Inspiration

Fear, Loathing and Writing a Memoir

on September 10, 2014 in Inspiration, Publishing Advice, Writer's Life with no comments by

Perhaps you love to write. Perhaps you dream about writing a memoir. Before you begin, the fear sets in. What will my mother think? Like two writerly super heroes, Anne Lamott and Dorothy Allison swoop in to set you right.

Anne_lamott

 

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You gather courage, pull up your writing britches and sit at your desk. Memories scroll through your mind like flickering images on a screen. You think, this is ridiculous. Who cares about my story? I am neither famous or mighty. What makes me think my story is worth telling?

In a great cacophony of noise all around you shout Maya Angelou, Annie Dillard, Thomas Cirignano and Saul Bellows.

 

Maya_angelou

Annie_dillard

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You can no longer resist. At last you think yes, I will do this. You stare down at the blank page, take a deep breath, wonder where the courage will come from. Here is Stephen King, at your side.

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And so you pick up your pen and begin. The gods of writing cheer.

 


start_writing_your_memoir_tinyAre you ready to start writing your memoir?

Bestselling memoirist Abigail Carter leads a workshop next month call “Start Writing Your Memoir.” This is your sign.

 

 

When Things Go Wrong in the Best Possible Way: Motherhood

on April 18, 2014 in Diary, Inspiration, Writer's Life with 4 comments by

My plan was simple. I was going to become a photographer for National Geographic, travel the world, have great affairs. Finally, at 40-years-old, I would have a daughter with my most clever lover.

That didn’t happen.

Instead, I married my high school sweetheart and had my daughter when I just 22. We moved back to a suburb outside of Olympia, Washington where I took a job as a secretary and grew increasingly depressed with my unremarkable trajectory with each inch of expanded belly.

Then my daughter was born. Instant alchemy.

Just a single week of holding her in my arms and the understanding that I am the most powerful force in her life sunk into my consciousness. All kinds of glorious revelations flowed forth.

What kind of life do I want for my daughter? I want her to live her dreams, to bravely pursue her passions and interests freely.

If I am the most powerful force in her life, and the best example she has of a life a woman can lead, I must live to my fullest capacity.

I started doing the things that I would want my daughter to do. I admitted my greatest dream. (To, gulp, be a writer!) I re-enrolled in a four-year college and majored in writing, career opportunities be damned. The very month I graduated, I moved my little family overseas to live in Japan. If travel was what I wanted, then no excuse should keep me from packing my bags and boarding the plane.

I don’t expect her to do exactly as I have done. I expect her to do exactly as she wants to do.

When I was pregnant, pitifully employed and ghosting the same strip malls of my youth, despair oozed my from very being. How lucky that her arrival gave my life the driving meaning I required to kick-start my own adventure-filled life.

She’s twelve now, and the most amazing person I’ve ever met. We’re in Mexico where I spend my mornings completing the revisions of my novel, and our afternoons exploring together. When I think back to that simple plan I constructed when I was 16, I laugh. How little it was. How much bigger and better this life has become.

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