April’s Book To Live By

Everyone has a story.

That’s the first thing Nancy Slonim Aronie tells you. And she believes you must share it.

You are about to have a writing class from one of the most respected and revered teachers in the business. This is a woman who has spent nearly half a century helping others find the magic that comes from telling their story.

Nancy is the founder of the Chilmark Writing Workshop on Martha’s Vineyard. She has taught at Kripalu, Omega, Esalen, and Harvard. She has been a newspaper columnist and an NPR contributor.

She is also one of the great allies in my beloved Wise Women circle, and she is a long-time friend and mentor to Women on Fire.

I am so happy and honored to announce that our April Book To Live By is:

Memoir as Medicine: The Healing Power of Writing Your Messy, Imperfect, Unruly (but Gorgeously Yours) Life Story by Nancy Slonim Aronie


Nancy’s first book, Writing from the Heart, is a classic in the field. This one, hot off the presses, looks specifically at the memoir. As the title implies, Nancy believes that writing your story can be a balm — for the writer and the reader.

A big part of Nancy’s story began when her nine-month-old son, Dan, was diagnosed with diabetes. Twenty-two years later, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Nancy and her husband cared for Dan through his illness during the last 16 years of his life.

For guidance, she did lots of reading, but she never found the book she most needed to read. So she eventually wrote it, leading the way to a powerful healing. She believes with all her heart the same can happen for you, no matter the source of your pain.

A writer must do more than instruct; she must also inspire. Nancy lays out the path and processes of storytelling. She demonstrates where to look and how to listen. She helps you discover the necessary humor and humility, the gratitude and grace to enhance the telling.

She guides you on how to search out the details, telling you what to avoid and what not to avoid. There are lots of writing prompts, tips, and examples from her own writing as well as from other masters of the craft.

Nancy always supports and protects the writer to enable the courage to come through. This book gives you the capacity to trust yourself and your readers as you leave your comfort zone to do the soul work of writing.

Nancy Slonim Aronie is a pathfinder, and Memoir as Medicine will help you find your way and perhaps change your life in the process.

To learn more about Nancy and the Chilmark Writing Workshop, including a special class this fall for Women on Fire members, visit chilmarkwritingworkshop.com.


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