You’ve generated lots of raw writing. You’ve begun to identify your subject and to recognize the deeper themes and patterns beneath the surface of your writing that carry the emotional truth of your experience. You’ve learned the elements of craft that help you to shape this experience into an artistic expression that engages your reader at a heart level.
You’ve also done the consciousness work that empowers you to choose your writing truth over fear and to identify the internalized patterns, mindsets, and habits that have, until now, kept you “playing small” (well, at least smaller than you are capable of being!) in your writing and in your life. You’ve seen new possibilities for your writing, and you’ve glimpsed a larger truth: Yes, you really do have a story to tell!
Now that you are writing at a whole new level of craft and consciousness, how do you keep the momentum going? How do you continue to hone your craft and show up for your writing practice from a place of confidence while at the same time guarding against those pesky angels (i.e., inner critics) when the writing gets challenging?
Revise Your Truth!
Revise Your Truth One-on-One Mentoring program is open to women writers who have completed Excavate Your Truth/Free Your Voice and/or Craft Your Truth/Claim Your Voice and want to continue their writing journey with a committed writing coach (Marilyn!) who understands the craft of memoir as well as the patterns of female conditioning that keep so many women silent. This program is structured to keep you grounded in your writing truth and connected to your voice and vision. It is also designed to help you to hold yourself accountable to your writing goals so that you stay in relationship to your writing through every stage of the writing and revision process.
The Components of Revise Your Truth
Manuscript Packets (Deliverables)
Your precious work! You submit a Packet of your writing every other week for three months (or on an alternative, predetermined schedule that fits your lifestyle and productivity/accountability needs) for a total of 6 packets of new or revised writing. Each packet consists of up to 4000 words. Together on our Craft & Consciousness Coaching Calls (see below) we establish the content of your upcoming packets so that your next step is always clearly identified within the context of your larger writing goals and dreams.
Marilyn’s “Deep Dive” Manuscript Response
Aka Marilyn’s “What’s the Real Story?” deep dive . I immerse myself in your submitted pages, and I send you my written response in track changes. Each response will depend, of course, on the needs of your manuscript pages, but in general I focus on the “deeper story that wants to be told” to ensure that the contextual themes of your memoir story—whether essay length or book length—are developed throughout the manuscript, and that your writing stays within the parameters of your theme(s) and the structure of the memoir story you are telling. I also hone in on scene development, reflective voice, backstory, narrative arc, the emotional truth & corresponding metaphors of your experience, as well as other craft elements essential to writing memoir.
Craft & Consciousness Coaching Calls
These 45-minute coaching calls are in many ways the heart of our work together. We review and discuss in depth your manuscript(s), and we strategize and work through any challenges that are coming up for your writing and/or your writing practice. We do this in the context of your larger writing goals and intentions, and within the parameters of your memoir story (or stories) in development. Together we establish your deliverables for the next packet so that you can continue working toward your writing goal with clear direction.
The work we do together on our coaching calls helps you to establish your next steps and cultivate a habit of staying in relationship with your writing even in the face of inevitable challenges any given writing project presents. These calls also provide valuable time for you to “think out loud” about your work. It is very common for women to have “aha” moments during these calls that deepen their vision as they gain clarity on the connections, metaphors, and story truth in their own work. Valuable insights that “pop” into their conscious awareness during these empowering calls often lead to on-the-page wisdom in their work in progress.
We meet on the phone every other week (or on an alternative, predetermined schedule that meets your individual needs) for 45 mins.
Craft-based writing assignments
During our work together, I offer “as needed” writing assignments personalized to meet your writing needs and to strengthen your craft skill and writing techniques. These writing assignments may target a particular craft element that I determine would benefit your writing, or they may help you “crack open” a particular story truth in development so that you can “go vertical” into the story you are telling (i.e., the story that wants to be told). I have also been known to suggest research assignments, such as interviews or subject-specific research, to help you deepen your understanding of your subject, extend the metaphor(s) in development, and elevate the artistry and cohesion of your work.
Craft-based reading assignments
It’s true I’ve been called a “literary matchmaker” for good reason. It seems that one of my unique gifts is “matching” people with the memoir, essay, or poem that speaks deeply to their writing need at a particular time in their writing journey. I give suggested reading assignments that are personalized to your work and subject. The purpose of these assignments is to expose you to literary memoir essays and books that help you to expand your working knowledge of craft moves you can make in your own writing. These readings may be subject-based to give you models for how other authors handle your subject, or they may be craft-based to expose you to a wide range of craft and structural possibilities for telling your own memoir stories.
“Conscious awareness” assignments
So many of the obstacles we face in reaching our writing dreams and goals are rooted in our mindsets and internalized conditioning. These limiting beliefs disempower and silence us—they are not the truth of who we are. Once we are aware of these limiting beliefs, we can shift our mindsets and really step into our writing power—our true voice and vision. These “consciousness” assignments are designed to promote self-awareness, shift mindsets and limiting beliefs, and help you deepen your relationship to your writing and to your deep, wise writing self so that you can amp up your confidence and your productivity while staying in relationship to your writing, your writing goal, and your writing self.
Recordings of all coaching calls
I record our coaching calls so that you have access to downloadable mp3 recordings of all calls. This allows you to review your “in the moment” insights and ahas about your work in progress and about any mindsets that you are shifting as you continue to show up for your writing and for yourself.
These recordings eliminate a need for you to take notes during our calls, which frees you to speak candidly and listen later to the words that came out of your mouth. It is common for those very words to “untangle” a writing challenge you’ve been working on. Women often use their own words from these recordings to begin a reflection within the piece they are working on.
Schedule of all coaching calls and deliverable dates
At the start of our work together, you receive an in-depth schedule, which includes the dates and times of our phone calls and of your deliverables so that from the get-go you have a clear-cut schedule months out that you can plug into your calendar. (Initially, I send you a “draft” schedule that you then approve before we finalize.) This schedules serves as a framework—a structure—around which you can continue to build your long-term writing practice. It also helps you to cultivate and reinforce your accountability to your writing and to yourself.
“Recap” email after each coaching call specifying deliverables
After our coaching calls, I send you an email outlining your upcoming deliverables, including any suggested writing, reading, and conscious awareness assignments, so that you are clear on your next steps as you move your writing forward. Women finds these email “recaps” a helpful way to keep track of their writing progress, assignments, and growth. These recaps also provide a record for you to refer to so that you can go back and complete any readings and/or suggested assignments you were not able to get to at the time.