The range of obstacles writers face with their writing projects never fails to surprise me. Here are two that some of my writing students have faced and a few ways that could help you get beyond that perky problem. What if you have too many ideas and can’t figure out how to narrow them down … [Read more...] about Writers: Got Too Many/Too Few Ideas?
In my last post, 5 Emotional Challenges of Writing About Your Life or Family I discussed a few emotions—none of them good—that writing about our lives or our families can generate in us. Here are some other obstacles we life and family writers face. You Think Your Writing is Boring We’re … [Read more...] about More Challenges to Writing About Your Life or Your Family
When we write about our lives or our families, our challenges aren’t just literary. Emotions play a significant part in our efforts and they can actually undermine our creative process or shut it down altogether. Emotions that can affect life and family writers: Fear—of getting the facts wrong … [Read more...] about 5 Emotional Challenges to Writing About Your Life or Your Family
I teach essay writing and I've also been pretty successful having my own personal essays published. But I know that I (and my writing students) can always improve our odds of getting our work into paying publications. So today, I'm recommending a book I believe will be useful for us (and you) in … [Read more...] about Publish Essays That Pay
If you are writing about your life or your family, whom do you envision as your audience? Are you writing for family and friends or for a larger audience? Are they old, young, or in between? Men or women? Working or retired? Like to travel? Enjoy romance novels? Prefer mysteries? Addicted to reading … [Read more...] about Who Do You Write Life or Family Stories For?
If you write about yourself or your family, what is your mission? What inspires and propels you? Do you feel strongly about what you want to say? Do you want others to understand your experiences or your family’s? My mission is to coax out the (accidentally or deliberately) concealed parts of my … [Read more...] about What is Your Life or Family Writing Mission?
Considering the Value of Writing Contests I’ve been absent from this blog while polishing up my essays and memoir opening to submit to contests. Entering these contests has provoked several questions with answers, some good, others not so much. In a blog post several years ago, I asked my site … [Read more...] about Writing Contests: Are they Worth the Hassle—and the Cost?
Dani Shapiro has written a number of novels and memoirs; perhaps the best known of the latter is Devotion. A few months ago I found her newest, Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage. It's a quiet book, which isn't to say that it's boring or tedious. In fact, its contents consist of small vignettes … [Read more...] about Try Small Vignettes in Writing Your Memoir
Writer Barbara Boudreau has written a good deal about her life and her family over the years. She's successfully used the tools of creative writing to bring her stories to life—and add humor to them. When I learned she would be researching her Lithuanian roots, I was captivated. When I was in … [Read more...] about Combining Family History and Travelogue