I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced reader copy (ARC) of Gayle Brandeis’ new book, Drawing Breath: Essays on Writing, the Body, and Loss. I was excited to read this book, having read Brandeis’ memoir The Art of Misdiagnosis.
After years of pressuring myself to create the perfect SMART writing goals, I was pretty proud of myself. Except, the only thing was I was accomplishing was driving myself crazy. I was too goal-oriented.
I’ve acquired a lot of ephemera over the past year. When my mom moved out of the house I grew up in, I became the family archivist. Which is why I recently needed to clean out my office. I started with the pile of literary magazines.
I recently joined the American Migraine Foundation (AMF) Emerging Advocates program. The AMF developed this program to mobilize people with migraine and support advocacy efforts to fight stigma of the disease. As part of the program, I have been getting training about migraine and advocacy.
Dealing with a chronic disease like migraine can be tough. I sometimes feel like a real baby for just not pushing through the pain. Yet, this isn’t the kind of thing that is easily ignored.
I’ve been studying first lines and first pages of memoirs. I’ve rewritten mine at least a million times. Well, maybe not that many, but at least many times as I’ve rewritten the intro for this blog. We all know that openings matter. People need to be wowed to keep reading.
Ask a writer why they write and you’ll get a thousan answers or at least a thousand essays. I’ve written nearly that many responses to this age-old question since I started writing as a hobby maybe 20 years ago.
Leigh Stein is my role model, despite being 10 years younger than me. I adore her the way I assume younger women worship Instagram influencers. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, and every other publication worth writing for, was co-founder of Out of the Binders/BinderCon, is a memoir and fiction writer, and coaches other writers.
Just when I thought I’d read every memoir there was to read about brain injury, another one dropped into my consciousness. This one, from 2012, is from a fellow Midwest author Louise Krug. Like me, she was featured in the #Midwessay series on Essay Daily. She explains so well what it is like to be Midwestern in her essay by describing all the things she does not say. Her book, Louise: Amended describes what happens after a cavernous angioma appears at the base of her brain and has surgery to remove it.
As a Midwesterner my whole life, I can’t tell you how excited I am about a series of essays appearing on Essay Daily Titled #MidwessayWriters from the Midwest have been contributing essays describing what the Midwest essay looks like in 2021.