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.
Please, check her author website out at http://www.vigaboland.com 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.