The Growing Mind

Writing My Memoir & Emotional Growth


2 Comments

The Magic of Memoir

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(416 words – less than 3 min read)

What an inspiring and powerful event! I attended the Magic of Memoir Conference in Oakland, CA last weekend. It was offered by LINDA JOY MYERS and BROOKE WARNER. It was totally different than anything else I had done in my life. I have been very passionate about my memoir writing but being there, listening to the Instructors and people sharing their powerful stories made me feel very supported. It encouraged me to move forward with more confidence.

The conference material was well structured and the short practices after teaching each subject really helped me to learn how I need to improve my storytelling to let the reader follow easily.

The subjects covered, 5 Key Elements of a Successful Memoir; scenes, narration, theme, characterization, and takeaway. They talked about life’s turning points and points of no return and how to map them to the whole story. As we practiced these concepts in groups, I quickly learned how much more work is left to edit my book. However, it was not an overwhelming feeling, it was all exciting. I was so happy to learn more steps to improve the quality of my story.

I also got the opportunity to read 3 minutes of my story in front of an audience. It was an amazing experience. Reading mine to others was as fulfilling as listening to others’ stories. I was so anxious that I even mentioned it to the audience but I enjoyed my reading very much. It pushed my comfort zone which is always so enjoyable to me. Also, as I was reading it out loud, I noticed I have not included a good description of my step-daughter’s appearance in this part and I did not even say how I felt when I met her for the first time.

Overall I was glad I met wonderful people and was inspired by them to be stronger and move forward with good intentions.

The conference material opened new doors to subjects I need to learn to write a good quality book. To give more structure to my book, I am planning to sign up for the 6 months class offered by Linda-Joy and Brook starting in January.

Last but not least, they covered different types of publishing. It was a great feeling to start thinking about it. It makes me feel I want to jump out of my skin and dance around naked without skin. J

I am now more encouraged to follow this great passion….

Celebrate life!

Shabnam

Editing Credit: M. Curtis

 

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Reading my story aloud

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I am very excited for the Memoir Writing conference with NAMW I am attending next week. I learned there is an opportunity to read 3 minutes of my story to the audience. I loved the opportunity and  immediately signed up for it. Then I felt so nervous. I started to doubt I could do it, whether I even had a good section ready to read, but I pushed the thoughts aside. I searched and it seems 3 minutes of reading is about 600 words for an average speaker. I wanted to select a section that has a start and finish to some extent. But which section? I am still writing the draft and learning how to write a story.

After giving it some thought, I made the decision to read the section that talks about the time my daughter and I spent in the US embassy in Ankara, Turkey for her visa. I read it to my daughter and my husband and they liked it. However the whole time I was reading it I was crying. We thought I could practice and would be able to control my emotions but a week later, I still felt the same; I felt too emotional about that part of the story.  It was not fun being unable to manage my emotions but on the bright side I felt what I wrote came from my heart, and I hope it goes to my readers’ hearts. I am hoping to create that heart to heart connection with my readers.

I accepted that I am not ready to read that part and started searching for another piece. I picked the section that talks about how Mike and I would talk about our daughters at the beginning of our relationship, and the excitement I had meeting his daughter for the first time. I did cry the first couple of times I read that part out loud, but then the emotion was more manageable since it was about the happier part of the story. As soon as I managed my emotions, every time I read this section aloud, I found myself editing it more to make  connections between the sentences to give the right flow to the story. I learned when I read it loud, I find the disconnects between the sentences much better. That was amazing. It was coming so naturally.  I had heard about the benefits of reading your story out loud to have better edits but experiencing it was so much fun. it was a lot deeper and more beneficial than I thought. I hope I can find volunteer ears to hear me reading the draft to be able to edit it better.

Celebrate life!

Shabnam

Editing Credit: M. Curtis

Picture Credit: https://pixabay.com