03/10/2012 08:21 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

An Awe-Inspiring Food Memoir Workshop With Julie Powell

Larissa is a teen participant in Girls Write Now, a mentorship program for young female writers.

The December 10 Craft Talk with Julie Powell was one-of-a-kind with humor and wit. She told the Girls Write Now community about the trials and tribulations of becoming a successful writer, and entranced us all. She spoke of her experiences while writing Julie & Julia, including her obsession with cooking (and blogging) every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year. From loosely-written blog posts came a national bestseller, which inspired the popular movie of the same name.

Listening to such a well-known writer and hearing her about writing and editing process was a fascinating experience. She stated that there is a fine line between being sensitive to people in her memoir and telling the honest truth. She learned early on in her memoir career that even if changing a story works for the book, it could damage friendships and turn the story into something dangerously untrue.

Julie was one of the first writers to turn her blog posts into a book. She started something new --something worth recognizing. However, many publishing companies wanted to simply print the blog posts as a book, which she rejected. When she finally had the opportunity to rewrite the blog posts and turn them into a full-length book, she gladly took the challenge. Nevertheless, she soon realized that creating a book rather than writing blog posts was much more difficult. Julia succeeded because of her unique style. She inspired us all to do something extraordinarily new and original, like no one before us.

Most importantly, I learned from Julie to follow your career dreams and not to get stuck. After she graduated from college and before she was a successful writer, Julie was locked in a series of dead-end jobs. When she finally woke up and smelled the coffee, eight years had gone by and she realized she was terminally drifting away from her true desire of writing.

For 365 days, Julie blogged about her experience cooking 524 recipes of Julia Child's. By the end of her flavorful adventure, she had created a true work of art.