Tell Me What You Want to Hear

I’ve recently seen a Facebook post that allows you to track all of the states that you’ve visited. That got me wondering about how many states I’ve visited to do a reading or to teach a workshop. The total is twenty-eight and spans from Alaska to Florida to Vermont and a whole lot of other places in between—all thanks to the kindness of folks like you.

So here on the Monday before Thanksgiving, I think it’s appropriate that I dedicate this post to the people who for whatever reason have found my writing and my teaching to be of interest. I’m extremely grateful for the friendships I’ve made and the schools and writing conferences I’ve had the chance to visit. I’m also thankful for those of you who continue to read this blog. Writing is by nature a solitary, and sometimes lonely, pursuit. I’m more thankful than you can know for the connections we’ve managed to maintain over the years.

If memory serves me, I believe I started this blog in 2011, which means I’m nearing the end of four years of posts, which means, gulp, I may be starting to repeat myself.

I’m inviting you, then, to let me know what you’d like me to discuss in future posts. I want this blog to be as useful as possible for you, so please feel free to leave a comment, or email me at, to let me know how I can be most helpful to you. Anything to do with the craft of writing, publishing, or teaching is fair game.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’m glad for your company. You have sustained me for many years, and for that I’m extremely grateful.


  1. sarah corbett morgan on November 25, 2014 at 11:13 am

    I cannot believe I am the first person to respond to this kind request. Perhaps it is because it’s Thanksgiving week or perhaps people are having the same issue I’m having in specifically naming the things I would love to hear about.

    I cannot tell you exactly what I would most like to hear you talk about. All I know is that when you do talk about the craft of writing (the nuts & bolts), and specifically memoir writing, almost all your posts jump off the page and speak directly to me. Ones that I can point to right off the bat are:
    “The Layers of Memoir “(that one was superb and was an “aha” read for me)
    “The Thing Said: Ten Thoughts on Writing Dialogue in Memoir”
    and, of course, “Defeating Writer’s Block.”

    Oh, wait, I can think of a few things I don’t think you’ve covered that I would really love to hear your thoughts on:

    How to write about yourself without coming across as a jerk or a whiner
    Backstory and how to deal with it
    Gathering thoughts to begin writing: lists of opposites (maybe)

    I know there are others and I would be happy to mention them as I think of them. Your blog is one I never skip reading, Lee. You are a fountain of knowledge and a generous soul to share your wealth with others. Namaste.

  2. Lee Martin on November 25, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Sarah, a few others have sent me suggestions via email. I thank you for yours and for your kind words. I’ll keep your suggestions on file and try to get to them eventually as I sort through the ones that others have sent. I hope you and yours have a happy Thanksgiving.

  3. Nancy on November 25, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Lee, one of my favorite things about your writing is this sense of chronicling a history just past, just out of reach, and it’s something I’m trying to work on, as well. I loved your recent post detailing layers of memoir and all of your ruminations that spring from family photographs, or from a piece of land where something once stood. I’m not sure what I’m suggesting, but I love the posts about your process in puzzling out meaning in snapshots or vignettes from many years ago.

    • Lee Martin on November 26, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Hi, Nancy! Thanks for the comment. I think I can use it to come up with a post.

  4. sarah corbett morgan on November 25, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, too, Lee.

  5. Jayne Martin on December 1, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Hi, Lee. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your piece in the latest River Teeth. The way you wove the story of the physical hole in your heart with the story of the emotional hole as related to your father was very moving.

    Everything you post here is always interesting and helpful. Thank you.

    • Lee Martin on December 1, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      Thanks so much, Jayne.

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