Find Your People
Don’t go it alone. Support is essential when you’re writing a personal story. Especially if it’s sticky.
That’s why I recommend folks find a community to support them. Somewhere to bring their questions, a place where they can talk about sticking points in order to find a way forward. A group to check in with, hold them accountable.
You might be wondering if you need a group. Maybe you’re an introvert, like me. Do you really need other people? I mean, can’t you do this alone?
You can, yes. And you know yourself best. If this is the path that works for you, by all means—honor that!
For plenty of folks, though, it’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole, get tripped up by worries and fears (hello, inner critic!) when you’re going it alone. It’s far easy to get sidetracked. To lose a few days of writing, which then turns into a week … or a maybe a month, if not a year.
If that’s something you’ve experienced (been there, done that!), ask yourself: what’s the cost of me doing this alone?
I’ve done it both ways and I’ll tell you: it’s a lot easier to hide when you’re going it alone. And it’s a lot easier to keep swirling around your stuck places, without making any forward progress.
(Here’s a bit of a secret: most writers are introverts. That’s what makes our groups so rich, as well as supportive. We take time to think things through. We care.)
Even seasoned, professional writers do better when they’ve got outside support.
The Magic of Having Deadlines
One of the other keys, of course, is having a deadline.
It makes the writing journey that much easier. Because when you have a deadline—especially if it’s an outside deadline—you have to keep going.
I was reminded of this last week, when a student came to class a few minutes late after having printed out her writing for that week. That’s the power of a deadline, right? When you have a rolling “I’ll-write-this-when-I-have time,” it’s just too easy to keep putting it off.
Deadlines keep us focused as well as on track.
So does community. If you have to bring X amount of pages to your writing group by next Monday, by golly, you’ll spend the weekend writing it, even if that means you’re up late Sunday night (been there, done that!).
That’s why I’m thinking about including a weekly writing goal/deadline into this next round of Memoir Mastery. To help you produce a specific amount of pages as well as to help you stay accountable.
If this calls to you, please reach out and let me know. We start next Tuesday, October 1, so we’re down to the last few days to register. If you’re interested and have been waiting to join us, now’s the time!
“One day you will tell the story of how you overcame what you went through and it will become someone else’s survival guide.”
Memoir Mastery: How to Write a Compelling Memoir
In this comprehensive 8-week Memoir Mastery course, you’ll go from feeling alone, confused and overwhelmed to feeling excited and supported in the power of your story, clear in its scope, and confident in the craft and technique of creating a compelling memoir.
- Module 1: Building a Strong Foundation for Your Memoir
- Module 2: Identifying the Building Blocks of Your Story
- Module 3: Grounding Your Story in Place and Time
- Module 4: Shaping Your Story
- Module 5: Magnifying Your Story
- Module 6: Bringing Your Story to Life
The course includes 2 “On Ramp” bonuses to get you off on the right foot (available as soon as you register):
- How to Get Your (Mindset) Game On!
- How to Create a Writing Schedule that Works for You
as well as 4 “Lift-Off” bonus interviews packed with expert advice to help you navigate next steps:
- On Writing and Promoting Your Memoir with Gail Storey
- What You Need to Know Before Submitting Your Manuscript to an Editor with Melanie Mulhall
- Promoting Your Memoir with Nancy Saltzman
- What Your Book Reviewer Wants You to Know with Patti Thorn
And if you have questions, please reach out. I’m a one-woman show, so don’t wait till the last minute, because a) it might take me a bit to get back to you and b) I don’t work on weekends.
Love your way! Tanja
P.S.: Did I mention we start this Tuesday, October 1st? We’ve got a great group coming together. I can’t wait to get started!