The Memoir Coach Blog

Let’s make 2018 your year to make a difference in your writing!

If you are like most people, you probably have thought about some new year’s resolutions.  If you are a writer it may center around wanting to pen that next great novel or complete your memoir.

Believe me, I get it.  3 years ago I came up with the idea of an online writing club.  A place where we write and share and learn together.  I have tweaked it each year and this year is sure to be the best ever.  You have until the end of the month to join.  There are so many benefits to joining that it is almost free!

get all the details at

click on Online Writing Club and you can pay via pay pal (super easy!!)

hurry, registration closes January 31st for the 2018 year!

For $260.00 you get:

  • monthly lesson
  • feedback from your group
  • b12 shot boost mid month
  • 4 hours of one on one time with me
  • discounts on workshops and retreats
  • free video lessons and workshops
  • exclusive fall retreat for online writing club members only
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Perspective in Memoir

As a memoir coach I read a lot of memoirs.  And  a lot of people ask me when is the time to write a memoir?  I think there are a few elements to consider before taking on the task of putting memories to paper.

Many of you are familiar with Cheryl Strayed the author of Wild, which was later released into a movie.

Cheryl took her hike in the summer of 1995, and her book just released in 2012. When asked in an interview why she had waited so long to write the book, Cheryl said:

“For a number of reasons. It took me years of apprenticing myself to the craft before I could write a book…. I don’t write about something unless I feel a stirring inside of me to do so and it wasn’t until 2008 that I felt that in relation to my experience on the PCT. I think the years between my hike and writing about it made for a better book. I gained perspective that I wouldn’t have had if I’d written about it immediately.”

I love two things about what she said:

1) “Years of apprenticing myself to the craft.”

2) “I gained perspective.”

I believe these two elements are what made this such an excellent memoir. Think about this when considering whether it’s the right time for your memoir.

→ In order to tell your story effectively so that it has the maximum impact, you’ll probably need to spend years apprenticing yourself to the craft; that is, actively studying, learning and improving as a writer.

→ And in order for your story to resonate with deeper truth, you should have enough distance from it that you’ve gained perspective. When you’re still too close to it, you won’t be able to write it well.


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And what have you done with those memories?

Last night I had dinner with a friend I met over twenty years ago.  It was wonderful connecting to someone who knew me when I was in my early thirties.  The beauty in reconnecting with another person is the memories I had forgotten about she remembered and vice versa.

How can I help you record those memories of your life?  I have many ways to connect,  I have classes in the Palm Springs area a few times a year, I have retreats all over the world, I have private retreats in my home and I also travel to the homes of my students who would rather me come to them.

One option is the Online Writing Club that will give you monthly lessons with a small group of other men and women who like you want to learn and write….

Send me an email or sign up for my newsletter!

You can email me at

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The Craft of Writing

As a writer I will always work on my craft.  I will write and sometimes edit immediately.  Other times I will write and let it sit for awhile.  Sometimes what I write I want to just let it be…already feeling like I can’t add to it to make it better.  As with most things, you work on what you want to get better at.  About 3 years ago I had the idea of the Online Writing Club.  I took the idea and worked on it, presented it to my students and some signed up.  I learned a lot that first year and now 3 years later I am still molding this project and making it the best I can.  Each year I learn and grow, along with my students.  I am currently signing up a new group of students for the online club for 2018.  Are you wanting to be a part of a small group of writers wanting to grow in their craft?

If so, I hope you will read about the online writing club here on my website and consider joining us!

email me if you have any questions!
A Writers Tools

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Learning your craft…

As a writer I will spend probably the rest of my life trying to be better at my craft.  I want to learn how to tell a story in such a way that you (the reader) are right there with me each step of the way.  Let’s face it, the more you do something the better you are at it.  I remember when I was in the 4th grade and I got my first pogo stick.  I watched my friend Kelly with hers bouncing all around the neighborhood, she made it look so easy.  I can still remember jumping and falling, jumping and falling over and over and over again.  But because I wanted it so badly, I didn’t give up.  Each time I fell I got right back up and guess what?  Each week I got a little better and better.  Looking back I don’t know how long it took but eventually I could bounce all over that neighborhood and then…one day I was better than Kelly!  I became the neighborhood champ!  When I write and I struggle to show on paper what it is I have in my head I remember my pogo stick.  I challenge all my students to remember that we all need to take our writings and mold it and work with it until we have something that is beautiful.  The trick is not giving up!  Are you ready to learn how to craft your story?  I will be coming to Heritage Palms Country Club on November 12th for a one day writers workshop.  I will spend the morning first talking memoir as it relates to writing about our mother’s legacy that has been handed down to us.  We will discover the personal truths that are often buried deep but we will uncover how we can take just a flash of memory and turn it into an unforgettable tale.  Later on I want to discuss how to create a scene.  Now I don’t mean raising a ruckus and creating a scene but I am going to give you 9 strategies on how to write a compelling scene.  And if that isn’t enough I want to really get you clear on conflict in story and the importance of both the internal and external conflicts that move your story to a higher level.

I hope you will join me on this day!  Here is the info you need:

Cost: $125.00

Heritage Palms Country Club (located on Fred Waring just past Jefferson)

Time: 10 am – 4 pm

Sunday Brunch (please, please, please come hungry!)

To register: email me at

You are going to leave this workshop ready to write your story, what you learn applies to both fiction and non-fiction.

(Are you around next week?  I will be having a fun class at a private home on Tuesday, October 24, this class will be a potluck from 10-3 and I will be giving various prompts that we will write to and share with each other.  This isn’t a craft of writing class, but more of a fun opportunity to write and share!  email me for more details, I think I have room for 2 more to attend)

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"Because of Tammy I have found confidence in my writing and feel blessed to be honored in such a way. I have found my voice. I have found freedom! I recommend anyone for whatever reason to expand their life and sign up for her writing workshops or classes. You'll be amazed at how good you are and how everyone has a story worth telling. Sign up and set your voice free!"
Wendy Price, Palm Desert, CA

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Amherst Writers & Artists

Tammy L. Coia is an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.