A Word Please #8 — *Monthly Newsletter of The Writing Prof

In which I announce a chat feature on my memoir newsletter

Lee G. Hornbrook
The Writing Prof


Photo by Keith Hardy on Unsplash

Hello! The Writing Prof is open for business. We publish all things writing, writing process, grammar and punctuation, books and literature, and personal essays. If you’d like to be a writer, sign up at the Contribute link.

I’m a writing professor and writing process expert. If you’d like to work with me to improve your writing — for FREE — contact me. (I don’t sell courses or offer MLM or Pyramid schemes to improve your writing. No bait and switch here, but you will get honest help with your writing.)

Before we get back to the business of The Writing Prof, I have an announcement about my efforts to get my memoir traditionally published.

Substack Chat is Open for My Memoir Newsletter: “My Own Private Waste Land”

I’ve completed my memoir: My Own Private Waste Land. It’s a train wreck of a story through a decade of dysfunction. I’ll cut to the chase and let you know the ending: I survived. I’m lucky to be here and alive, telling my story.

I discuss my memoir at my substack: My Own Private Waste Land: T.S. Eliot, Mental Illness, and the Making of a Memoir. It’s free to join, though there are paid options if you are interested in supporting my efforts as well.

Now there is a chat option on substack for greater ease of discussion between writers and readers My introduction to the internet back in 1993 was through CompuServe chat. It’s a form I’m intimately familiar with and have studied professionally. I’m excited about talking directly with those reading my newsletter.

I’m seeking traditional publication for my memoir, and I could use your support as I build an audience platform. It’s built upon the structure of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, the most important poem o the 20th century (and one of the most important poems of all of world literature) celebrating its 100th anniversary of its publication this year. While Eliot’s poem is a tour de force in difficulty, my memoir isn’t that at all. My memoir riffs off of Eliot the way musicians sample each other.

Why The Waste Land? I studied The Waste Land in depth in school with a prominent scholar of Modernism. Professor Owens was a well-known Steinbeck scholar and Native American novelist and was the inspiration who ushered me into a career in academia and kicked off my writing interests so long ago. I took several classes from him called Waste Land literature in which we studied Eliot’s poems and the works that were deeply influenced by it. Sadly, just like so many other tragedies in my life, Professor Owens committed suicide in 2002.

I was writing about my brother, 10 years my senior but practically my twin, who also suffered from major depressive disorder and was suicidal for 13 years and then finally committed suicide. About a year into my writing, I realized I was writing my own life story. That’s when the similarities between my decade of dysfunction and The Waste Land became apparent. It was a natural fit.

If you like train wreck stories, dysfunctional families, and the hope that comes with surviving difficult situations, you’ll love my memoir. I deal with the following topics:

  • Unjust job losses
  • T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and waste land literature
  • writing and writing process
  • memoir and memoir craft
  • mental illness: major depressive disorder, borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, suicide
  • alternative lifestyles — polyamory, kink, and LGBTQ communities

So, to borrow from Eliot, let us go then, you and I and check out My Own Private Waste Land.

Thanks for your encouragement and support.

Lee G. Hornbrook taught college English for 25 years and is an expert in the writing process. He is the editor of The Writing Prof. For FREE help with YOUR writing process, reach out to Lee G. Hornbrook.

Follow my progress in getting my memoir published at my FREE substack newsletter “My Own Private Waste Land: T. S. Eliot, Mental Illness, and The Making of a Memoir.

If you like my stories and wish to support me as a writer, consider signing up to become a Medium member. Just $5 a month will give you unlimited access to stories on Medium. If you sign up using my link, I’ll earn a small commission.



Lee G. Hornbrook
The Writing Prof

Writer, Writing Coach, Writing Process Expert. I can help you become a better writer. Follow at leehornbrook.substack.com