Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Writing as Therapy

Writing a memoir, or any creative writing, is taking the place of traditional therapy sessions.
Writing as Therapy
Product or process—which is your main reason for writing your memoir? Do you dearly want to produce a book that traces your life story for others to read or, rather, are you primarily using your memoir writing project as a therapeutic means of working through problems?
Writing in a recent New York Times Sunday Magazine, Steve Almond argues that the number of writing workshops, writing conferences and university-level creative writing programs has exploded to fill the void previously occupied by traditional “talk therapy” sessions with a counselor. The iconic image of the patient on the couch confiding in a therapist is a picture from the past, Almond maintains. Today, he says, troubled people take prescribed medication to sort of fix their brain chemistry and, while that may make them feel better, it’s not fulfilling.
Therefore what creative writers want, says Almond, who currently leads a writer’s workshop for people in their 50s and 60s, is “permission to articulate feelings that were somehow off limits within the fragile habitat of their families….[Creative writing] almost always involves a direct engagement with [the] inner life, as well as a demand for greater empathy and disclosure. These goals are fundamentally therapeutic.” To any of you who have landed at WriteMyMemoirs in an effort to claim your right to express yourself, sort through the difficult aspects of your life or quiet “the human heart in conflict with itself,” as Almond quotes William Faulkner, please feel very welcome here.

Product or process—which is your main reason for writing your memoir? Do you dearly want to produce a book that traces your life story for others to read or, rather, are you primarily using your memoir writing project as a therapeutic means of working through problems?

Writing in a recent New York Times Sunday Magazine, Steve Almond argues that the number of writing workshops, writing conferences and university-level creative writing programs has exploded to fill the void previously occupied by traditional “talk therapy” sessions with a counselor. The iconic image of the patient on the couch confiding in a therapist is a picture from the past, Almond maintains. Today, he says, troubled people take prescribed medication to sort of fix their brain chemistry and, while that may make them feel better, it’s not fulfilling.

Therefore what creative writers want, says Almond, who currently leads a writer’s workshop for people in their 50s and 60s, is “permission to articulate feelings that were somehow off limits within the fragile habitat of their families….[Creative writing] almost always involves a direct engagement with [the] inner life, as well as a demand for greater empathy and disclosure. These goals are fundamentally therapeutic.” To any of you who have landed at WriteMyMemoirs in an effort to claim your right to express yourself, sort through the difficult aspects of your life or quiet “the human heart in conflict with itself,” as Almond quotes William Faulkner, please feel very welcome here.

Like this article?

Login

Then just set up a chapter and start writing your memoir. Don’t worry about rules. There are no rules to writing your memoir; there are only trends. These trends are based on techniques and features identified in current top-selling memoirs. At best, they’re the flavor of the month. If you’re capturing your life in print for your family, for your own gratification or to inspire readers, rather than aiming to set off Hollywood screenplay bidding wars, these trends don’t even apply to you. You’ll write the memoir that suits you best, and it will be timeless, not trend-driven.There are no rules, but there are four steps:

1. Theme/framework
2. Writing
3. Editing/polishing
4. Self-publishing

You’ve researched this, too, and you’ve been shocked at the price for getting help with any one of those steps, much less all four. That’s because most memoir sites promise to commercialize your work. They’ll follow a formula based on current memoir trends, because they want to convince you that they can turn your memoir into a best-seller. These sites overwhelm you with unnecessary information not to help you, the memoir author, but to address Search Engine Optimization (SEO) algorithms so they can sell more.

That’s not what we do at Write My Memoirs. Our small community of coaches, writers and editors are every bit as skilled as any you’ll find, and we charge appropriately for their expertise and the time they’ll spend helping you craft a compelling, enjoyable read. But you won’t pay an upcharge for other websites’ commercialization, the marketing that follows, and the pages of intimidating “advice.” You can sell your book if you like—we have ISBNs available for you—but our organic process of capturing your story takes a noncommercial path.

If you want help with any or all of the four steps above, choose from our services or save money by selecting one of our packages. If you’d like to talk about what’s right for you, schedule a call. One year from now, you can be holding your published memoir in your hand. And at that point, it will be a big deal!