Posts Tagged ‘memoir’

You Can Teach Writing

If you are a writer, you can teach a writing class. Now, don’t guffaw at that statement. Who better than a working writer to shepherd a group of folks who are hungry to set down words on the page? You remember the thrill of writing down your thoughts. Some of you may even remember the favorable response from friends and family who loved your story or article. Perhaps you are still in the glow of seeing your name on a published article or book. Don’t you want to help someone achieve their dream?

Teaching writing can be a volunteer job or a paid position. I began teaching a class on writing life stories after a writer in my writer’s group shared a diary that her great great grandfather kept in the 1800’s. This was an eye-opening experience for me. It almost became a mission for me to encourage people to write down their lives as a historical record of their times and as a gift to future generations.

In the beginning I wondered if all the studying, reading, outlining and decisions on areas to cover would be worth it. I am happy to report that I have had successful, paid for workshops since 2004. Not only have the proceeds lined my pocket with spending money…yes, it is not a huge money maker..but the responses from participants have warmed my heart as I see them leaving the class confident and ready to begin their life story and to organize it. They are inspired to write the information down for their families and finally accept that their life is worth living and sharing it with others.

Think about it. Choose your topic that you know you can teach and begin working out a workshop and a way to market it. The results for you will be satisfying and I guarantee you will learn more about your own writing through the exercises.

You are welcome to visit my website to view my page on Writing Life Stories. See? I cannot stop encouraging everyone to write their life story!

Tell Your Story

You are the only one who can tell your story, your life story.  Call it a memoir, an autobiography, a life story.  This special writing is written by you in your voice.  You can tell your story as you lived it and tell it truthfully.  Honesty is what will connect you to readers.

Why bother to tell your own story when you can imagine worlds and characters and situations that the muse urges you to write into the night?  Your own life story may be the guide that your friend or family member needs to know that she can make it through this life.  She can count on your wisdom, your life experience.

Susan Wittig Albert, founder of Story Circle Network, calls writing your story your soul’s work. 

Our lives are filled with extraordinarily ordinary moments.  Our souls are illuminated by them.  Sharing them around the hearths of our hearts, we become tellers of sacred tales, artists of our lives.  –Dr. Susan Wittig Albert, Writing from Life

I present workshops on writing life stories to folks who are not rocket scientists or didn’t develop a life-saving vaccine.  They are ordinary people who know how important it is to keep a record of their lives for future generations. Learn more about writing life stories at my writer’s site . Workshops begin again in February.  If you are in the Brooksville, FL area, email me for more information.

Katrina Kennison, a memoir writer, says it sounds cliche, but she advises to “write from the heart….People will respond.”

Holidays Can Be a Fertile Time for Writing Life Stories


The holidays are upon us and a great time to find fodder for writing your next stories.  Many will be joining family and friends in celebrations.  If you are writing your life story, this is a great opportunity to expand story ideas. Perhaps there will be a relative who will remember some of the good ole days with you and tell you about your parents, grandparents, or even your siblings’ stories.
You may be returning to your roots.  Being in your old hometown will help spark some memories for a story.
Of course you can write about your past holiday experiences, the decorations, (remember when you fell into the tree and knocked it over?) the food,(nobody can bake a pumpkin pie like Grandma),  the recipes,(a secret ingredient?), and the people who make your holidays especially nice or not….
Check out my writer’s website page on Writing Life Stories to be inspired to write your own life story. On this page there is a list of the books we use in our life story writing class in case you want to ask Santa to bring you one for Christmas!!
BTW I am presenting a workshop on Writing Your Life Story in February 2010. 
Wishing you all happy holidays!