Happy Spring and Persian New Year!
Spring has sprung early here in Los Angeles. Blossoms perfumed the air, sun warms and brightens the days, and it’s official that despite some recent rain, we’re in a drought.
Spring also means that it’s Nowrooz. My husband being from Iran, we celebrate not just January 1st, but Persian New Year. Here’s a post and another post and a video I did about Persian New Year. Once the celebration of this year’s gets in full swing, I’ll upload some photos for you to see.
Between readying for the two-and-a-half week celebration (cleaning, shopping, and decorating), as well as for when my brother-in-law moves in soon, I’ve had scant time for novel-writing. Fortunately, I attended a couple of Shut Up and Write/Meetup sessions. They’re virtual opportunities for writers of all ilks to rally each other while offering camaraderie and accountability.
An author I’ve had the pleasure to meet thanks to this Meetup is Diane Williams. Working out of California, she writes, coaches, trains, and encourages audiences great and small to achieve their best and happiest. She’s published a memoir, “The Invisible Child,” along with a collection of 17 inspiring stories called, “Angels in Action.” Get to know her better and see her books at her blog as well as her Amazon pageher Amazon page.
Using herself as an example, here she shows us how everyone deserves joy and our wellbeing helps others…
How to Write a Memoir in Twenty Years by Diane Williams
The writing process I used to write my memoir, The Invisible Child, took me twenty years to complete. I didn’t have a desire to write a book about my life. However, my life took a dramatic change; it plummeted. My once vibrant healthy body was invaded by the disease called rheumatoid arthritis. The doctor prescribed drugs and a wheelchair for treatment. The effects of this disease on my body left me helpless, jobless, and husbandless. The most devastating of all, I had to parent our young daughters, ages seven and eleven, alone — on my back.
Through it all, I developed a fearless desire to live life with relentless faith. Folks began to ask how I keep going while living in an immobile body. I repeated the story so many times, folks suggested I write my story, and thus it began.
I devoted three hours per day to just brainstorming and freewriting every thought that entered my mind. Some days I wrote two or three pages and other days a few paragraphs. Next, I drafted an outline by grouping topics, scenes, timelines. That whole process took a couple of years including my much-needed breaks.
Immediately after my break, I increased my daily writing from three hours to five, and I began to write chapters. I brought my work to the community critic group to be critiqued. They were graciously forthcoming with feedback on my theme, voice, character development, plot, scenes, timelines, and libel laws. Thus, I began to rewrite.
While writing, I began to feel stronger, energized — a cathartic victory. This gave me momentum and much needed motivation to push forward. I found a professional editor, and she complimented my message and emailed me a thick file with suggestions for style, edits, a guide for the timeline, and content such as how to raise conflict and when to reach the climax. I increased my writing time to nearly seven hours per day.
As I wrote the story, I began to thank Charles Babbage, considered by some to be the “father of the computer.” I am most appreciative of the copy and paste device. I had a quick thought about how long it would have taken me with the white, correction tape.
After twenty years of writing my story, my memoir, The Invisible Child is born. And now, I am on to my next project, Unbelievably True Caregiver Stories, to be launched November 1, 2023 on National Caregivers Day.
I love to bring value to people and remind them that they matter because I want to live in a world with happy successful people; this is my main reason for sharing so much of my personal scars and victories.
I have lived a life of complete health, and life was good, then an uninvited disease entered my body, it felt like a truck ran into my home and wrecked everything and everyone. As we all know, when one family member suffers it changes the dynamics of the entire family. I truly hope this story inspires readers to care for their health and well-being to live a healthy, independent, and vibrant life, we deserve.
When does Spring spring where you live?
33 thoughts on “Happy Nowrooz + D. Williams’ Memoir Tips + Podcast: Caz’s Can vs Can’t”
Wow, Diane Williams sounds like an impressive woman & writer – I like the Angels in Action title, that’s beautiful. The podcast is fab, thank you for doing it for my post, da-AL! xx
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the pleasure is all mine, Caz — many thanks for contributing!
I’m happy to read you’ve adapted well to Rheumatoid. My father suffered from this condition in the prime of his life and I’ve spent my adult life promising myself that I would never let life defeat me like it did to him. Spring had sprung when I hear the first sounds of “play ball.”
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so sorry, usfman – wishing you & yours the best. tx for visiting 🙂