Writing Memoir When Your Story is Difficult
Do you have a difficult story to tell? Things from your past that you’ve tucked into the back of your memory? More and more, people are realizing that getting those stories down on paper is therapeutic and valuable – the popularity of memoir is exploding. People want real life stories.
This course will focus on three-parts – the writing skills required, the journey of change you want to write about, and having the courage and persistence needed to tackle difficult personal subjects. Self-care will be discussed.
We will tackle dialogue, character sketches, scene setting, and your story arc – using parts of your story you want to tell. These will begin to form the outline of your memoir.
If you are interested in engaging in the often therapeutic task of memoir writing, start a retrospective journal now – jot down those memories, however small and fleeting, in a notebook, compile pictures of the past, or assemble meaningful objects. Then bring these to class.
Going public with stories from real life is completely different from getting your story down on paper, so the decision to publish will be discussed.
Three recommended readings are: “The Memoir Project” by Marion Roach Smith, “Why We Write about Ourselves” ed. Meredith Maran and “Your Life as Story” by Tristine Rainer.
Karen Lee has a newly published memoir, The Full Catastrophe. You can find out more information on her website.