Gosh, I'm sick of everyone accusing memoirists of being narcissists. For the last couple of weeks, there was another uproar of essays that mix up memoirists with journalists—AND narcissists--again. The topic comes forward every few months: there seems to be the opinion that somehow it is bad manners, bad writing, or narcissistic to spill personal details in memoir. But what's confusing to me is that most of the people being criticized, or doing the criticizing, were journalists. It…Continue
One of the primary struggles new memoirists face is the question of what to sacrifice in the telling of their memoir, or what to focus on. When a person decides to write a memoir, it’s inevitable that the experience of what they want to write about seems too big, too sprawling,…Continue
We hear that for many writers, the characters they create "come alive" during the writing process. But in what ways is that phrase more than a simple metaphor? And how is a writer supposed to manage the expanded household as it begins to fill up with progeny spilling over from the pages of a…Continue
My friend Karen McQuestion, whose best-selling novels include A Scattered Life, Easily Amused, and The Long Way Home, is my hero. Why? Because her fans LOVE her. I asked for her secret to connecting with readers, and here's what she had to say:…Continue
Emily Raboteau spent ten years traveling five nations in order to research her latest book, Searching for Zion: The Quest for Home in the African Diaspora, a work of creative nonfiction about black people who left home to find the “Promised Land.” She lives in New York City and teaches creative writing at…Continue
I'm happy to introduce a guest author on She Self-Publishes today. Dava Stewart, fellow friend and writer from Smiling Tree Writing.
As a reader and a writer, I have watched as the rise of self publishing has rocked the world of book production. Watching the changes to how books are distributed, I wanted to learn more, so in August of 2012, I began…Continue
Okay, a few of you have actually inquired (thank you). After all, I spouted all over the Internet that it would be available on January 1, 2013. That was my publication date, and here I sit…Continue
Before the ink dries on your New Year’s resolutions, I want you to add one more to your list: BACK UP your data. Please. Do it now. And do it regularly.
If you’re like me, you wait until one computer dies before you buy another, which means you’re bound to lose some files in the…Continue
There are a multitude of writers’ workshops and conferences. Between the advertisements in writers’ magazines, websites, and even on the bulletin board of your local library, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the possibilities, and very hard to figure out exactly what they offer.
I’ve attended workshops as a participant and been the administrator for writers’ workshops, and I think I have some answers about how to figure out what workshops offer, and how to determine which conference…Continue
The town I live in is small--in population and actual size. A grocery outing is like the TV show Cheers: everyone knows your name, like it or not. One night each year during the holiday season, the town shuts down its main streets, sets up barricades manned by police cars with cheerfully flashing lights, and…Continue
While I'm no longer self-published, I began my career that way and am a big fan of indie publishing because it gives anyone the opportunity to fulfill his or her dream of becoming an author. However, authors must watch out for the unscrupulous types who prey on unsuspecting writers who are so eager to see their work in print that they get, for lack of a more gentle term, ripped off.…Continue
I always lose track of my creative work over the holidays. The culprits are obvious: Morning baking parties and afternoons spent shopping, celebratory time with family and friends and a wee bit of overindulgence in holiday good and drink. By the end of my vacation I’m aching to return to my desk. There’s…Continue
Something clicked for me when I read Susan Shapiro’s December 31 opinion piece in the New York Times this week. I realized that memoir writers are actually getting advice from memoir teachers, and probably from agents and other industry professionals too, to showcase as much messiness and tragedy as possible (granted, with the transformation or metamorphosis that will inevitably…Continue
Want to finish and publish your memoir this year? Here are four resolutions to knock your writing up a level to create a memoir of enduring value that readers want to read and publishers will want to buy.
1. This year I will make myself vulnerable on the page.
What’s the one quality that keeps me reading a memoir? The narrator’s willingness to make himself vulnerable. Most often in memoir the narrator’s vulnerability originates from sharing stuff most of…Continue
I got my first contract in 2008, and since then I’ve published nine books, including three different series for two different publishers. I don’t expect you to be impressed. I’m just telling you that for background.
Those first few novels were like a fever in my blood. I had no idea what was going to happen in the next chapter or even on the next page. I didn’t know if what I wrote was good, bad, or in between. I just knew I had to get it out of my head.
Happy New Year, She Writers!
Since some of y'all may be starting the New Year off with various writing resolutions, I want to start 2013 by sharing an article I wrote in 2010 that has been published in a few places but is still valid today.
We tell children to be courteous and respectful all the time. Well, we're all adults here, and we should practice what we preach.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of…Continue
I used to work at a PR agency, and I once gave a grammar workshop to all our employees. When I got to the "who vs. whom" part of the presentation and tried to explain the two using parts of speech, one of the women in the room gave me a blank stare and said, "I will never understand parts of speech. Can you please just tell me when to use who and when to use whom so I can just memorize it?"
Nearly everyone in the room nodded along, eager to…Continue
Something we don't talk about very often in the world of online networking is the importance of taking a break. We hear a lot about the value of posting to our blogs, Facebook and Google+ pages, and Twitter accounts frequently and consistently. We read about the necessity of blogging on a schedule. The most successful bloggers will tell you they "have never missed a scheduled post." But what few people talk about is the importance of setting your social media…Continue
Book marketing doesn't have to be expensive, but it should be done professionally. Here are two tips for how to do it right without breaking the bank:
1) Barter for a high-quality headshot: You can write, and photographers need copy for their websites. I got my most recent headshot (below) taken at no charge in exchange for editing the site of a photographer I met in a women's networking group. She needed my help as much as I needed hers, so it was a…Continue
The dictionary defines ruminating as "to go over in the mind repeatedly and often casually or slowly", or the more gross and picturesque, "to regurgitate partially digested food and chew again". Uh huh, like a cow. Moo. And that's exactly what I have spent the last two months…Continue