Writing notesPeople write to me about the stories they want to tell–haltingly at first, then with a greater courage and sense of purpose. We all know that putting our hearts on the page, even in private, is difficult and requires continual commitment to keep listening to ourselves.

Because that’s what writing is all about–a different form of listening. We listen to the small voice inside that tells us to write about a memory that won’t let us go; we listen to the invitation of our essential or spiritual self to tune into who we are beneath life’s surfaces. We try not to listen to that inner critic or we won’t write at all!

And there is the issue of courage. Our society is not very encouraging about telling our truths or taking time to heal, but perhaps that will change as more memoirs are being written, as more people take that leap into inner listening and invite us to join them.

It would be great to know what your favorite memoirs are, and what you have learned from them.

Do you write and listen to your inner voice–even if it’s only in your journal?

What helps you to capture your inner life on the page–what rituals and inspiration invite you to write?

The last memoir I read: Barack Obama’s Dreams of My Father. I read it before he exploded into the public consciousness and television. It inspired me to listen to him and to find out more about a person who had overcome the challenges he speaks of in his book. I learned about his inner life, thoughts, and turning points, all of which helped shape him into the person he has become. He selected what to tell and how to tell it, which we all must do when we arrive at the publishing stage.
Check my website for a list of other memoirs I think will inspire you to tell your own story. Notice what makes you want to listen in to their stories. Notice what techniques are used when telling an interesting story.