Fear of insignificance may be a BIG writer’s block From my own memoir-writing experience and from witnessing the creation experience of memoir writers I have coached, I have found it useful to work with a subcategory of fear as a writing block. Many of us have been silenced by the FEAR OF INSIGNIFICANCE.
At first glance, writing memoir might appear to be easier than writing fiction. After all, it’s your life and you know the story, yes? It’s not as if you have to make anything up. Not like fiction writers who have to think the whole lot up: plot, characters, everything.
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
How do you pick up your memoir writing again? If you have stopped writing because of a holiday, a vacation, an illness, or lassitude (read: “It’s too hard! I want it to be easy!”), make now—today—the time to pick up your memoir writing again.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]