Integral Life Coaching

A Few Pieces of News about My Writing Progress

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(1027 words – 5 min read)

Everything is moving forward slowly and gradually with joy!

Here are a few pieces of news about my progress:

  • After attending a few teleseminars and one online course provided by “National Association of Memoir Writers” (NAMW), I got their membership to use the database of memoir writing they provide to their members, as well as for networking opportunities. What Brook Warner and Linda Joy Myers have been providing in their online events has been inspiring to me. I try to use the knowledge and experience they share to improve my writing. Here is the link to their website:
  • Skills I learned this week
    • From NAMW June round table: They talked to author Amye Archer. It was a great discussion! She mentioned a valuable point about depressing moments. You remember it as trauma not as an event, so writing about it is not easy. We don’t remember all the details since we were under that pressure. It is difficult to ensure our current emotions do not impact the authenticity of the story. When I asked how to describe someone I consider self-centered, Amye gave a good answer.  She said you have to explain your reasons for leaving, so it’s ok to explain your issues with him.  Remember to take responsibility for your reactions, but let people draw their own conclusions.  Also remember under abusive circumstances, not everyone has the ability to leave. The time to leave has also to do with the amount of ability you have to cope.
    • From writing: My passion for social psychology has always motivated me to study and learn more about human behavior. I have a strong interest in human behavioral patterns and the root cause of behaviors. Pursuing this passion scientifically through self-study on this subject has helped me to avoid judging people, which is one of the main steps towards inner peace. I noticed I write a lot about human behavior because it is kind of my strong point. In a teleseminar provided by NAMW, I asked how much is too much to write about psychological analysis for a character’s behavior in my story. Brook and Linda Joy cautioned me against providing too much analysis.  Let my readers make their own interpretation that is not led by my emotions. So I made decision; I need to show my character’s behavior enough to help my readers communicate with each character compassionately, not judgmentally.
    • From Coursera: This past week I have been listening to the course “Creative Writing: The Craft of Setting and Description” provided by Amity Gaige. It is a great course, the second module of a 5 module package for fiction writing. I know I don’t pay attention to details of the places I spend time in.  If people have new furniture in their houses, I am the last one to notice. I have a hard time remembering the clothes people wore when they met with me. I don’t even know what detail to look for in such cases. However, listening to this course made me think that human appearance and their behavior have some direct relationship. There is a connection between us and the space we live in. Modern design, classical design, traditional design in our homes and clothing come from our personality. Living with a particular design reinforces some aspects of our personality.  People in big cities far from nature have different behavior than people who live in houses with yards. Messy place, tidy place, colorful place, or places with natural colors make a huge impact on our behavior in everyday life. In order to become a good writer, I need to be able to describe a scene with important details to help my readers to feel the vibe of the space. In order to practice this, Amity suggested to become a good observant, like children not knowing how things work, they pay attention to the detail. It is called “beginner’s mind” which means look at things like you haven’t seen them before and try to explore them and explain them.
  • Books I am reading: I read a few books at a time. I pick one of them to read based on my mood.
    • I chose a book in a genre I have never read before. “The Siren” by Tiffany Reisz. This book is categorized in erotic genre. It is not a shallow sexy book. It is written pretty deeply, explaining the feelings of people who enjoy sex and pain together. In order to understand this part of human behavior, reading this book is helpful. Tiffany has created characters who chose this life style and explores their relationships with others who have a hard time believing in that life style. Their relationships are well explained and feel real.
    • The other book I have been reading this past week is “How to Write a Memoir in 30 Days: Step-by-Step Instructions for Creating and Publishing Your Personal Story” by Roberta Temes. I plan on reading this and a few other related books to make sure I get different perspectives. I get very good lessons from NAMW meetings, articles, and courses, however I would like to look at other people’s perspective on memoir writing as well.
  • Last but not least, I made some additions and did some editing on what I wrote about the 2007 stories in my book (adding almost 2000 words). I am close to finishing the draft of 2007. My draft covers 1993 – 2007 so far. I’d like to call this version a draft of a draft. This is simply my memories turning to words. Brene Brown called it “Shitty First Draft” (SFD). I like it!! J
  • Question of the week: In our previous relationships we all thought we fell in love, but I have a hard time calling it love if that relationship was a constant struggle. Every relationship is important and has a lot of lessons, but Love doesn’t exist in every relationship. It is easy to call romantic co-attachment “love” mistakenly, but was there any love in a relationship based on co-attachment to fulfill insecurities? Was there any love in a relationship that never accepted you for who you are?

Celebrate life,


Editing Credit: M. Curtis

Photo Credit:


Author: Shabnam

Shabnam Curtis was born and raised in Tehran, experiencing the Iranian Revolution of 1979 firsthand. In 2004 she immigrated to the United States, where she now works as a passionate life coach and a writer. Shabnam is a certified Integral Coach with New Ventures West and International Coaching Federation. She offers one-on-one coaching sessions as well as workshops for groups. Since September of 2021, she also has been the life coach in residence for Dimension Science Bridges Non-profit organization.

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