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Aug 21, 2019

The New York Times bestselling memoirist and journalist, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, joined me this week to talk about her decades long journey to publication, why it's so important to find yourself in the pages, the meaning of memory, and the impostor syndrome that all writers face ... especially the kids of celebrities.

"You find yourself in a whole net, in a constellation of stories, each one connecting to another. It was amazing how much I remembered.” – Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Lisa is a Brooklyn based writer whose father was the widely worshipped tech pioneer and entrepreneur, Steve Jobs, best known as the co-founder of Apple.

Her first book, Small Fry, is her lauded memoir about growing up being shuffled between single parents in Silicon Valley during the 1980s and '90s, always in the orbit of her celebrity dad and struggling artist mom.

Small Fry was a New York Times, New Yorker, and People Magazine Top 10 Book of the Year for 2018, and Best Book of the Year for the LA Times, NPR, Amazon, GQ, Vogue (UK), and Publishers Weekly.

The book has been called, “Beautiful, literary, and devastating,” by the New York Times Book Review, “A masterly Silicon Valley gothic,” by Vogue, and “Mesmerizing, discomfiting reading,” by The New Yorker.

This episode of The Writer Files is brought to you by the team at Author Accelerator. Author Accelerator book coaches give writers feedback, accountability, and support while you write, so you can get that your idea out of your head and onto the page.

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In Part One of this file Lisa Brennan-Jobs and I discussed:

  • What it's like to be a writer with a celebrity parent
  • The author's up-and-down, ten-year writing process peppered by the occasional profound revelation
  • How the author's childhood memories returned to her so vividly
  • Why shame and emotion are so helpful to unearthing the geological layers of fact in memoir and vice versa
  • How she overcame writer's block, impostor syndrome, and her own doubts and fears to write a bestselling memoir
  • And why part of writing a memoir is about bringing into consciousness things that were previously unconscious

Show Notes: