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Memoir Musings, Issue #106--September issue--Guided Memoir Workshops & Breaking the Mold
September 09, 2008
Welcome to Memoir Musings
Welcome to Memoir Musings, your newsletter from Extraordinary Lives. Our goal is to inform and inspire you to save your family stories.
If you enjoy the newsletter, please forward it to family and friends who might enjoy it too.
Enjoy your memoir journey!
Feature: Guided Memoir Workshops
How-To Tip: Break the Mold
Memory Prompt: Best Friends
Autumn is by far my favorite season—the weather, colors, Friday night football…it brings so many pleasant events and memories. It also marks a season of changes, from outdoor living to inside, from poolside picnics to holiday preparation. It's a perfect time to start a new chapter...how about joining us for a fall season of Guided Memoir Workshops?
As a friend to Extraordinary Lives, you already know that we produce written and video memoirs for families and businesses. In the course of talking with many people, we find a significant number have already begun writing a memoir or would like to do so themselves, but are overwhelmed by the task or uncertain of how to start, make progress, or finish a memoir.
In a nutshell, Guided Memoir Workshops are a six-week class that launches and supports people on their own memoir-writing journey. Each weekly meeting includes: exercises to get the memory juices flowing; tools and techniques to make stories compelling and lively; and most importantly, a community to motivate, support, and improve memoir writing.
Who are these designed for? They are perfect for people who believe in the value of saving stories and are willing to get their feet wet by writing brief stories on a theme. To take advantage of these workshops, you need to be:
You do not have to be a great writer, great typist, a great storyteller, a great speaker—there are no grades, no pressure, no grammar lessons, no red pens! These workshops are designed to empower you to tell and save stories—yours or those of your family—by giving you ideas, tools, and a supportive, enjoyable community to help along the way.
When our six-week workshop is finished, you will have a foundation for your own memoir, which you can continue to expand on your own or in future workshops. If you’d like to join such a community, one six-week series begins October 1 at Twin Towers in College Hill. Another series will launch November 4 at the Mason Community Center. We are also looking to launch a workshop in Northern Kentucky as well!
We are so excited to offer this tool to our greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky friends. Call or email if you’d like to join the journey…and the fun!
We heartily congratulate people who have begun or completed writing a memoir--it is a major undertaking and major accomplishment!
In talking with people about their writing, they often are apologetic, stating that their writing is "boring."
Three thoughts on this topic:
First, you are undoubtedly your own harshest critic, so be kind to yourself! Unless you are a writer by trade, no one in your family expects you to be, well, a writer by trade!
Second, you have accomplished something that will be treasured in your family, no matter how it reads or looks! Rejoice in that!
Third, there are many tactics to help your writing have more clarity, energy, and polish. One tactic is to break the mold that says your memoir should be a litany of decades. That structure may be natural and appropriate, and you may want to use it when all is written, but you may find far more creativity flowing if you write from a less familiar structure--break that mold that you've carried around in your head for so long!
Here are three examples:
Open yourself to the many possibilities of evoking and organizing your memories; the passage of years is but one of many choices.
Visit www.ExtraordinaryLives.com and check out our schedule of workshops.
The joys of friendship are worthy of celebration! Hopefully, your life includes many friends and perhaps one or two true kindred spirits through the years. Give them a starring role in your memoir:
What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.
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