Memoir & Legacy Writing


Writing Memoir: Searching for the Truth 5

FINDING TRUTH IS THE ELEMENTAL TASK OF MEMOIR, and what memoirists struggle with most as we write our stories. I have been reflecting on this aspect of memoir, since reading Ann Churcher’s post, “Memoir Writing: Can’t Find My Way Back Home,” in which she writes: Searching for the truth has […]


Writing Memoir: Where’s the Conflict? 3

WRITING MEMOIR IS A LOT LIKE WRITING FICTION — only with all the made-up parts left out. You have scene (place and time), which is inhabited by characters, dialogue, and action. You have a point of view, usually first person, through which the narration occurs. In addition, memoir also includes reflection, in […]


How to Keep Writing When the Going Gets Rough 5

ANYONE WHO HAS WRITTEN A MEMOIR KNOWS that it’s hard work. Not at the beginning, necessarily, but when you’re part way through, and that nice, round idea you had of your story has become fragmented by scenes and summaries of scenes, and reflections about those scenes The memories aren’t clear […]

Uphill climb

My Takeaways from the San Miguel Writers’ Conference 8

“[The plot] of personal essay, its drama, its suspense, consists in watching how far the essayist can drop past his or her psychic defenses toward deeper levels of honesty.” – Phillip Lopate LAST WEEK, I had the privilege of attending the twelfth annual San Miguel de Allende Writers’ Conference. I confess, […]


8 Life-Writing and Memoir Blogs You’ll Want to Follow 7

IN ADDITION TO WRITING AND TEACHING about journaling and memoir writing, I enjoy visiting other journaling and memoir writing sites for additional inspiration, new approaches, and different perspectives on writing about and through life. What I have discovered in doing so, is that there are really very few blogs out […]


Book and Glasses

Introducing the Read Like a Writer Memoir Series 5

BACK IN NOVEMBER, I asked if you’d like to see a Reading for Writers series focused on memoir, in which we would analyze one book each quarter together. You responded with a resounding “Yes!” and with many, many excellent title suggestions, ranging from classic to contemporary memoir. In making the […]


Writing About Holiday Traditions 2

AROUND THE WORLD, December is a month full of holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, the Solstice, Rohatsu, Mawlid el-Nabi, Kwanzaa, or another holiday I have not named, you most likely follow rituals and traditions handed down to you by your ancestors or religion. Perhaps you have created traditions […]


5 Articles From My Archives Every Aspiring Memoirist Should Read 2

IT’S HARD FOR ME TO BELIEVE, but I’m rapidly approaching the eighth anniversary of launching WritingThroughLife. That’s right. I’ve been blogging here for almost eight years! And during these years I have written a large number of articles on journaling, memoir and legacy writing, technology tools for writers, and publishing. I started […]