1:1 Memoir Coaching with Marilyn

“Working with Marilyn has been a life-changing experience for my writing.”

~Maurene Hinds, Author/Instructor

What’s my 1:1 coaching style?

I deliver in-depth feedback with a loving touch. I am a stickler for craft AND I understand the insidious ways shame and silence can keep a story’s deepest, most vulnerable truth hovering beneath the surface of the page. My feedback is always in service of this truth, and I will gently but fiercly push you to go deeper. I will not just say, “Go deeper.” I will provide you with thoughtful suggestions for bringing this deeperness to the page.

Here’s the nutshell version of how I work with writers:

  • I give you in-line feedback on your pages as well as an additional editorial letter that summarizes the bigger editorial picture. We then meet on a coaching call (Zoom) to discuss your pages and determine your Next Steps. We meet every other week.
  • I ask questions to help you find the story that wants to be told. I hold space on our call for your story to emerge. I consider this space–and your story–sacred. Inevitably we laugh; sometimes we cry. Good tears, the holy kind that accompany truth.
  • I provide craft lessons, suggested readings, and writing assignments as needed to help you hone your craft and write your memoir forward month in and month out.
  • I work with clients for months, often years, to help them through every stage of their memoir journey.

If you would like to explore 1:1 memoir coaching with me, click the button below and fill out my Client Intake Form. Once I receive it, I’ll be in touch!

Your 1:1 Memoir Journey…

A memoir is not written overnight. For most of us, it’s not written in six months or in a year. That’s because writing a memoir is a journey of discovery: through the act of writing, you discover the deeper meaning at the heart of your story. This meaning deepens your understanding of the story you are telling, and you revise accordingly. It’s a beautiful messy transformative process. Whether you’re writing your first draft, stuck in the murky middle, or ready to revise, I will meet you where you’re at and help you write the story that wants to be told, in your voice, as only you can tell it.

Map Your Memoir

Create a roadmap for your memoir that helps you envision your story before you write.

If writing a memoir is a process of discovery, why would I encourage you to map your memoir before you write?

Writing a memoir is also about seeing beneath the external surface story to your story’s internal transformational arc and figuring out which scenes tell this deeper story.

It requires deep vision work that will take you—to continue the roadmap metaphor—off-roading. What happens when you go off-roading? You see a larger scope from a different vantage point: Why must you write this book? What have you come to the page to say? Who is your ideal reader? Where does your memoir fit in the marketplace? Getting clear about these kinds of behind-the-scenes questions will help you see the full scope of your memoir so you can write it forward.

Whether you’re just beginning your memoir journey, are somewhere in the middle, or returning after time away, Map Your Memoir will help you get from where you are to where you’re going.

Write Your Memoir

Write your memoir forward with 1:1 monthly memoir mentoring.

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1:1 monthly memoir mentoring is currently full. Please reach out via the Contact page if you would like to be added to my waiting list.

Revise Your Memoir

Create a Re-vision Map that gives you big-picture clarity about what’s on the page and how to fix it.

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Congratulations! You’ve completed a draft of your memoir. Now what? Revision, of course. But where to start?

Intuitively, you might be tempted to dive back in and begin revising your manuscript from, well, the beginning.

But revising from the beginning leaves out an essential—and time saving—part of the revision process: big-picture clarity.

Now is the time to step back and assess the breadth and depth of exactly what’s on the page, identify the issues that need fixing, and create a revision plan—hello, Re-vision Map—for how to fix them and what to fix first.  (Hint: Counterintuitive as it may sound, begin with the issues that are most systemic and hardest to fix!)

So, what’s the process? How does Revise Your Memoir work?

Revise Your Memoir is based on Author Accelerator’s 3-D Revision Plan.

Client Feedback

Working with Marilyn 1:1 has been a life-changing experience for my writing. Before working with Marilyn, I’d spent years floundering on a draft of a memoir. While I’d made some progress, I needed support with the overall structure of the book and the motivation to keep going. With Marilyn’s guidance, I was able to solidify a working draft of the structure, which allowed me to move forward with the story. After previously working on a draft for more than six years, with Marilyn’s guidance, I completed a full manuscript in six months.

Marilyn is truly gifted when it comes to seeing the truth of the story and helping to bring that truth to the page. Throughout the process, Marilyn’s encouragement and insightful feedback have been invaluable. She’s helped take this story to deeper levels by identifying the heart of each section and chapter. The final manuscript will be much fuller and far beyond what it would have been without her guidance.

As I head into the revision process, I look forward to applying Marilyn’s thoughtful comments and suggestions as I continue working with her. She is an absolute joy to work with, and I’m immensely grateful to have her guidance on this writing journey.

Maurene Hinds

Author | Instructor

Before I started working 1:1 with Marilyn on my memoir, I had been writing almost every day and met weekly with a wonderful writing group (all fiction writers). But still I was going in circles. I’m not an MFA graduate. I’m a 60-year-old nurse, and I didn’t know the difference between scene and narration, the arc of my narrator, where my story began, or where it would end. Unclear about my memoir’s larger point, I wandered the pages with multiple metaphors, unrelated backstories, and a lot of frustration. But I didn’t understand why. Then I met Marilyn.

Fierce in her devotion to my work, Marilyn asks incredible questions to get to the heart of every scene, and she helps me bring my narrator’s emotional truth to the page. Within the safe container of her coaching style, my writing voice emerges more courageously. Incredibly organized, she remembers small details of scenes and recalls them for me as I move forward.

When I receive Marilyn’s comments on my writing packets every other week, I have a “date night” with myself. I pour a glass of wine and then I pour over her insights, thoughtful questions, suggestions for revision. In between our coaching calls, I share my ahas, craft questions, successes, and frustrations in my 1:1 classroom. She responds with love, compassion, and support.

In less than a year, I finished the first draft of my memoir. I know how my story begins and where it ends. I understand my protagonist’s inner desires, her obstacles, fears, and her arc of transformation. I will continue to work with Marilyn on my first full-length memoir revision.

Personally, I have excavated aspects of myself I had long hidden away. I did not know when I began my memoir that I was writing a story of reclaiming my Soul. Now that I do, I am a better person, a more aware spouse, a better writer.

Jackie Levin

Holistic Nurse | Wellness Coach | Writer

After I finished the first, messy draft of my memoir, I spent more than a year letting it gather virtual dust on my hard drive. I knew that the manuscript had a lot of weaknesses, but I was overwhelmed by the scope of the work that needed to be done and I wasn’t sure how to move forward with addressing the manuscript’s biggest problems. Working with Marilyn through the manuscript evaluation process has been a revelation. With clarity and kindness she quickly identified the core threads of my narrative arc and helped me to see more clearly the work that needed to be done in revision to strengthen the memoir. I was left with fresh insights including new ideas for the opening and closing scenes of my memoir and my first real understanding of how to utilize the (many) scenes of backstory that I had drafted and then lumped all together at the front of my memoir. In addition to these insights, she left me with a clear list of next steps which have allowed me to tackle the next phase of my revision with confidence. In the months since, I have come back to her manuscript evaluation letter again and again, reading and re-reading her words to help keep me oriented to the truth of my memoir whenever I feel myself starting to wander off course.
Jessica Ruprecht

Cambridge, MA

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