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Writing Motherhood Paperback – May 6, 2008

4.9 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"I wish Writing Motherhood had been around when I was a new mom. Women deserve to own and record their words. Writing Motherhood -- honest, practical, and inspiring -- helps us overcome our fears and unlock the thoughts and feelings we all have inside. Thank you, Lisa Garrigues!" -- Brooke Shields, author of Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression

"Lisa Garrigues is the real animal, a trailblazer and a muse. Her techniques are both grounded and inspirational. May she lead a revolution." -- Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way

"During an afternoon absorbed in Writing Motherhood, I suddenly realized that Lisa Garrigues was describing what my head and my heart and my hands have been doing ever since I became a mother. Lisa's inspirations and invitations smooth the path to recording motherhood in real time, exactly how we wish our mothers and grandmothers for generations before us had done. My mother and I are now sneaking Lisa's book out of each other's homes, knowing that it will be missed within hours, and loving that it will be days before its return."
-- Melinda Roberts, author of The Mommy Blog and Mommy Confidential: Adventures from the Wonderbelly of Motherhood

"Writing Motherhood reclaims the old-fashioned, spirit-lifting, life-grounding act of writing as an elemental part of our motherly lives. Grab your Mother's Notebook and a speck of time, throw away the rules, and start writing!" -- Miriam Peskowitz, author of The Truth Behind the Mommy Wars: Who Decides What Makes a Good Mother?

"I thought I'd read Lisa Garrigues's intimate, lively book in an afternoon -- but I kept putting it down to grab pen and paper instead, so inspired was I by her determination to to clear the hurdles, duck the obstacles, and write --no matter what. For any mother who longs to find more time for herself, for any writer who wonders if the demands of motherhood will compromise her craft, here is a welcome reminder that art and life are gloriously, messily, inextricably intertwined. At once creative writing manual and mothering memoir, Writing Motherhood inspires us to honor our own everyday lives as mothers by giving shape to them on the page."
-- Katrina Kenison, author of Mitten Strings for God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry

"Writing Motherhood is a fantastic resource for any woman who finds herself transformed by mothering and seeks to give a literary voice to her experience. With both practical and creative advice, Writing Motherhood guides the literary mother towards giving birth to herself as a writer."
-- Andrea Buchanan, author of Mother Shock and co-founder of LiteraryMama.com

"With both wit and wisdom, Lisa Garrigues depicts creative ways to capture and communicate the essence of motherhood. I will wholeheartedly recommend this book to any woman I coach who wants to explore and express her experiences as a mother and learn about her Self in the process."
-- Bria Simpson, MA, Life Coach and author of The Balanced Mom: Raising Your Kids Without Losing Your Self

"Motherhood was the catalyst for making my dream of writing a book a reality, and I believe there are many other mothers who also have a story or passion to share but they may not know how to begin. Writing Motherhood is a wonderful guide to help mothers channel the creativity that is at the core of mothering into art."
-- Cali Williams Yost, author of Work+Life: Finding the Fit That's Right for You

About the Author

Lisa Garrigues is an award-winning writer and experienced educator. In addition to teaching Writing Motherhood, she leads a variety of courses and workshops in writing memoir. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and earned a master's degree in education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey, with her husband and two children. Please visit www.writingmotherhood.com.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (May 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743297385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743297387
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,529,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I walked through my local Barnes and Noble recently and, as always, headed for the Writing Books. It surprised me, although I don't really know why, to find a couple brand new books written specifically for Moms-who-are-writers as well as another title for "busy women."


Of the books I read, Lisa Garrigues "Writing Motherhood" is the most in tune with what it means to "be" a writer, not someone who is obsessed with publishing or looking for a recipe book to achieve this or that in 7 hours or 14 days or instant-success, this is a book that is realistic, heartful and a powerful guide for mothers who want to write motherhood and so much more.

She gives specific tips and techniques as she shares stories of how these tips and techniques have worked for herself and others, including a section on "Mother's Helpers" and 7 Building Blocks for Success.

She also pays respect to the concept of having a Writer's Notebook that serves a dual purpose as a Mother's Notebook. I am a longtime fan of folks who write in notebooks like Julia Cameron and Natalie Goldberg, so this struck a significant cord for me as well. We Moms-who-write need to train ourselves to write in small, heartful chunks.

