If a publisher’s ever rejected your writing, you’re probably familiar with the doubt and self-questioning such a rejection can create. Since publishers seldom give their reasons for rejecting our work, we writers have made an (unpaid) industry out of trying to discover the reasons for ourselves. … [Read more...] about Why Was My Writing Rejected?
baby boomers writing
A student in one of my creative writing classes for boomers and seniors asked, "Do you have to be the main character in your memoir?" "Yes," I responded. Then I paused and said, "Let me think about this." I was facing a dilemma that had been skirting around the edges of my creative consciousness … [Read more...] about Is it Memoir or Family History?
If you've begun writing a memoir, you might have noticed that the process is revealing aspects of yourself and your past that you failed to recognize before. It's a little like assembling a jigsaw puzzle that you're still seeking all the pieces to and slowly beginning to understand their … [Read more...] about Memoir Writing Teaches Us About Ourselves
There. I've said it. You don't have to write every day! I should know. I published my first articles and essays, and drafted dozens of pages of my memoirs while being employed in one of those jobs in which "full time" meant 60 hours a week. How'd I do it? I certainly didn't write every day. But … [Read more...] about You Don’t Have to Write Every Day to be Successful
In memoir writing, it’s critical that we invite our readers to relate to our life stories. If we don’t, we are cheating them out of the very reason they bought our books—to share our experiences. Here are some of the memoir and life story writing tips I ask my students to keep on their desks beside … [Read more...] about Does Your Memoir Cheat Your Readers?
A critical building block of your memoir should be emotion. This can be particularly difficult for boomers and seniors to incorporate in their life stories. Although many have an urge to tell their stories, they can be hampered by the constraints of privacy and circumspection their generation often … [Read more...] about Memoir Writing: One Important Element
As creative writers, we want to create stories—not reports. We know a story when we hear or read one, but sometimes it evades us when we're writing, especially when we're writing nonfiction, like memoir or autobiography. But even if the audience you envision for your memoir or autobiography is your … [Read more...] about Tell Me a Better Story
It was only recently that I realized why I so thoroughly enjoy teaching boomers and seniors creative writing. The main reason is that their lives and perspectives are so incredibly rich and valuable. You can't imagine all I've learned about the past from their first-person accounts. One woman is … [Read more...] about Teaching Memoir Writing to Boomers and Seniors
No matter how old you are, you can become a writer, if that’s what you really want. One of my students wrote his first poem at the age of 87 and has had his work published numerous times since. Two of my students, who are probably in their eighties, are completing gripping mystery novels. A third, … [Read more...] about Think You’re Too Old—or Too Young—to Start Writing?