the journey.
- Private Facebook forum where you can interact with your mentors and fellow students.
- Opportunities to develop support groups with your fellow students.
- Access to the monthly teleseminars by experts in writing, marketing, and publishing through the National Association of Memoir Writers.
- Community! There is nothing like a group of like-minded fellow writers all on track with a single goal to help you over the finish line.
Sometimes you need or want one-on-one individual support, guidance, and coaching. Do you anticipate feeling extra stuck? Do you want to share something too personal to share in the course? Want focused attention just on you? Want to go beyond the course into other territory? An individual session with Brooke or Linda Joy may be just the remedy.
You can purchase these premium individual sessions in twos—meaning you’ll get two, four, or six one-on-ones over the course of Write Your Memoir in Six Months. But we do require you to purchase them upfront to get the discounted rate.
Because we are committed to you not falling behind, and really really having a finished book by the end of this course, we have designed six resources that will help you lock in the learning and stay on track.
1. Access to a private Facebook forum that is only for the 14 students in your course and your mentors. Linda Joy and Brooke will be active on this forum and there to answer any and all questions you have between classes.
2. Regular email check-ins so that you’re feeling the extra support of your mentors as you go. We will provide a check-in template so you can answer questions you want addressed on the call. This allows you to be anonymous where necessary, and makes sure that Linda Joy and Brooke are keeping up to speed on your progress and challenges.
3. Linda Joy’s workbook download: Journey of Memoir: Three Stages of Memoir Writing.
4. Memoir-writing partner. Linda Joy and Brooke will set you up with a class buddy with whom you can meet on off weeks, or as often as you feel comfortable with and/or need, for the purpose of sharing insights, writing, tips, and support.
5. A special check-in template to help you keep track of your word count and to record the number of words you’re writing each day, week, and month.
If what we’ve presented here feels like something you want to be a part of, we invite you to join us!
All courses are limited to 14 students.
Our January 2017 course is full. Please feel free to put in a deposit early for the June 2017 course—and thank you!
Email Brooke and Linda Joy if you have any questions.
The cost of the course is $1595 (or $1495 when you pay in one or two installments). Claim your spot with a $500 deposit. Enroll now!
At the point of registration, Brooke will contact you to establish the details of your payment plan, which entails your credit or debit card being be charged the difference:
-$500 deposit (nonrefundable)
= $1095.00 (which will be divided by 6 payments over the 6 months of the course for a total of just $182.50/month)
Or $1495.00 (save $100 if you pay in one or two installments)
-$500 deposit (nonrefundable)
= 2 payments $497.50 of or full payment of $995.00
That’s right (post-deposit), it’s just $182.50 for six months.
If you’re interested in the premium bonus of one-on-one coaching, the cost of these sessions will be $100 a session. You can buy these in increments of two, for either two, four, or six coaching sessions over the six months. We are happy to weave this into your payment plan if you’re interested.
You are expected to write 60,000 words in 6 months and we will do everything in our power to help you keep on track with that goal without forcing it. You are assigned one mentor, either Linda Joy or Brooke. We will read and comment on your work, which is due to us the Saturday before each class. We will read approximately 2500-3000 words in preparation for each class. It is not the intention of this course for your mentor to read the entirety of your memoir over the course of our six months together, but rather to give you the direction, tools, resources, and accountability to complete your book by the time the course is complete.
We offer multiple discounts in our free classes and online. Our policy is that each student only qualifies for one discount per course.
After the course begins, there is no cancellation policy unless there’s a serious emergency; we make exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Consider your down payment to the course as a full commitment to this course. We do this for a reason. People get stressed about their writing and the inner critic can come up to tempt writers to stop. We know that if you keep going, you will be glad you did. The structure of the course is built on supportive partnering with each other, along with the biweekly workshops and sharing the writing. It’s important to maintain the stability for the course so you can move forward and get that first draft of your memoir done in six months!