This week I want to encourage you to dip into memories and memoir. Even though this veers from the more obvious platform series we’ve been in, it may, eventually, reveal more about who you are and what you want your platform to be about. I believe it’ll be time well spent.
Think back to an event that seems small, yet feels packed with emotion. You don’t have to fully understand it all. Just remember it. Something changed due to that event. It may have been subtle or seismic, but you emerged from it a different person.
When you remember and then write these scenes or episodes or events, you are exploring the territory of memoir even if you aren’t working on a long-form memoir project. As you compose these scenes from your past, you’ll learn from them. Future readers may, as well, if these end up as essays or poems that could be submitted, but that’s not the main reason to undertake this project. It’s about mining for material in your own mind. And none of these ever needs to be published. They are first and foremost for your own personal growth.
I wrote a short scene in this style that Tweetspeak Poetry published. It lives there under the Memoir Notebook category with the title “Writing the Fragile.” Click the link below to read it, or use the podcast player at the top of this page and listen to me read it.
This memoir project, however simple and short-lived it may be for you, can reveal more than you expect—you may not even realize the meaning of a piece until it’s completed.
I encourage you to write these scenes as a regular creative writing practice—the practice of remembering. Compose them in a private writing journal or memoir notebook. You will likely turn out some of your best, most interesting material.
More importantly, you’ll get to know yourself better. When you get the stories down, you can look at them, ponder them, and learn more and more about the writer—the person—you really are.
Click on the podcast player above or use subscription options below to listen to the full episode.
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The podcast is also available Stitcher, and you should be able to search for and find “Ann Kroeker, Writing Coach” in any podcast player.
Is your writing life all it can be?
Let this book act as your personal coach, to explore the writing life you already have and the writing life you wish for, and close the gap between the two.
“A genial marriage of practice and theory. For writers new and seasoned. This book is a winner.”
—Phil Gulley, author of Front Porch Tales