writing about grief
Two Steps Forward, One Step Back (not a typo)
May 24, 2022 by Victoria Noe
My last book - Fag Hags, Divas and Moms: The Legacy of Straight Women in the AIDS Community - took a lot longer to write than I expected. It wasn’t because I had writer’s block, or that my research was hard to compile. I had two major setbacks that I could not have predicted.
I started on the book in earnest in the fall of 2015. The first year of working on it was a whirlwind: interviewing women, doing deep dives into little-known corners of the HIV/AIDS community, revisiting those dark early days of the epidemic. I had so much help, from two small crowdfunding campaigns and incredible leads from friends and strangers alike. People were excited about the book and I hadn’t written a word.
The Disadvantage of Writing About Grief
May 09, 2018 by Victoria Noe
“Well, you write about grief, so this is…”
The woman at my mother’s wake didn’t finish her sentence. It just kind of faded with her shrug. She didn’t quite know how to get out of the hole she’d dug for herself. But I’m pretty sure the ending she was looking for was “easier for you”. I have to admit I didn’t offer her any help.
Many people who write about grief are trained, certified professionals. They’re psychologists, therapists, chaplains, counselors. For some of them, grief was what inspired their careers. The rest of us are not professionally trained. But we all have one thing in common: we experience grief....
How Authors Are Rewarded
Mar 01, 2017 by Victoria Noe
Last Saturday I was part of “Path to Published”, a panel discussion put together by Chicago Writers Association. I think I can say that all of us on the panel had a great time talking about our various experiences: self-publishing, traditional and hybrid publishing.
One of the questions has really stuck with me since then. It was one that’s fairly common, one that everyone is asked eventually:
“What’s the most rewarding thing about being a writer?”
There are the obvious things: lots of people buying your books, great reviews, awards, crowds at your book signings. But that’s not what I talked about. My answer was in two parts.
With my Friend Grief series, I knew I had a hard sell. Grief is not a...
Working on Two Books at Once
Apr 19, 2016 by Victoria Noe
(Or, "Who Thought That Was a Good Idea?")
Someone asked me recently what I was working on, and after I answered, he said “You’re working on two books at once?” I’m not sure if he was impressed or horrified.
I am working on two books. I have been for months. And while they are very different, I’m not sure I’d recommend it to any of my writer friends. It’s exhausting. The only saving grace, I think, is that I have not been doing the same thing with each book.
The first one – Friend Grief and Men: Defying Stereotypes – is in the final stages. I’ve been deep in the editing for the past few weeks, deleting and adding...
Sometimes Your Calling Chooses You
Sep 15, 2015 by Victoria Noe
Last week I spent four days in Washington at the US Conference on AIDS. I’ve attended single-day conferences and meetings in the AIDS community over the years. But the last time I attended a multi-day conference was also in Washington, DC. It was an advocacy conference where we were lobbying for the authorization of the first Ryan White Care Act, now 25 years old (and in danger of being defunded, but that’s another story).
The theme of the event was “The Numbers Don’t Lie: It’s Time to End Disparities”. We heard a lot about how the South represents 1/3 of the population of the US, but 50% of those living with HIV or AIDS. We witnessed a powerful #TransLivesMatter demonstration during...
"We Don't Grieve Well Alone"
Sep 11, 2014 by Victoria Noe
Former NY Giant George Martin and me at the Information ForumYesterday I spent the day at the Voices of September 11 Information Forum at the Marriott Hotel across from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.It's an intense day of panel discussions for families, first responders, community members and medical professionals on a wide variety of topics: the treatment of complicated grief, cancer treatment information, updates on the Zadroga fund reauthorization.As people considered buying my book - and thanks to all of them - every one volunteered information: "I'm a survivor". "My husband lost a lot of friends." "My buddy only got down from 83 to 43 because he was helping people get out." Once again, the willingness of people to tell their stories...
“Oh, That’s Depressing” – Writing about Friend Grief
Aug 05, 2014 by Victoria Noe
I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve told someone what I write about. “Oh, that’s depressing” is certainly the most frequent negative response. Luckily, I don’t hear it too often.I was in New York last week at the Writers Digest Conference. Going to this particular conference in January, 2011, was what really kick-started my writing career. I met people there (and shortly after) who are still trusted advisors and friends. I started tweeting on my way to the conference so I wasn’t the only one there who wasn’t on Twitter. This blog began a week later.Although I haven’t been posting as regularly the past few months, it’s not because I had nothing to say. There were health...