S5-EP5: Clementina Esposito on Memoir Writing, the Ugly Truth, and the Impact of the Spoken Word

Dec 16, 2022


Debbie talks to friend and exceptional writing teacher Clementina Esposito about memoir, the difficulty of sharing ugly truths, and why making meaning through writing matters. 



Debbie Weil talks to friend and exceptional writing teacher Clementina Esposito about memoir, the difficulty of sharing ugly truths, and why making meaning through writing matters. 

Clementina is founder of the Clementina Collective, a collaborative created to help entrepreneurs and visionary leaders advance their causes and their careers through writing and speaking. 

In Clementina’s words: “No one writes alone, everyone values the power of a well-told story, and ugly truths become beautiful in the end.” 

Debbie met Clementina a half dozen years ago when Clementina coached her in a public speaking program. They’ve been friends ever since.

Clementina has been teaching memoir writing to a group of older students (60s to 80s). She and Debbie discuss the importance of reading aloud – of performing – what you’ve written and how maybe that should be a  goal instead of publication. Reading out loud builds community and intimacy. 

They also talk about the difficulty and challenge of finding your voice and speaking your truth and sharing it with others – especially if you think it’s an ugly truth. 

And they conclude by agreeing that anyone can be a writer. Even if you doubt yourself, sharing your writing is how you make meaning of your life… and help your readers do the same.


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Thanks to our media partners

Encore.org, our newest media partner, is an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good. Founder and CEO Marc Freedman is an award-winning social entrepreneur and author, most recently, of How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations. Looking for a great gap-year transition program? Check out Encore Fellowships, which match skilled, seasoned professionals with social-sector organizations in high-impact, paid assignments.


Modern Elder Academy is a program dedicated to navigating mid-life transitions. MEA, based in Baja California, Mexico, provides the place and the tools to start reframing your lifetime of experience. Grow whole, not old. Founder Chip Conley is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning hospitality entrepreneur and a rock star of the mid-life transition movement. His newest book is Wisdom @ Work: the Making of a Modern Elder.


Next For Me is an important new resource for the 50+ crowd focused on rewriting life. Taking a gap year or timeout may be the best way to figure out "what's next" when you're in this stage of life. Founder Jeff Tidwell explains, Next For Me "connects and inspires our generation to evolve our post-50 lives through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution."