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Hi there, I'm hoping to create an impactful and relatable memoir/collection of essays based on my experiences living through motherhood with mental illness and chronic pain. My mission now is to collect all the essays/writing I've done over the last six years on this subject (published on websites and my own blog) and try to organize it into some sort of cohesive form. Is there anyone in the group working on something similar? A memoir? A collection of essays? Would be grateful for any tips and advice! Thanks, Tara

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  • Hi Tara! 

    This sounds great. I hope it's going well. I'm doing something similar. I'm compiling a memoir about being a special needs teacher. I'm also finding that my work doesn't necessarily have a plot but I'm sorting them by mood. I'm also considering lengths of passages. 

    I hope this is helpful- let me know how you get on :) 

    Alison 

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    • Hi, I wrote and wrote for a couple years looking at it as a frame-by-frame project. ..bird-by-bird. Otherwise, it was too overwhelming. Then, one day I opened up a word document and put all the essays in one document and began to organize from there. It took a great deal of time and patience with a massive revision and many edit polishes but I finally (with the help of a professional editor) have a book, a collection of essays. Memoir. 

      I'm glad to see a post about memoir since I joined the nonfiction group but have mostly seen fiction posts. It's good to have support.

      All the best,

      Valerie






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      • I've found myself in memoir territory by accident. I set up a support group for my fantasy books in November 2019. The members are experts in particular fields and help me with aspects of the novel. I send them an email update every Sunday. However some of them are frontline workers and as the pandemic worsened I didn't feel comfortable asking advice. So I thought, if the Paris perfume brands can re-purpose their factories to produce hand sanitiser, I can refashion my writing to produce humour. I looked at my locked-down life and delved into the past for amusing stories. They are delivered in bite-size nuggets. Usefully, I get instant feedback. One day I'd like to string the stories together into a memoir held together by humour. My takeaway: Instant audience feedback keeps you on your toes and compels you to hone your writing to meet expectations.

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        • Hi 

          I have been tussling with a book for some time now. I can't decide whether it should be straight non fiction, a memoir or a novel. The problem was an incident that occurred to someone else but impacted me. I am still unsure how to approach it as I don't want to expose the person concerned it is their issue but it is critical to what I want to write, because of how it changed my thinking. Any thoughts on how to deal with such a problem? 

           The novel would get me out of confidentiality, but it would create more problems in the rest of the book which is largely a non fiction subject, it is about blindness. 



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          • Oh, this sounds great, Tara, and like something that will really help the right readyOne of the books I'm working on is essentially a complication of blogs/essays from a three-year period. In terms of pulling it together, what I mostly learnt was that once I had the 'sections'/chapters sorted, it actually fell together really quickly. I had all of the essays printed and spread out on my living room floor and gradually dealt them into piles one for each chapter... and then the order I had a lot of fun with and, again, it came quite naturally...

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