Don’t Write Your MEmoir without ME #ShoutOutSeptember

As some of you know, I took part in a #visibilitychallenge last week. I uncovered many ways in which I hide out in life and at work. There’s a long history to why women play small, and there’s a great movement out there shaking things up and changing our visibility. This month I pledge to be more visible, to stand up tall and speak up my mind.

I also want other women to be seen and recognised for their talents. It gives me an immense joy to introduce Viga Boland today.

I first came across Viga Boland’s name last year. From the outset, the power of her story took my breath away. She was abused sexually, mentally and physically by her biological father for 13 years. It took her 45 years before she shared this story with anyone, and when she finally did, she came out only as Viga does: she wrote a book after book to share her journey from abuse to healing and finding liberation through sharing her story. She became the voice of so many who never speak their pain, because deep down they believe that the shame belongs to them.

I’m one of them. I’ve been stuffing the pain of sexual abuse deep into the crevices of my being terrified of anyone finding out what I’d been through. And even though I’ve written about those experiences, apart from my computer and my writing mentor, no one stood witness to my experiences yet (it’s my second book, which is work in progress).

This is one of the reasons why I admire Viga. Her courage and determination to lead the way are contagious. She built a supportive community around herself and she helps so many people to stay on track and make the difference through their stories.

The fact that she’s written five books in 3 years is astounding. She’s an incredibly prolific writer, and writing books is not all that she does. She has a blog and a podcast; she writes guest posts and articles for anthologies; she teaches many students how to write a memoir; she even published five issues of Memoirabilia magazine where I was featured last year.

Did I mention that Viga is in her 70s? Not that her age matters. She’s younger at heart than many young people, and she knows how to live life to its fullest and to leave a legacy that’ll serve many for years to come.

This is why I’m so excited to share her new book on the art of writing a memoir. It’s called “Don’t Write your MEmoir without ME!”. After writing four memoirs herself and teaching many students, Viga has got a lot to share about this process. Her spirit and strength shines from the pages of the book, and whether you write a memoir or not, this book can help with getting valuable material out of your cells and onto the computer screen. Because let’s face it, even if we don’t call it a memoir, many books contain our personal narrative.

Viga Boland

Please, check her author website out at and share it with anyone who you think might benefit from reading her new book. I’d love to give Viga as much support as she’s been giving me over the last year.

all books


38 thoughts on “Don’t Write Your MEmoir without ME #ShoutOutSeptember

    • Thank you, Anne, her writing is great and she also helps many other writers. Since you’ve been writing a memoir, this is a must for you, Anne. And her blog contains lots of great advice and inspiring stories. I hope this proves a useful resource for you.

      Liked by 2 people

      • My pleasure, as always. I’m already subscribed to her. I have checked some of the posts already and I must look for her books locally, otherwise, I’ll have to make do with Kindle edition. It definitely looks like I’m going to learn a lot from her. You always are a great help even indirectly. And for that, thanks so much again, Gulara. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      • HI Anne! Thanks for subscribing. If it’s printed books you’re looking for, all my books are still available in printed form from my website store at, the exception being the second one, ‘Learning to Love Myself”. But you can buy that via this CreateSpace link:

        If you purchase printed books directly from my site, I sign and ship those to you myself. None of my books are available in retail outlets anywhere at this time. Sadly, the retail outlets, like Indigo/Chapters take a 45% commission. We self-published authors can barely afford that.

