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pick up your memoir writing again

How to Pick up Your Memoir Writing Again When You’ve Slacked Off

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 today—now—be the time you pick up your memoir writing again and write to the end.
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personal myths

Your Life as a Myth Part 3

The following is the third installment of a three-part series on the use of myths and archetypes in memoir writing. In this first post of Your Life as a Myth, I wrote about both archetypal patterns in general and about the martyr archetype. In the second post, I wrote about the orphan and the martyr. These posts are excerpted from Turning Memories Into Memoirs / A Handbook for Writing Lifestories.

In the first installment of Your life as a Myth I wrote about the martyr archetype and in the second installment, I wrote about the orphan and the prince-left-at-the-pauper’s-door. Today, I will offer you some practical suggestions for implementing the concept of archetypes in your memoir writing.

Writing from the perspective of personal myths can explain a lot about the stories you are recording. In addition, consciously living archetypes in your own life and turning them into positive forces is a rewarding path for self-growth. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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myths and archetypes

Your Life as a Myth Part 2

The following is the second installment of a three-part series on the use of myths and archetypes in memoir writing. In the first part of  Your Life as a Myth, I wrote about both archetypal patterns in general and about the martyr archetype. In today’s post, I  write about the orphan and the prince-left-at-the-pauper’s-door. Both frequently make appearances in a memoir. These posts are excerpted from Turning Memories Into Memoirs / A Handbook for Writing Lifestories.

What is the orphan archetype?

One example of myths and archetypes is the orphan.  People who do not develop or maintain personal ties can be said to be pursuing the orphan archetype. Artists are an example of the positive side of this archetype. Because many artists feel detached from roots, family, etc., they are free to tell the truth as they see it, to risk much in the pursuit of their art. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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life as a myth

Your Life as a Myth Part 1

The following is the first installment of a three-part series on the use of myths and archetypes in memoir writing. In this first post of Your Life as a Myth, I write about both archetypal patterns in general and about the martyr archetype. In the second post, I write about the orphan and the martyr. In the third post, I write about general considerations of using myths and archetypes. These posts are excerpted from Turning Memories Into Memoirs / A Handbook for Writing Lifestories.

 

Myths are the stories we create to express how we perceive the world and life. How we live our lives is determined by the myths we live by, but our lives also reveal our myths to ourselves and to the world.

What are your myths? Look at your life, at your feelings, at your responses to others. That is where your myths reside! That is where your life as a myth can be found. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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family stories you don't agree with

Writing About Family Stories You Don’t Agree With

How do you write about family stories whose interpretation you don’t agree with?

We all have family stories that we have heard over and over again. When they are told in family gatherings, no one expects any contradiction. After all, the stories are the accepted “truth” about someone in the family. The problem is that you don’t agree with the meaning people ascribe to it.

How do you write about these family stories you don’t agree with? There’s no problem when you are in agreement with the storyline and the interpretation, but what do you do when you are not—especially what do you do when you are out of sync with other relatives in the way you interpret the story?

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family myths

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 […]

writer's block

An Effective Strategy to Work Through Writer’s Block

Why let writer’s block stop you?

“What can I do about writer’s block?” I am asked regularly by stumped writers.

“Pretty much the same as a plumber does with a plumber’s block,” I’ll respond.

People twitter at this reply. Perhaps it’s because they take my response to their writer’s block question for a joke and they’re anticipating a good punch line.

But, this is no joke. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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writing your memoir

Writing Your Memoir One Story at a Time—It Adds Up

Make Writing Your Memoir Less Daunting

Writing your memoir does not have to be an intimidating task. Envisioning your autobiography as a series of stories makes the sizable task of writing the stories of a lifetime tolerable and ultimately enjoyable. Lifestories, written singly just as they are told, one by one, add up—sometimes effortlessly—to a memoir.

Whenever I have written a book, I have written it several pages at a time. Were I to ask a beginning writer, “can you produce a 140-page story for me?” most would blanch and then protest, “I can’t write that much!” When I ask people if they can write a 3-, 4-, 5- or even 7-page story, most will answer, “Sure I can do that.” [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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don't feel like writing

Writing When You Don’t Feel Like Writing

What to do when you don’t feel like writing?

Writing a memoir is not easy. As I have written so many times—no one has ever promised it would be. Au contraire

Memoir writing can be difficult. Among the biggest of the difficulties is discouragement. How easy is it to write when you don’t feel like it and are sure you are producing junk words? In case you haven’t guessed (but I’m sure you have been there done that)… [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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vivid characters

Vivid Characters Are Essential in a Memoir

Why Creating Vivid Characters is Essential

The people in your story are your characters. It is your task as memoirist to bring vivid characters to the attention of your readers. You must use descriptive writing to present believable characters. Without other people, our lives and memoirs risk becoming dull. Although ideas are pivotal for many individuals, relationships are even more commanding. We are intrigued with who other people are and how they function. “Who’s that? What are they doing? Where did they come from?” These are question we want answered. To write a strong story, capitalize on this interest.
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