It Turns Out What I Really Want to Write About is... Episode 342, from memoir to marketable, with Emily Grosvenor

It Turns Out What I Really Want to Write About is... Episode 342, from memoir to marketable, with Emily Grosvenor

Sometimes you have to start with a memoir (that you never publish) to figure out who you are and where you’re going. Today’s guest has a nice impressive bio—but 8 years ago, she was just a writer staring at a screen and working on, as many of us do when we first start, a memoir.

Emily Grosvenor is the editor of Oregon Home magazine, Willamette Week’s design publication Nester. She’s also written for The Atlantic, Salon, Good Housekeeping, and others. 

But ALSO like so many of us, she started as a generalist, freelancing from the familiar “write what you know” place. New place, children, parenthood, cooking, trying to navigate finding adult life or living with a partner? Write about it.

But a funny thing happened on the way to that memoir: She realized she didn’t want to keep living in that space. And when the memoir didn’t sell, Emily found the opportunity to write about something she really wanted to explore—and figured out how she fit into the market.

Links from the pod

Foundry Media Literary Agency “exploded

Sarah Susanka’s Your Not-So-Big Life

Seth Godin’s Purple Cow

Pia somebody, Badass Your Brand

Bonus: Rachael Herron’s Fast-Draft Your Memoir in 45 Hours (because that might be the way you plow your way through what you need to write to find out what you want to write)

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(Our episode on email lists 151: #StartHereforEmailLists)

Emily on Instagram @EmilyGrosvenor

Book: Find Yourself at Home: A Conscious Approach to Shaping Your Space and Your Life


Emily: Marie Kondo's Kurashi at Home

KJ: Start More than You Can Finish, Becky Blades

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Entertaining, actionable advice on craft, productivity and creativity for writers and journalists in all genres, with hosts Jessica Lahey, KJ Dell'Antonia and Sarina Bowen.