From Facebook Dabbler to Memoirist: Background information when reading Love Warrior

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Love Warrior

A Memoir

by Glennon Doyle Melton

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton X
Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2016, 272 pages
    Sep 2017, 272 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
From Facebook Dabbler to Memoirist

Print Review

Glennon Doyle Melton, author of Love Warrior, started her writing career in 2009. Badly needing a break one day, the stay-at-home mother of three turned to Facebook, where she noticed several of her friends were participating in a series of posts called "25 Things About Me." She immediately began sharing incredibly honest and personal tidbits about herself: "I'm a recovering food and alcohol addict, but I still find myself missing food and booze in the same twisted way someone can still love a person who beats them and leaves them for dead."

Glennon Doyle Melton Within hours she got dozens of comments from both friends and strangers offering her words of support and affirmation. She realized that she had struck a chord–that none of her fellow posters were digging deep and truly revealing themselves (others were posting trivia like "My favorite snack food is hummus"). Melton decided that she needed an outlet for writing truths about herself and her life–and found there was an audience for it. She made a point of posting an entry every day before waking up her children. Her writing eventually morphed into a blog, which grew steadily and today attracts over 7 million readers a week.

The turning point in her career came in 2012 when Melton posted an article, "Don't Carpe Diem," in which she discussed her frustration with others who advised her to treasure every moment of her kids' childhoods and who told her that they enjoyed every minute they spent raising their children. Melton expressed the frustration many young mothers feel, baldly stating that she doesn't enjoy every minute. The article went viral, garnering 250,000 hits in just a few hours. It was picked up by major publications such as The Huffington Post, and within a week Melton was getting calls from book agents. She collected the best of her blog entries and published them in 2013 as Carry On, Warrior. The book debuted at #3 on The New York Times bestseller list and sold more than 200,000 copies.

Melton has gone on to become an award-winning blogger and professional speaker. Her memoir, Love Warrior, was announced as an Oprah's book club pick in September 2016, and she was featured on an episode of Oprah's Super Soul TV.

Melton is also the president of Together Rising, a non-profit organization that has raised over $4 million for women and children in crisis. One of its primary fundraising methods is what Melton calls a "Love Flash Mob"–a "Celebration of Life & Love & Hope" where women "come together to support a Sister, a Sister who might need a reminder that She is Loved and Watched Over." It's a little bit like a GoFundMe effort; Melton posts about a woman who needs help and invites others to give up to $25 to be part of the effort. The first time she attempted this, Melton raised over $25,000 in ten hours for a woman who was dying of cancer and wanted to take her family of 10 on their first and last vacation.

On August 1, 2016, just weeks before Love Warrior hit the shelves, Melton announced that she and her husband of 16 years were separating. On the face of it, this news would seem to belie much of what Melton writes about in her memoir, including the work to repair her marriage. Indeed a number of her followers expressed dismay that she and her husband ultimately decided to separate. However, her book clarifies that her husband's infidelity had nothing to do with their separation. Melton explains:

You wake up one day and realize that you have put yourself back together completely differently. That you are whole, finally, and strong – but you are now a different shape, a different size. This sort of change — the change that occurs when you sit inside your own pain — it's revolutionary. When you let yourself die, there is suddenly one day: new life. You are Different. New. And no matter how hard you try, you simply cannot fit into your old life anymore. You are like a snake trying to fit into old, dead skin, or a butterfly trying to crawl back into the cocoon, or new wine.

Article by Kim Kovacs

This article was originally published in November 2016, and has been updated for the September 2017 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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