(Image: Laura Munson, the "accidental memoirist")
Our second guest speaker of PNWA's monthly meeting was Laura Munson. A lively and entertaining speaker, she described her journey from film school to frustrated author of 14 unpublished novels.
(Image: Laura depicts her initial shyness as a writer through "interpretive dance")
Despite wanting to be a novelist, the girl from Whitefish Montana made her big splash a couple years ago with an essay submitted to the Modern Love section of the New York Times (NYT):
Her article went viral before the end of the day and the virtual tsunami of hits crashed NYT's Modern Love site. Laura's "overnight" success was the spark that ignited her career as a memoirist. She never considered writing a memoir. However, once she realized the protagonists in most, if not all, of her unpublished novels were thinly disguised versions of herself, writing the memoir became easy. (Well, as "easy" as any writing process is).
(Image: Laura reads from her book, This Is Not the Story You Think It Is...)
What resonated most with me, was Laura's belief in the power of positive thinking. Not the sunshiny/Polyanna style of thinking; but rather a realistic assessment of what you can control in your life, versus what you can't, then not allowing the issues you can't control, infringe on your health and well-being.
This can be a tall order for some of us and even impossible for others to make this sort of tectonic shift of an attitude adjustment. Laura's story served as an inspiration to a group of authors, most of whom often feel down-in-the-dumps over not getting published. She reminded us that the publishing business can be fickle and it is an issue we can't control. Therefore...
(Image: Laura signs copies books and exchanges stories of hope with admirers)
...the fickleness of the business-side of writing should not affect our work--and our sense of well-being.
You can find out more about Laura from her website: