Anyone Know Of A Writer's Group For Memoir?

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Blackfish

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“The truth is harsh.” -- Friedrich Nietzsche

I'm looking to join a writer's group or find someone solid to work with on my memoir.

The train is chuggin' down the track with no brakes and no governor. Full speed ahead. Just goin' for it. At least I've got the sleeves rolled up and getting some of the work done. I'm surveying the land and laying up some track. I will not be stopped.

I've discovered the editing isn't going to be difficult, but I have also discovered that I shouldn't be doing all the editing. Maybe I should hire an editor. I bet they're expensive. Let's face it, editing everything oneself is a joke at best. There's no way one can see everything. There's no way one can see all the dead wood in all the green. Maybe it's the ego that gets in the way of getting the work done.

All I know is, when I sit down to work, even if I come up with only choppy drivel at best, I feel great. But when I don't sit down to get to work, I feel rotten, rotten, rotten!

The ideas never stop pouring in. I have so much to do I can't possibly do it all. Or can I? Wow! What a job this is turning out to be.

I start out good, in a good voice, and lose it in all the other stuff that comes to the surface. Why can't I stay in that voice, in that stride, like I am doing right now, writing this note? Why does everything have to go to hell on me when I am trying to produce? Why do I always have to get bogged down and held back?

I like the voice that I get into when I am on the Internet, blogging, or writing an email, or writing this message. It works for me. But when I sit down to tackle the memoir, I lose that voice. I get trampled by all the other stuff. Got to figure out how to stay in voice, how to stay in communication with that clear, calm voice.

I have been reading a lot, too. That helps. I just finished, "Insatiable: Porn -- A Love Story" by Asa Akira. It flowed and kept me interested. This is what I need my work to do.

I need to get with other writers and get some help. Starting to look for a writer's group here in Thailand. Need to get rid of the second-guessing and get on with it.

I'm apprehensive because I don't want to leave anything out, and I have never done this before, so I don't know what I am doing.

But I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, layin' the track, layin' the track, layin' the track. I'm John Henry. Got my hammer and that's all I'll ever need.

To my credit, I don't get bogged down with anything else. I don't think about publishers, book covers, publicists, or any of that nonsense. I am concentrating on getting a good product finished. That's what it's all about. Nothing else right now. Nothing else. Just work and get something good going and the rest will work itself out. I'll do my job, and they'll do theirs. Sounds good to me.

Writer's group... now, where can I find that writer's group?
 

hearosvoice

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Hey…it's hard to find memoir support…even online.

I am working on a memoir. I live in California, but I would be happy to be "pen pals" and see if perhaps we can help each other. feel free to private message me your email address or something
 

Blackfish

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Hey…it's hard to find memoir support…even online.

I am working on a memoir. I live in California, but I would be happy to be "pen pals" and see if perhaps we can help each other. feel free to private message me your email address or something

Sounds interesting. How much experience do you have in writing? Anything published?

I have no experience, other than a lot of writing and writing and writing, and nothing published. This is a first project for me. It has become a passion, an obsession. I really love memoir. And I am learning a lot reading and writing about it.

If you're interested in working on some things, I have collected a pretty good amount of information on the subject I am willing to share. Some of that information is right here on this forum. http://www.absolutewrite.com/novels/writing_a_memoir.htm Some of the information I have found is most excellent, some of it is garbage. I hope that you, too, are willing to share good information.

There are also writers groups and editors you can pay to join with who take on the task of working with you and getting your memoir done. If you are interested in something like that, you can do your own research. I don't want to recommend anyone because I have never used such a service. I don't know what it is all about just yet.

I've learned that perhaps the best way to learn to write memoir is to read memoir. I broke out the Kindle and started downloading and reading a lot of memoir. I just finished, "incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl Written by Herself" by Harriet Ann Jacobs (Pen name, Linda Brent). Other favs are, "Night and Fog" by Arne Brune Lie, and "White Nights" by Manachem Begin. I was brought up sort-of-like a prisoner, so naturally I identify with that sort of mindset. Anyway, I busted out of it and learned a lot. I like to talk about and write about what I have seen and learned. I want to continue setting people free. I was happy to learn that almost everything I learned in life is a lie. Now, I can tell the truth.

I'm not writing memoir with selling it in mind. That was a thought early on, when I started this project, but it isn't any more. Of course, I am going to try and publish it and sell it when I have something worth trying to publish and to sell, but for the time being, I am interested only in getting the job done. If it sells and makes money, great, if not, great. What I want is to be the best I can be and have something awesome to show for my time and effort. Something I can be proud of.

I have no interest in fiction whatsoever. I am more interested in facts. I find the real world much, much whackier than any fiction could ever hope to be.

I find that reading is a huge part of writing, so please forward your reading recommendations.

I found this interesting little thing on memoir yesterday. It looks like a good way to get some practice and get some more done and some feedback on projects. http://thewritepractice.com/write-memoir/

That's all I have for now. Back to writing.

Oh, and I almost forgot, I ran across this little gem of an article yesterday and read it three times. Just wonderful. One of the best pieces I have read yet on memoir wrtiting. Hope you enjoy it. http://theamericanscholar.org/how-to-write-a-memoir/#.U38LQyrIkiw
 
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hearosvoice

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Cool thanks. I will bookmark those links and read them when I get a chance.

I don't have formal training in writing. My interest in writing a memoir happened after a series of dramatic life events. But I've been working at it for a couple years. I did have a short story published, but it was just a modest thing.

I actually started a memoir writing group through a meet-up website. I'm hosting an initial mixer with local memoirists like myself. About 15 people have joined so far just through the net. I think this will be a good resource to help the process.

I agree reading other memoirs is great. Although reading other genres too is also great. It's good to read novels because they usually are structured a little better and in a way that you want to emulate your story telling. I'm a bit streaky with my reading—one weak I'll tear through a few books, then I'll go for a couple months without reading a book. I hope to go on another reading streak soon as I feel like I need some good examples to better my frame of reference, especially in terms of organization, plotting, and structure.

I don't know if I will be totally finished this year but I am determined to make substantial progress as I have kind of had a writing dry spell recently.
 

Gringa

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I like the voice that I get into when I am on the Internet, blogging, or writing an email, or writing this message. It works for me. But when I sit down to tackle the memoir, I lose that voice. I get trampled by all the other stuff. Got to figure out how to stay in voice, how to stay in communication with that clear, calm voice.

If you know this works, you might experiment. Email yourself some chapters off the top of your head - no editing, no judgement. See what happens.
 

Maryn

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Please note the original poster is no longer a member here.

Maryn, public service provider
 

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