Tag Archives: Joan Leof

Joan Leof on JournalTalk

Uncovering Many Selves Through Writing

Joan Leof on JournalTalkAs we journey through the movement of our life, what aspects of ourselves do we birth or bury, in order to make sense of, and give meaning to, our experience? This question was my guest’s inspiration for her newest book.

Nearly two years ago, I interviewed Joan Leof, after she inspired me to dig back through my old, yellowing journals to collect pieces of my coming-out story and begin crafting a memoir. (You can listen to that interview here: JournalTalk, Episode #12.)

In this week’s episode, Joan Leof returns to share her newest book, MATRYOSHKA: Uncovering Your Many Selves Through Writing. It’s a unique collection of memoir-style essays, which are interesting snapshots into different aspects of Joan’s life. But here’s the twist: each story concludes with ten thoughtful, workbook-style questions to prompt the reader in reflection upon his/her own life snapshots. I enjoyed using this book for its rich journaling prompts, but it could also be a perfect centerpiece for discussion groups or book-reading clubs.Matroyshka, by Joan Leof

In our conversation, Joan shares the steps along her path to publishing, and a number of valuable tips for those who are exploring the many layers of “self” in their writing. For another great journaling prompt about the many selves and the “inner committee”, you might enjoy revisiting Episode #41.

Exclusive Offer for JournalTalk Listeners:  For a limited time, Nathan is offering JournalTalk listeners a full week of customized journal-writing exercises, tailored for their unique concern or situation. Get details here. (JournalTalk, Episode #72, April 5, 2016)

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Turning Journals into Memoirs

Joan Leof

Thanks to Joan Leof, my guest expert in this week’s episode, I’ll need to update my website.  In preparation for our interview, Joan did some research about me; she figured out that I had given up on writing a book based on content from my years of journal-writing.  And in our subsequent conversation, she asked me some questions that stirred my thinking about this.  Being the amazing journal-to-memoir coach that she is, by the time we were finished talking, I was reminded of my belief that my story is a valuable one, and re-inspired to pick up my old writings to breathe new life into them!  Since then, I’ve been writing 100-Word Flash Memoirs as often as I can, collecting the pieces to assemble for a unique story about my spiritual odyssey and coming-of-age.

Joan Leof has been coaching journalers, creative writers, and spiritual autobiographers for over 30 years.  Her website displays her own accomplishment of her personal story made into a bookFatal If Swallowedas well as other journaling resources and workshops that she teaches in the Delaware area.

Our conversation was stimulating and fascinating.  Joan gives a clear goal for memoirists to stay focused on, to make sure the journey from journaling to published author stays satisfying.  In addition, Joan shares some excellent tips for people who want to join (or begin their own) journaling groups to deepen their practice!  I look forward to hearing your feedback.  Please post a comment below, telling what you enjoyed most!  (JournalTalk, Episode #12, August 5, 2013)

Music: Paul Mottram, ”Shellfish Behaviour” (AudioNetwork.com)
Voiceover: Tami Egbert and Kym Maher
Logo Art: Wendy Kipfmiller, Snixysnix.com

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