Carol Newman is a writing coach specializing in life story writing. She is The Angel in Your Inkwell. If you’re ever around Mission, Kansas, sign up for one of her writing classes. For those not in Kansas, Carol’s website offers a good resource of tips for writing your own life story or that of a family member. How do I organize the story, how can I combine husband and wife stories, how do I find a story line, how do I handle transitions, how do I write about my difficult parents?
Don’t let questions like these daunt you. The point is to start writing and let it flow in any order it comes to you, get the details. THEN look at the pieces to see how it all fits together. Read some books on memoir writing, such as Tristine Ranier’s Your Life as Story, or Lisa Dale Norton’s Shimmering Images or Sharon Lippincott’s The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing. Read other memoirs as examples. Take a workshop – many colleges have adult education evening classes. Find a writing coach in your area. Above all, have fun creating something your family will treasure. Even if you don’t think it’s a literary masterpiece, it will be a masterpiece to those who love you.