When I was growing up, my family was working class. But my mother, whose parents had been owners of small businesses, had ambitions for us. My parents, both African Americans from the South, had talked about the past, but my father had always been reserved about his. His parents had died within … [Read more...] about Family Secret Uncovered: A Revelation in (Property) Deeds
I’ve taught dozens of life story writing and family history writing courses and workshops, and in every one, someone has announced that in doing the research, even superficial research, into their background, they’ve stumbled on at least one family secret. Can you guess the most frequently … [Read more...] about Discovering Secrets When You Write Family History
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
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?
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
I've been asked a number of times to share information about my favorite memoirs and why I cherish them. One post is too short to cover them all, so today I'll just tell you about one: Three Dog Life. This is a big favorite of mine. It was written by Abigail Thomas, whose work I admire a … [Read more...] about An Approach That Could Work for Your Memoir
Remember I asked you to send me your questions about writing memoir, stories from you life or about your family? Well, a reader asked the following: Something I struggle with is knowing when to ask for feedback on my writing (or more honestly, being willing to show others something that I … [Read more...] about Answer to Another Memoir and Family Story Writing Question
In my last post, Questions About Writing About Your Life or Your Family? I asked you to let me know any questions you have about writing about your life or your family. One site visitor responded with a dilemma, one that many life and family story writers share. (I know because I get similar … [Read more...] about Answer to Question on Writing About Your Life or Your Family
Have you been mulling over ideas about writing life stories—stories about your life or your family, but just can’t seem to get going? Or, have you started writing, but find yourself stuck by a seemingly intractable obstacle? Need to know what to do next? Send me your questions. Perhaps … [Read more...] about QUESTIONS ABOUT WRITING ABOUT YOUR LIFE OR YOUR FAMILY?