What a joy it has been this month teaching people how to get started writing their memoir! There’s nothing like over a dozen people with stories they want to capture and publish to create an amazing vortex of energy. We feel that teaching gives us great gifts as well. Each story and person needs focused answers for their specific problems. We learn about the stumbling blocks that get in the way–from overwhelm to worries about family reactions. We learn about people with stories that go back decades into other worlds, where life was lived so differently than it is now. We are inspired by the joy that people have–as well as the trembling–about writing their story and getting it to be real on the page.
The topics we’ve covered so far are — creating your turning point list, putting your turning points on a timeline, how to combat the writing blocks that stop you from getting your story started: psychology and time. As always, the pesky inner critic comes in to scream–or whisper–all the reasons why we should take time off and not write, or that the family will never speak to us again. Still, we write.
Why? Because we believe in story, because the story won’t leave us alone. I used myself as an example: I tried to give up on Don’t Call Me Mother–it was difficult to write about loss and abuse, it was daunting to get the long saga of my mother, grandmother and myself on the page. I would let it go for a long time, but it would whisper, it would beckon, and even seemingly shout at me–the darn thing just wouldn’t leave me alone! So finally after years–yes years–of this, I put my hands on my hips and turned to face the–imaginary–book. “Okay fine–if you stop chasing me, I’ll stop running!” I hired a coach and chapter by chapter got the book done in a few months!
Brooke and I are gearing up for the final class in this first workshop, and looking forward to our Muddy Middle course–where we help you figure out what the muddy middle is, what it’s made of, and how you can manage to make your way to the other side where the final stage of your book awaits you! And after that–the wonder of your own real book in your hands. Stay tuned to more about creating your memoir.