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Writing from the Inside Out

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The Memoir Network's ebook "Don't let Writer's Block Stop You

Four Reasons to Take a Break from Writing

When should you take a break from writing? Writing is hard work, and there will be many times when it seems too difficult. You sit at your desk and nothing much comes. Your impulse is to get up to do something—anything—else, as long as it’s not writing! You think of the lawn that needs mowing, […]

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The Memoir Network

Holding the Pen—Writing the Story of My Life

When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen. For the past eight months, I have been writing my lifestory. As a professional personal historian, I believe in practicing what I preach to those in my lifestory writing workshops. I have even gone as far as hiring an editor to […]

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Let words mean what they mean without trying to re-inforce their meaning.

Watch out for Word Re-inforcers

Letting words mean what they mean… In a previous post, I wrote about using words more precisely than we often do. Specifically, I pointed out redundant usages. Today I would like to rant about a few other phrases that have come my way recently. I call them word re-inforcers. They are like redundant words but […]

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The Memoir Network

Writing About Family Stories You Don’t Agree With

How do you write about family stories whose interpretation you don’t agree with? We may all have family stories that we feel are wrongly told. When you distort your insights in order not to contradict other people’s take on your story—to “make nice,” your readers will sense that something is wrong.

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A class reunion is a great time to collect memoir material.

I Collect Memories at My Fiftieth Class Reunion

Collect memories at my fiftieth class reunion Last weekend—and a warm sunny three days it turned out to be—I spent, as I had written that I would in the last newsletter, with those of my my high school classmates who could attend our fiftieth high-school reunion. Some of us had not seen each other in […]

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Family myths figures prominently in a memoir.

Going Beyond Family Myths to What Really Happened

Family myths aren’t always true. Your family myths may be stories your people choose to tell about themselves regardless of what really happened. Myths are stories we tell about how the world seems to us to be organized. Most of us are familiar with the religious myths Greeks and Romans told as they sought to […]

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A class reunion is a great time to collect memoir material.

Collecting Memories at My Class Reunion

This weekend of September 26-28, 2014, I am reuniting with my high school classmates. We have not seen each other in 30 years—not since our 20th class reunion. Back then, we developed an intimacy and an affection for each other that someone attending a regular high school cannot have experienced with classmates they saw for […]

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