Write a Healing Memoir/Spiritual Autobiography Workshop | Winter 2014
We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies. ~Shirley Abbott
Workshop: 9 Sessions Starting January 16, 2014
Thursdays, 3 PM PST/6 PM EST
Included for free: a PDF of my workbook Journey of Memoir–The Three Stages of Memoir Writing
In this workshop, we silence the noise of everyday life and dig into memories, tune into writing our stories, and learn the skills needed to write a satisfying memoir—to get all the way to “The End.” This is a process writing workshop, where digging into your memories, finding the threads of what you remember and writing into what you need to say or explore is what it’s all about. We welcome your first draft, first thoughts in this workshop. To get a memoir done, we must do this early writing first. We enter into the doorway of memory with our writing, and let it flow out.
The group is a witness and a support to your writing and the stories you have to tell. This is not a critique group, it’s a supportive group of fellow seekers and writers who ask useful questions to help you get to the core of your stories and share their own process and raw drafts.
It’s important to write freely without worrying about your inner critic or being published yet—though that may be your ultimate goal. In order to get your memoir done, you need to feed your creative spirit, and have accountability to help get your stories on the page in a first draft.
How It Works
- Send that week’s story to your classmates through email.
- Workshop members read and write feedback through email—reflecting on what works, and offering feedback about what could be clarified.
- At class time, we gather by phone to talk about the stories—discussing what comes up as you write, your inner critic, doubts and dreams about your stories, and questions about structure. Find out in person on the call what you want to know from the group that will help you continue and develop your work.
- As the leader, I guide the group, offer writing tips, and teach techniques that help you keep writing and learn how to grow as a writer.
The workshop includes:
- Narrative structure–what it is and how to create it
- The form of a chapter–what’s needed in a chapter
- Writing scenes that bring your story alive on the page
- Weaving scenes and narration–the basic skills of story writing
- Grammar–how to enhance your use of language
- Memory–learn to flow with what you remember
- The inner critic and outer critics–how to quiet them so you can write
- Outlining vs. freewriting–tools that help you get your rough draft on the page
- Exploring layers of truth–the essence of memoir writing
- Family and psyche–the stuff of memoir