Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Courage to Write Your Story

“Lots of people think things - but they don’t say them. They know that saying them out loud would change their lives.They know that claiming their own truth is the first step off the edge of a mountain alone.”

I am reminded when I read this quote, from one of the most inspirational woman I follow, Sister Joan D. Chittister, O.S.B., a Benedictine nun, author and speaker and a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Pennsylvania, of just how tough it can be to tell your story.

Joan knows what it is to step off that mountain alone. Her analyses and critiques of political systems and the church that she loves have been met at times with fear and harsh criticism. 

“I would rather be criticized for what I say then for what I have failed to say.”

Talents that lie dormant in our souls destroy us from the inside out. Creation goes on creating through us. We are the only hands God has. Find the thing that stirs your heart and make room for it. Life is about the development of self to the point of unbridled joy. For me it is writing.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Silence Your Inner Critic

I don’t know about you but worrying about what the other people in my memoir might think or how they may react to reading my story sometimes stops me cold when I begin to write. Here are some words from Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett (Story Circle Network) and writer’s of the blog Women’s Memoirs

“Don’t let the noise of others opinions drown out your inner voice,” Kendra says.” I hear this often from our students:

“My sister doesn’t think I should write a memoir.”
“My parents don’t want this family story told.”
“I’m worried I’ll offend someone.”
“I think I should get permission from other family members before I write.”

Using any of the above as your inspiration, write about how you hope to or are already following that advice. Is there a specific thing you can do to change or silence the voice?  For next month write a 600 or less word piece about what you might, or already do, to silence the inner critic.

Remember, your words matter.  

To connect to The Women's Memoir blog: Women's Memoir Link

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hi Writers,

A long delay in posts - my bad. I've been lost between the two formats while trying to transfer the blog to WordPress.

We heard some entertaining  and touching stories about aprons at the Circle last month. You said it seemed like a lousy topic - until you started writing. Then some pretty interesting stuff came up. I asked some of you to post your stories here on the blog but so far no one has done so.

To take us a step further in our writing practice our home work assignment was to re-write using dialogue. We discussed how dialogue is used advance the story and to pull the reader in. Bring your edited story to read.

Most of us have held a job of some kind from babysitting, cashier, manager,
salesperson, teacher, etc.  The jobs we have held may or may not have been
the one we dreamed of when we were asked "What do you want to be when you
grow up?"

Think back to a job you enjoyed.  One you liked going to, one where you
learned a lot about a particular business, people or yourself.  How did you
get it?  Did you apply from a sign in a window or an ad in the paper?  Did
you have an inside track to the position?  Did the job find you?

Your assignment, in 600 words or less, is to write about getting the job you
enjoyed.  In addition to writing about the experience use dialog in your
story.  Dialog can help define the characters and the setting as well as
move the story along.