“Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.”
Such is part of the opening statement in Joan Didion’s acclaimed memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking, in which she chronicles the sudden death of her beloved husband of forty years, John Gregory Dunne.
John slumps over at the dinner table in the throes of a heart attack which kills him almost instantly. Didion repeats the above quote throughout the book, mantra-like, as if she’s trying to convince herself of the reality of what’s happened.
The online writing community is a small one. Good news – and bad – travels fast. But so, too, are new voices uplifted and given outlets to grow, thrive, and find their own creative path. No matter what an era brings, writers find ways to contextualize realities, build worlds, and expand audiences’ imaginations. That’s as true for a newcomer as it is for a seasoned author.
In this installment, meet Myliyah Hanna from Chicago, Illinois.
Q: Where does your inspiration come from?
Most of my inspiration comes from my time working in a nursing home on Chicago’s northwest side in the early 1990s. The residents were mostly immigrants who had somehow made it to Chicago, where they proceeded to spin a whole new life for themselves. I spent a lot of time interviewing each resident, and I came away with tons of fascinating stories—many of them stranger than fiction!
In this ongoing series, Write Now, we will highlight writers from all over the world at different stages in their careers. From how they’re managing to write amidst a pandemic, to sharing their favorite personal work, we’ll take a look at what it means to persevere as a writer when the world spins faster than ever around us.
In this installment, meet Lindz McLeod from Edinburgh, Scotland.
Our world is accustomed to rapidly paced interactions. We are always connected—at least virtually. Platforms like Twitter allow for the spread of information at hyper speed. In fact, people can live almost entirely on Twitter—socially, professionally, romantically—without batting an eye, but can Twitter sell books?
Yes and No.
Bad Blood by Wall Street Journal reporter, John Carreyrou, kept me awake in the middle of the night because I simply couldn’t stop reading about Elizabeth Holmes, the ambitious young woman trying to build a biomedical firm in Silicon Valley. Though it’s non-fiction, this book reads like a page-turning novel. Holmes, the founder and creator of Theranos, a company that claimed novel blood-testing capabilities (with just a prick of the finger), also proved to be one of the country’s most charismatic liars.
This year, books in the memoir genre were perhaps the most memorable reads for me. I’ve always enjoyed memoir and non-fiction adventure, but a few really stood out, and these books I believe I’ll be recommending for a long time to come.
This series of marketing tips will conclude with the “guest blog.” Bloggers often want and need content so they turn to others to provide it for them. Some ask you to pay for this, but often it’s free. They see the advantage of having fresh and interesting content without taking the time and effort of writing it themselves, and you as the guest blogger can draw attention to yourself or something you’re trying to promote.