Why Write?


Can Writing Improve Your Memory? 4

AS I APPROACH THE AGE of retirement, I have begun to worry about the health of my memory. (My mother died from Alzheimer’s, and the specter of that soul-sucking disease continues to haunt me.) If newspaper, magazine, and blog articles about the aging of baby boomers are to be believed, I […]


5 Reasons to Write Your Memoir 13

What is memoir, and why should you write yours? Essentially, memoir is a collection of memories in narrative form, a story composed of events you experienced in your life. Memoir makes visible and weaves together the connecting threads of those events and gives meaning to them. And that’s the primary difference between […]


Why Your Stories Matter 4

When my mother left behind a lifetime of letters and journals, she thought it likely that no one would read or care about what she had written. I know because she wrote as much. But she was wrong: I cared, and have read most of what she left behind. Her […]


One Writer’s Answer 2

At some point in her career, every writer attempts to answer the question, “Why do I write?” My answer has always been: I have no idea — no explanation, no justification, no purpose beyond the moment of my finished work. But now the question won’t leave me alone; it’s in […]


How Important are Your Life Stories? 1

The article, “The Centenarian’s Secret,” in the 5-Minute Memoir section of February’s Writer’s Digest Magazine caught my attention. In it, author Diane Speare Triant describes her chance meeting with 103-year-old Nelson McNutt and of subsequently writing and publishing an article summarizing his life story. After his death two years later, […]


Why Write? Holding Onto Memories 15

While researching my mother’s letters and journals for my upcoming memoir, A Mother Like Mine, I came upon the following entry, revealing one of the reasons for her incessant letter writing: Another fear had to do with my defective memory, fear of the darkness in the cave where my own […]


BlogTalk: Memoir, Journal Writing, and Story 6

As I was in the process of developing my new workshop and soon-to-be course, Journaling for Memoir Writers, I spent time revisiting all the reasons for journaling that reach beyond the cathartic. Not that there’s anything wrong about writing for catharsis—it’s just that journaling often gets pigeonholed, as if it’s […]