Garrigues is an able guide for us along this journey.

This is a book to have on your shelf, to pick up and use - to refer back to regularly.
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Format: Hardcover
I've read countless books on writing. I've attended various classes to educate myself on the writing process. I'm even married to a writer.

But nothing has inspired me more than Lisa Garrigues' Writing Motherhood.

What makes this book different is the author's innate understanding of the complex beauty of motherhood - with its constant rattle and hum, push and pull amid life's most mundane tasks. I remember thinking, "this woman really gets it," when reading about Garrigues' personal, often humorous, sometimes bittersweet experiences as a wife, mother, sister and friend.

But what's best about this book is how Garrigues inspires writers to tell their own stories through very creative writing "invitations," or exercises meant to jumpstart the writing and memory recollection process. These invitations have taught me ways to view my life experiences from a different angle, and then write what I see.

And I haven't stopped writing since.

Buy this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I could have saved myself a lot of heartache if I'd had this book years ago. It's so comforting to read the thoughtful and (sometimes painfully) honest reflections of another mother. The parts about dealing with teenagers are a joy - thank goodness it's not just me and my daughter! The description of the teenage love-you/hate-you syndrome really tickled me. Now that my daughter is fourteen, I try hard to be calm and reflective (hah!), and I've used a couple of the invitations to write as an opportunity to direct my frustration elsewhere - very helpful. (I just won't be able to let her read them until she's much, much older. If ever.)
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Format: Hardcover
I'm hooked! Writing Motherhood is wonderful and original and universal and accessible. I have the great good fortune of living in Bergen County, NJ and taking Lisa Garrigues's class "Writing Motherhood" which she transformed so incredibly into this book. Buy the book and read it and write with it and get some other moms involved and write together - like we have - and I promise you will discover the sweetest opportunities to save and savor stories in your motherhood journey that you can easily and quickly record via Lisa's delicious and supportive ideas. It is a must have, a must do and a must GIVE (Mother's Day!). The best part of the book Writing Motherhood and Lisa's entire concept, is that you don't have to be a writer or believe you are a great writer. She has you "throw away the rules" - this is not a place for a grammar book or synonym finder! It is a place to pour out your heart and get your stories down since the kids are growing and time is going so fast! Lisa is very encouraging and just so engaging with her ability to inspire you - she does offer gentle suggestions to improve your writing craft just to help you better express your ideas and bring a vivid clarity to your writing - beginner or not. I don't have time for the scrapbooks or baby books and when I tried to journal I tended to complain (who wants to give THAT to her son?). It's easier to imagine giving these writings as letters or gifts or even typing up and then framing a good one next to a special photo. Writing Motherhood has helped me remember the best feelings and thoughts of my new life, work through the challenging parts, capture specific memories that normally might get lost in life's shuffle, and find peace and comfort in doing something for myself that I can count on. You can too - in only 15 minutes a day.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I could not put down my new copy of the book Writing Motherhood by Lisa Garrigues. I got it on Thursday and finished it Saturday. I read it while my daughter played on the playground, while she took baths, and while she was napping. It was a thoroughly fun read, and I will keep it on the shelf as a reference for many years to come.

The book centers itself around the very practical "how-to's" of making your own "Mother's Notebook." And yes, we are talking about a hard copy, real deal notebook in the 3-dimensional category. Not blogging, or typing in Word. I was excited to start working on my writing more in the hard copy way after reading this book. I plan to continue to pursue the blogging medium, as I think it has a lot to offer that writing for yourself cannot offer. But keeping a real journal can also serve as a scrapbook or a list-book, and as she points out, holding a pen marks your hands as writer hands. The physical mark of a writer's callus is symbolic for the significance of the writing life and the way it marks us.

The book gets better as you go along. Part One is about the seven ways to start writing your journal, or Motherhood Notebook. Part Two is how to write your "Mother Pages," as she calls them. She encourages you to try to write two "Mother Pages" a day and gives lots of prompts for how to get started. Each chapter in Part Two serves double-duty by giving her example of writing about motherhood- she fills the book with her own stories and collections of memoirs from motherhood. Then she includes examples written by her writing students from the past. Very clever and inspiring methodology, if you ask me, that she demonstrates each exercise (one exercise is "I never thought my husband would be this kind of father...
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