Scribblers' Guild

Memories to Memoirs

Whose Story Are You Writing?

A common question that crops up when writing your memoir is: “What if my sister, my mother, my weird uncle, or whoever else I mention in my story, objects to something I’ve written?” Ask yourself two questions: 1.  Is it my story to tell? 2.  Is it relevant to my own life’s story that I do want to tell? If episodes of the story centre […]

All Memory Is False

Memory. You can’t write your memoir without it.  It’s the one aspect that defines who you are.  Most of us take it for granted – that is, until it starts to show gaps or fails us at critical moments.  But what is it and how does it work? When we think of memory, we tend to see it as a series of video images or […]

Emotional Charge in Memoir

In every story, both fiction and non-fiction, all the best writing teachers tell us there has to be a main goal, an overarching question, a deep desire or an obsession.  This powerful thread throughout the story keeps a reader engaged and committed to reaching the story’s end in order to find out what happens. It’s an accepted rule in creative writing. What About Memoir? What […]

Lost Memory

One of the problems of writing your memoirs as you get older (and most of us don’t think about doing so until we’re in a position to think about the generations that follow us) is memory. When we’re young, we’re capable of amazing feats of memory (at least, I think so — I’m not sure I can recall exactly!)  We could memorize masses of information […]

Practice and Discipline

It seems to me that there has been an enormous subterranean shift in the overall values of society since the inception of the internet and particularly since our enthusiastic adoption of mobile devices.  We no longer value hard work, discipline and practice as the road to self-improvement. In my youth, a major component of education was an emphasis on learning basic communication skills, in writing, […]

Creative Resistance

In any creative endeavour, it’s critical to pay attention to where you encounter Resistance.  These are the places which will give you the most trouble, but when you finally “get it”, will give you the most value and insight. For a brilliant treatise on Resistance and how insidious it can be for creative people, I highly recommend Steven Pressfield’s books, “The War of Art”, “Turning […]

The Whole Truth

I do love teaching workshops.  There’s so much give and take and I always learn something new.  It’s a joy to see the lightbulb go on for people when they’ve been struggling with a problem for a long time – when something I’ve said trips a switch in their head and suddenly, they get the whole truth. This afternoon, I started a new workshop class […]

Writing Groups – Getting Your Muse on Track

Joining or Setting up a Writer’s Accountability Group If there’s a writing group in your area, you can ask to join.  There are so many benefits to being part of a group of like-minded writers — camaraderie, skills development, brainstorming and support.  Some groups are exclusive, but many are not, so it’s worth inquiring.  If you can’t find one to join, you might consider starting […]

Writer’s Block – When Your Muse Goes A.W.O.L.

How accountable are you?  Are you self-motivated?  A self-starter?  Or are you like most of us, beating yourself up because you have writer’s block, your muse is off on vacation somewhere and you just don’t feel inspired to write today? This Week’s Blog Post is Personal   I have to admit, I’m just as afflicted with the “procrastination gene” as anyone, but I’ve learned a few […]

The Great Mistake…What Were Your Life Lessons?

Life Lessons or Failures? Do you recall your biggest mistake?  Your greatest failure?  How did it impact you and what knowledge did you gain from it?  How did you react?  What would you do differently now? In life, our biggest failures can often lead to our greatest triumphs.  We tell ourselves, if I hadn’t made that mistake or if a particular event hadn’t happened, I […]