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Archive | Archetypes and Myths: They Generate Deep Writing

The following articles explore the role of archetypes and myths in our lives and ultimately how they are vehicles for more meaningful memoir writing. If you want to generate deep writing in your memoir, these articles are not to be missed.

We all want to write a memoir that is significant, that elicits an appreciative response in the nature of: “This memoir has really helped me to understand/accept/heal something in my life that I had not appreciated before—at least so clearly.”

Archetypes and myths may be your key

The concept of archetypes was developed by Carl Jung to explain psychic energies that impel us in this or that direction. It can be as simple as a longing or a yearning that will not leave you in peace.

Myths have often been called the stories of other people’s religions. Yes, myths are stories that explain the world in terms of a world view—whether that world view is Christianity, corporate business, science or Roman or Greek life.

The use of archetypes and personal myths in your writing is an excellent way of adding depth to your story.

These blog posts explain much.

There has been much published on the role of archetypes and myths. Avail yourself of the following articles to commence your exploration of how to apply this knowledge to your memoir writing and then branch off to other sources. The internet is fill of well-written articles that you ought to read.

In conclusion

Once you learn to discern the  archetypes and myths that were  operative in your life, in the time depicted in your memoir, you will produce deep writing that will make your memoir stand out.

story collecting party

November 26: Where Is the Hero’s Journey In Your Memoir?

Have you thought of yourself as being on the hero’s journey in your memoir? Perhaps you have never thought of yourself as a hero—but in fact, you are one. It is the energy of your hero’s journey that has impelled you to write a memoir. Every memoir tells the story of a hero’s journey. It is the story of how the main character (usually you) was beset by difficulties and has survived. In short, every memoir is necessarily a hero’s journey. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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your life as a myth

How to Write Your Personal Myth Into Your Memoir Part 1

Your life as a myth–is your life determine by the myths you live by? 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.

soul work

How to Write a Significant Memoir

DL: This is a piece about how to write a significant memoir I published on the LinkedIn blog Pulse. It addresses a major challenge many writer face—at least writers who want to have an audience beyond family and friends.

That our memoir is insignificant is about the last thing we memoir writers ever want to read about our magnum opus. How do we write a significant memoir?

What separates a significant memoir from an insignificant one?

Family myths figures prominently in a memoir.

A memoir tells the story of a hero’s journey.

I’ll give you a hint: it’s not fame, it’s not the scope of the arena of the action. The key to significance lies elsewhere.

When memoir writers set out to record the facts and the dates of their lives, they are doing first-draft work. We’ve all read reviews of memoirs—and possibly read the memoirs themselves—that bemoan how the famous memoirist has not given anything away. The writer has regurgitated info that could be found in newspaper and magazine articles of the time. Other than “I was happy that…” there is little insight to be found.

The reader is likely to find this memoir insignificant.

The more famous and well-known or high achieving the memoirist may have been, the more this may be one of the writing challenges: to go beyond thinking that the facts and circumstances are in themselves significant enough to carry a reader through several hundred pages. (How much more so when the writer is not well known!)

What makes a memoir have significance to the reader?

[Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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soul work

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 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 […]

family myths

Writing A Memoir Is a Statement of a Personal Myth

When you are writing a memoir, you are engaging in a psychic process of re-creating and articulating a statement of a personal myth. Here we will explore how myths can be a wonderful experience in teaching us this process. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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