CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR!

Viga Boland

Viga Boland is the author of 4 memoirs. She mentors memoir and creative writing groups for the Hamilton, Ontario Public Library. She is also a paid speaker at conferences on child sexual abuse. Viga blogs and podcasts from her site at MEMOIRABILIA, from her personal author's website, VIGA BOLAND, and on her latest site for writers of all genres, VIANVI.

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12 Responses

  1. Christine Larsen says:

    Can you hear the wheels turning, all the way from ‘Downunder’?
    I’m thinking and looking…. certainly not ignoring your call.
    Hope heaps of others are doing the same!

    • Viga Boland says:

      Well keep those wheels turning Christine. I want stories, but less than I do editorials on experiences of writing memoir, self-publishing, promotion, marketing…the ins and outs of being a writer. I’ll be getting pretty selective about what “creative writing” pieces I post. Like if it’s a story or poem, it needs to really hit a chord with me, knock me over, make me laugh, give me a warm fuzzy or horrify me LOL. I don’t want just anything to populate the site. Now. how’s that for a challenge?

  2. Meghan Portillo says:

    This is just a response to parts of this article … I’m sorry the apathy of others was a contributing factor in your decision to stop printing “Memoirabilia.” I can’t imagine how disheartening it is to get so little feedback.

    Quick question: When it comes to book reviews, do you have a preference? Would you be amenable to reviews of older memoirs and writing books and/or ones that aren’t self published or published through smaller, more independent publishers? Or is it a case of submit and we’ll see what happens?

    • Viga Boland says:

      Meghan, I think you can indeed imagine how disheartening it is to get so little feedback: you aren’t saying it, but after giving others feedback on their pieces on facebook, not one has commented on the piece you wrote, into which you poured your heart and soul and laid yourself bare and vulnerable to both criticism and praise. So you do indeed know how it feels to get no response. It’s no different for me after hours and hours of laying out a magazine to help other writers get exposure and in most cases, not even get a “thanks for publishing my piece.” All of that made me feel it was time I got back to promoting myself, my own books, all of which I’ve ignored over the past year in order to help others. I’ve paid the price now in lack of sales of my own work. It’s time I got back to promoting myself and that has to be my focus for 2016. I have 4 books out now and only the first one continues to sell and sell. The other 3 are badly in need of promotion and marketing. Writing is a pleasure but self-publishing is a business, especially when you consider the financial outlay and lack of return due to poor marketing: mine!

      Re book reviews, I don’t have a preference. All that matters is whether the review is well-written and a fair assessment of the value of the book to readers and/or writers. Since this site is geared to memoir writing, a memoir is a memoir. It doesn’t matter if it was published 30 years ago or yesterday if it’s a memoir worth reading, traditionally or self-published. All reviews are welcomed. And yes, it’s a case of submit and we’ll see. Go for it!

  3. Joan Grant Lohe says:

    Well your “time on my hands” dilemma has worked in our favor, glad to hear you are looking for new submissions for the website,.but I have to admit I haven’t written since my last submission. The holiday season finds me very busy but the inspiration to write is always with me and I might just get my writing juices flowing

    • Viga Boland says:

      Take your time Joan. This time of year is busy for everyone. I’m sure the “time on my hands dilemma will be short-lived. It never takes me long to embark on some new project and then I’m begging for time off! I could end up being very sorry with what I asked for LOL.

      But all that said, when it comes to submissions, I’ll be getting pretty selective about what “creative writing” pieces I post. I want stories, but less than I do editorials on experiences of writing memoir, self-publishing, promotion, marketing…the ins and outs of being a writer. If what writers submit are stories or poems, they need to really hit a chord with me, knock me over, make me laugh, give me a warm fuzzy or horrify me. I don’t want mere reflection. And pieces must not need editing of any kind. Now. how’s that for a challenge?

  4. Gulara says:

    Excellent Viga, I’m in!

  5. Viga, hey! I love your candor and honesty regarding trying to create a wonderful magazine of personal stories. There are always a ton of variables at play, like the ones you mention. Ultimately, you have to do what feels right, of course.

    I was fortunate enough to have a piece of mine, “Goodbye, Batman,” in a recent issue, and it felt great to see it there in print. I am currently writing my first memoir, after a slow shift from poetry to creative nonfiction. I am 60 pages in and, for the first time, really feel like I am going to finish it. With your call for submissions, I am interested in submitting some of my thoughts and experiences related to planning and execution of writing a memoir that readers might find helpful.

    For the record, I think moving to an online medium is a great idea. It reaches more people instantaneously.

    Cheers!

    • Viga Boland says:

      Glad to hear you like the idea and agree that focusing on the online medium for sharing the same material is a great idea for the same reasons I do: whatever you write will reach more people instantaneously. So pen to paper or fingers to keyboard Michael…get writing. I’m waiting!

  6. Cindy Keiger says:

    This is a wonderful idea! I’m having a blast selling my book and I’d like to write about the whole experience—from writing to publishing to selling. Since I’m not trying to make a living doing this, my story may not be the usual. That being said, I’ll have to twist my own arm and force myself to sit down and write. No promises as to how soon I get something to you, but I intend to do it. What about length? Do you have an ideal in mind? X number of words? Thanks for giving us a new project 🙂 I hope it turns into a real blessing for you!