Writing Life Blog
Memoir and autobiography, as I remind my students, are not the same.
“Never doubt that a person who is tuned into their own creative power can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
As we explore our on-going relationship to Earth, we honor our Mother Gaia with the intensity of our attention, and strengthen our individual and collective intention to be part of her healing regeneration.
Where do we begin? What key episodes do we include? And how do we bring our story to a satisfying close?
Your task as a writer is to write about your characters’ lives, whether in fiction or non-fiction, with as much detail, emotion and granular accuracy as you can recount your own recent lived experience.
As we write into our desire for a bright, nurturing world, we begin to create it, one word at a time.
The words we write become the molten gold, beautifully welding our memories together.
The magic gleam of La Fortuna beckons to us every single day. The question is: Do we allow ourselves to see these opportunities? Do we have the courage to seize the moment and commit to exploring a new path?
Whether surging with joy and positive purpose, or raging with anger and frustration, there is nothing half-way about the emotional intensity of fire.
There are as many ways to write memoir as there are to live a life. There is no formula for how to balance your dual role of narrator and protagonist. But here are some considerations to have in mind as you work on putting your life stories on to the page.
Purposeful memoir seeks to recover the wisdom that lies embedded, often unrecognized, in our memories of the past. By reanimating the joys and tenderly transmuting the sorrows we have lived through, we will be able to move more powerfully and surely into the thriving future we can co-create with kindred spirits on our path.
We are all connected to the Gaian web of life, and in a deep way, our purpose is to add another gleaming thread to that web, strengthening the whole as we create our own individual lives.
What sources of wisdom do you turn to when you’re not quite sure of which path to choose? How do you make your decisions?
In our accelerated, crowded, hyper-distracted times, how do we slow down and make time to seek and come to clarity on what matters to us?
Every moment of courage offers great rewards.
In this season of darkness, I encourage you to give yourself quiet time and space to reach down into yourself and connect with the well of wisdom at your core.
Seeking Community I am a classic introvert. Since childhood I’ve been most comfortable alone, enjoying quiet time with a beloved pet at my side, secure in the love of my family constellated out around me. As a child, I loved taking long, solitary rambles through the...
Good health is something it’s easy to take for granted, until suddenly you wake up and find it gone.
Are you one of those lucky people who was born confident? Or are you, like me, more of a self-doubter?
Exploring the potent question: who or what have you truly loved?
Memoir uses the primal mud of memory as its raw material; the art and craft of memoir is all in the telling. Part of the alchemy of purposeful memoir is in transforming the rough jewels of memory into polished gems of stories and scenes that bring the past alive again.
I’ve come to realize that the process of purposeful memoir has alchemical power. Through writing our life stories, we have the potential to transmute the inevitable sorrows and pain of existence into something more positive—the philosopher’s stone of understanding, which truly is worth its weight in gold.
In this session, I invite you to call in the spirit of Joy—past, present and future—and welcome that bright exuberance to stay awhile.
I think of joy like a lighthouse light that we have to tend, especially in the darkest, stormiest weather, to serve as a beacon for others. The work of the purposeful memoirist is to share our stories to help light the way for others coming alongside or behind us on the journey of life.
The change of season from Winter to Spring, which made such a big impression on me as a child, always helps me get back into my child’s perspective, and reconnect with the joyful child who lives within me still.
Having gone through the process of purposeful memoir, we can turn our faces to the future with greater awareness and firmer resolution, knowing what we value and determined to live our individual lives in ways that are more aligned with the thriving future we envision for all life on Earth.
As writers of our own life stories, we have the power to transmute negative emotions like sadness and rage to positive emotions like acceptance, love and joy. And when we share such a story with others, our experience has the power to positively impact theirs.
It’s not necessary to tell all; it’s just necessary to have a clear sense of purpose; to understand why we’re sharing what we choose to include in our memoirs.
This month, follow the passionate pathways of love in your life….
What would it be like to write a version of your life story that focused on “counting your blessings”?
When it comes to setting writing goals, the tricky part is figuring out where to set the bar. You want to set it high enough to be aspirational and challenging, but not so high that it will be impossible to reach, leading to a year of constantly beating yourself...
The practice of art, whether purposeful memoir or other forms of creative expression, can help us dig deeply into our intuitive ways of knowing. Sometimes the answers lie not in our heads but in our hearts, and art is an essential way of tapping into that inner guidance.
In purposeful memoir, past and future meet on the growing edge of the present—on the page you are writing right now, today.
“Part of the deep work of purposeful memoir is bringing ourselves into the sunlight of forgiveness—forgiving ourselves as well as others. I can’t say I have always achieved this, brooding Scorpio that I am, but it is a work in progress that I come back to each time I re-open the doors leading to episodes from my personal history, played out against the political and planetary landscapes of my lifetime.”
What happens when we wave the wands of our pens and make magic happen on our pages?
One of the great challenges and joys of memoir is trying to recreate in words the sensuous experience of the places that have had great impact on our lives. Sometimes it’s for a positive reason—the place you fell in love!—and sometimes it may be the backdrop for some...
Since the 1960s, it’s been common knowledge that the personal is political—meaning, what happens in our personal lives is shaped by the larger social politics of our society, and our choices as individuals can in turn affect the political landscape. When I woke up to...
I have been walking through the quiet, bare woods lately, noticing the only green around so far in my corner of western Massachusetts: the mosses, which grow with such determination on seemingly inhospitable rocks, and with luxurious abandon on the more nourishing...
I’m here to tell you—for a writer, daydreaming is a crucial practice. It is NOT wasted time.
This International Women’s Day, join me in celebrating the courageous women who have dared to live deeply and to enrich our life experience with theirs.
When you get to a block, be compassionate with yourself. Sit by the river of your own mind, and listen quietly, without haste or urgency. With patience and persistence, you’ll come to hear the singing in the flow again.