No matter how silenced your story has been, you can claim your voice and write your memoir with confidence, craft, and consciousness. The question is, Why must you write it?

~Marilyn Bousquin

Women’s Memoir Book Coach
Author Accelerator Certified Book Coach

You have a story to tell.

Maybe at this point in your memoir journey, you know your story inside out; maybe you’ve written parts of your story but other parts still ache to be written; maybe you’re just beginning to write.

Maybe there was a time in your life you swore you’d never tell this story.

Maybe you’re not even sure, exactly, what this story is.

No matter where you are on your memoir writing journey, one thing is certain: something deep within you beckons you to the page. And the older you get, the more urgent your need to write your truth becomes.

But how do you get the words out of your heart and onto the page in your unique voice?

Begin with WHY. When you clarify for yourself why you must write this story, your deep-level why becomes a key that unlocks your story and sustains you from the beginning to the end of your memoir-writing journey. 

Hi, I’m Marilyn

When I started writing, I didn’t know I had a voice. That was decades ago. Now I teach women who are done with silence how to free their voice, claim their truth, and write their memoir with confidence, craft, and consciousness.

Welcome, I’m so glad you’re here.

 I am a memoir coach who helps women write the story that wants to be told. I have been facilitating women’s writing circles and workshops for 20 years, and coaching memoir writers for over 10 years. I’ve come to believe…

~Writing memoir is an act of consciousness that will change you if you’re willing to change

~Every story, no matter how shamed or silenced, glimmers with the truth of what it means to be human. A memoirist’s job is to write to that truth.

~Writing memoir is about listening for the story that wants to be told. When you turn your ear inward, your story will tell you what it wants to be

~Your voice is the heart and pulse of your story

~~~

My favorite word is kokoro, a Japanese word that means roughly “heart as seat of intelligence.” We don’t have an equivalent word in English, but I’ve come to believe that voice dwells in the realm of the kokoro, and that a story’s deeper truth springs from this well.

“A memoirist whose subject has been silenced by shame must write past shame to the voice at the heart of her story.”

~Marilyn Bousquin 

What is a memoir coach?

A memoir coach is a book coach who wears many hats: mentor, coach, writing teacher, developmental editor, encourager, accountability buddy, project manager, deep listener, trusted friend.

A memoir coach gives you written feedback on your pages, then meets with you on a coaching call to discuss those pages and determine your Next Steps to write your memoir forward.

A memoir coach holds space for your story to emerge and asks questions to help you find the story that wants to be told.

A memoir coach provides craft lessons, suggested readings, and writing assignments to help you hone your craft as you write your memoir forward.

A memoir coach helps you dig deeper so that your voice and emotional truth infuse every page of your memoir.

A memoir coach is not a therapist. While a memoir coach provides emotional support as you navigate the inevitable ups and downs of the memoir-writing journey, a good memoir coach helps you discern if/when it makes sense to seek additional “off the page” support—such as a therapist or trained healer—to help you process the material you are writing about.

A memoir coach often works with a writer for months or years.

A memoir coach is with you on your memoir-writing journey from early draft to revision to publication so that you do not have to write your memoir alone.

Client Feedback

Before I took Marilyn’s Writing Women’s Lives™ class I had really let my writing take a back seat. I wanted to sit down and write but felt paralyzed to do so. Marilyn’s reputation as a writer, editor, and all around cool chick made her class an easy choice. And, really, I was ready for a group experience to hold me accountable. What a good choice it turned out to be!

Marilyn’s class was ¼ craft lessons, ¼ creation, ¼ catharsis, ¼ community, and ¼ intangible. Yes, I know that adds up to more than 1 whole, but the class is more than the sum of its parts. Marilyn’s honesty, straightforwardness, and empathy are breathtaking and gave me permission to write wholeheartedly into a topic, stripping away fear and any need to feel “appropriate.”.

Nan Carmack

Librarian, Scholar, Mom, Evington, Virginia

As a female writer in academia, my creative writing voice before taking Marilyn’s Craft Your Truth class was, at times, stilted and masked with glossy magazine writing. Since taking the course, my voice feels more candid and emotionally lucid. The writing prompts in the class helped me track episodes connected to having a port wine stain birthmark, which helped me paint a fuller picture of this painful emotional history.

I am bringing a new spirit to my writing—a spirit of gratefulness for the diverse women who supported me during the class and for an instructor who was creative, compassionate, and energizing.

I am so glad I am part of such a caring and smart community of women!

Jessica Brophy, PhD

Teacher and Poet, Lynchburg, Virginia

Prior to taking Marilyn’s classes, I knew I had some writing “juju,” but I had no idea how to tap into it or bring it forth. And it wasn’t really a priority in my life until I met Marilyn. I met her at a dinner party, and she was simply dazzling. So vivacious, and funny, and engaged with life. I knew that whatever else was going on in my life, I HAD to take a class with this woman.

Class with Marilyn is a journey of self-discovery. She creates an environment of intimacy and safety where true inner healing work can be accomplished through writing.

It doesn’t matter if you ache to be a writer, or hardly give it a thought. These classes are a blessing to anyone who is willing to show up and participate, and vital to anyone who really wants to write.

Maryann Novi

Communications Assistant CCM, Lynchburg, Virginia

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