Jump start your memoir
Writing can be an isolated business, and it helps to have company along the way to share the experience, applaud, give feedback, or just listen.
Does the idea of writing about your life appeal to you? You may have memories you want to leave as a legacy for your family or have areas you'd like to revisit, coming at the past with a new perspective on your own life as time goes by. A memoir opens the door to writing about whatever you decide. You'd like to begin but you need structure, ideas, reassurance? Take a number, you have lots of company - Making one decision after another and can be daunting!
Here are three options to consider:
1. Arrange for private memoir coaching
I am agreeable to meeting you where you are, even helping you decide whether a memoir is the right vehicle for your writing. Maybe you would rather write about your life from the very beginning to the present day -- that would be an autobiography! Or you may choose to use the tools of creative nonfiction. Any of these options are all about the story, keeping a consistent voice, and telling it in such a way that the reader stays engaged.
I have helped people with memoirs in a variety of ways, all the way from ghostwriting to copyediting. Mostly I help people get going, establish parameters, often narrow the focus, and ferret out the theme. I provide help in cutting through the mental clutter and providing accountability. I employ bookending, a practice in which the writer establishes goals and checks in with me when the benchmark has been met.
2. For the past few years I have been running Jump Start Your Memoir classes through Newburyport (MA) Adult and Continuing Education. They are in sessions of 4-6 weeks each, one 2-hour class per week. Right now there are two a week, Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday mornings on Zoom, with a class limit of 10 each.
Each person brings some writing done at home during the week, then has a chance to read what he/she has written in class.
There are catalogs for each season, and every now and then a 5-week interim JSYM.
To register, take a look at the catalog online at newburyportadulted.org or contact me directly.
3. Use a facilitator for your own small group
You might like to try writing with your friends or an already-established group. You could meet and decide what you would like to do as far as where and when to get together, and what your interests are. This type of group has worked well in the past.
Please get in touch with me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime. I will get back to you.
Remember: You are the captain of your memoir,
but that doesn't mean it has to be a solo journey.