        It’s the same when folks buy our digital books from Amazon, iBooks etc. Amazon keeps 30% of rhe sale. That’s why I have made both printed and digital versions for all e-readers available from my website STORE but it always amazes me how many will visit my site and then head over to the other sites to purchase my books. Very frustrating and I don’t know a way around it.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Hello Viga,
        Thank you very much for all the information. More importantly, thank you for extending yourself to others, for your courage.
        I will get my copies from your website. As I am in South Africa though, I will have to go for the digital books. My daughter lives in California so I will order (as I love the physical books more than the digital) either before she comes here for Christmas or before we visit her next summer.
        I can imagine the frustration; strange human behavior. I think it takes getting used to – people shopping in non-mainstream sites. Once you get the word out, I believe people will make their purchases on your site.
        I am looking forward to reading your books.
        All the best.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow!! I’ll definitely look for her book. I’m terribly sad to hear that you endured sexual abuse from your family too. It is amazing what happens to women. I have had several sexual experiences since I was young, but not from family… some from strangers and some from my employers over the years. I know my mom was molested by a family friend. Sadly, I think that sexual abuse is prevalent, but women are afraid and ashamed to write about it… they shouldn’t be. I hope more women stop hiding because of Viga’s and your support. This problem needs to be acknowledged and dealt with as it still happens! Good for you!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • It’s because of what you have written above, gwynnrogers, that I wrote my first memoir. I kept the ugly secret hidden from everyone, including my husband, until I was 65! I would have gone to the grave with it if my loving family hadn’t encouraged me to write the book for all the other victims of sexual abuse out there who cannot, or are afraid to speak out. As long as we remain silent, this will go on infinitely.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Fortunately Viga, laws have changed and women can speak out and sue companies. Sadly, when I was molested at work I didn’t know I could speak out. Interestingly years later, my boss and his wife divorced. The wife sued the company because her husband was having an affair with an employee and the company knew, but did not do anything to stop it. The wife WON the lawsuit. The boss who went through the divorce and his boss both propositioned me, and then I was attacked in an elevator by someone not employed by our company… and the people in my office thought it was funny. These issues NEED to stop! Thanks for supporting sexually abused women and for encouraging them to speak up!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Wow, Gwynn, thank you for your openness and courage to share. Your experiences at work were awful! I’ve got my own fair share of such experiences and yes speaking up is the only way to stop this type of incidents from happening. As to your boss and his wife – well, there’s some justice in the world….

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My dearest Gulara: you are a true gem amongst us and I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the support you have given me by featuring me in this lovely blog post. You are amazing and I, for one, cannot wait to read both your books. I hope I’m still here to do so, but tomorrow is never guaranteed to any of us, is it. So get going!

    Liked by 3 people

      • That will be up to you Gulara ie. get them written and published so I can read and post reviews to my book reviewing site at I’m thinking of putting up a page there as well to pay tribute to folks like you who go the extra mile to help other authors. It will have your photos and links to your site/blog. Working on that idea now. BTW, please don’t share the video above to the Memoirabilia group or my page just yet as I have a blog post that includes it, along with a podcast, that will be live tonight. I’m happy with you sharing it on your own page and twitter though. By all means and thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Gulara.

    My podcast/video blog post re this author who writes books she doesn’t want to write is now live on two of my websites, with slightly different titles and a small change in text (for Google duplication/SEO concerns) You will find them at the links below. Feel free to share whichever you prefer and wherever you like. Thanks so much!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Oh Gulara. You’re a joy. Thanks so much. With your help, I may just manage to sell this latest book…that and at least 25 reviews for the book on Amazon. Just think: This is all ahead of you ie. relentless promotion. If authors only knew that writing the book is actually the easy part. It’s all the marketing and promotion that is hard and wears us out!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Firstly, I love this: “I also want other women to be seen and recognised for their talents.” And you do!

    Secondly, thank you for the introduction to Viga Boland. She sounds like a remarkable woman, and I’m on her website now, looking at her books.

    Thirdly, I am sorry to hear about the abuse you suffered early in your life. I admire how you’re determined not to let it confine you.

    Fourthly, I thought of you the other day as I was preparing to go to a meeting for a new project. I was really nervous to do it and was lacking in self confidence. But I suddenly thought of your Thursday posts and said to myself, “I’m sorry you’re feeling so anxious.” Just saying the words helped me calm down a little – and the meeting turned out to be a lot of fun! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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