Heeding Your Inner Voice and Navigating Your Memoir’s Dark Night of the Soul with Suzette Mullen

About Heeding Your Inner Voice and Navigating Your Memoir’s Dark Night of the Soul with Suzette Mullen

Author and writing coach, Suzette Mullen, joins the Writing Your Resilience podcast to talk about the challenges of hearing and heeding your inner voice, living with integrity, committing to authenticity no matter what, and the memoir writing process.



Transcript for Heeding Your Inner Voice and Navigating Your Memoir’s Dark Night of the Soul with Suzette Mullen

Please note: This transcript has been edited for clarity and flow.

Lisa [0:00]:
I first discovered Suzette Mullen while reading her Jane Friedman post about how preparing a TED talk can make you a better memoirist, even if you never intend to get on stage. I liked her voice and found her suggestions so useful. I ordered her memoir, The Only Way Through Is Out. Then, in a happy coincidence, Suzette pitched me before I had a chance to invite her on my show. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Wellesley College who cohosts the Mainly Memoir Retreat for Women Memoir Writers and supports LGBTQ writers through her group mentorship program, Write Yourself Out. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, Today.com, and Brevity, among others. To learn more about Suzette and her memoir, please see the show notes. Before we get to today’s conversation, I have a few questions for you. Have you ever connected with your inner voice? What was it like? Has it ever asked you to do something that was challenging yet, ultimately, for your highest good? Were you able to heed the call? I hope you’ll ponder these questions as you listen along. Now let’s get to my conversation with Suzette Mullen.

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Show Notes for Heeding Your Inner Voice and Navigating Your Memoir’s Dark Night of the Soul with Suzette Mullen

Author, Suzette Mullens shares tips for structuring your memoir, navigating the dark night of the soul, and learning to listen to your inner voice. 

Suzette’s Bio: Suzette Mullen (she/her) is a memoir and nonfiction book coach, retreat leader, and the author of the memoir The Only Way Through Is Out (University of Wisconsin Press, 2024), named one of February’s “most anticipated” releases by Lambda Literary. Foreword Reviews calls The Only Way Through Is Out: “Candid, inspirational…  An emotive memoir that issues a stirring call to women to choose self-actualization.” Suzette’s essays have appeared in the New York Times, today.com, and Brevity, among other outlets. In her work as a book coach, Suzette guides writers to find their deeper stories and define their big ideas. She co-hosts the Mainely Memoir Retreat for women memoir writers and supports LGBTQ+ writers through her group mentorship program, Write Yourself Out. A graduate of Harvard Law School and Wellesley College, Suzette is working on her next book, a memoir about the costs and joys of living authentically.

Resources Mentioned In this Episode:

 

Episode Highlights

  • 2:00 Exploring Cover Design
  • 7:00 The Mid-Life Coming-of-Age Story
  • 11:00 Identifying Your Inner Voice
  • 17:00 Learning to Listen to Yourself  
  • 22:00 Integrity and Seeing Clearly
  • 26:30 Living Through the Dark Night of the Soul  
  • 30:00 Beating Out Your Story and Cutting Your Darlings
  • 34:00 Building a Behind-the Scenes Guide
  • 36:00 Deciding What’s for Public Consumption

Connect with Suzette:

Connect with your host, Lisa:

Sign up for Psychology of Character Development for Memoirists: https://janefriedman.com/the-psychology-of-character-development-for-memoirists-with-lisa-cooper-ellison/

Produced by Espresso Podcast

Production: https://www.espressopodcastproduction.com



About Your Host


Lisa Cooper Ellison is an author, speaker, and trauma-informed writing coach with an Ed.S in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She has spent the last two decades helping clients and students turn difficult experiences into art, and currently teaches courses in memoir, the psychology of writing, and the book proposal. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Huffpost PostHippocampus Literary Magazine, and Kenyon Review Online, among others. 


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