Memoir & Legacy Writing


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 […]


Blogtalk: Using Technology to Aid Memoir Writing 2

IN HIS CREATIVE NONFICTION MAGAZINE ARTICLE, Finding Truth in Technology, Sejal H. Patel discusses the potential for conflict between writing the truth as we remember it and using technology to reveal and research the facts. “Technology,” as discussed in the article, includes pictures, recordings, video, online web tools, such as […]


If You Can Write a Letter, You Can Start Your Memoir 1

WHEN IT COMES TO WRITING MEMOIR, the most frequently asked question I receive is, “How do I start?” My brief answer is, “You start by starting. You write what comes. Don’t worry about the form or the content at this point. Just write.” And that’s true. But what would-be memoirists […]


Blogtalk: A Roundup of Memoir Writing Tips 4

WRITING A MEMOIR, whether it’s your first go-round or your tenth, is a daunting and sometimes discouraging undertaking. It requires a certain amount of grit, determination, and courage. It can also be helpful to read how others have done it and gain wisdom from their experiences. So this week, I’ve rounded […]


How to Write a Scene 11

 A good writer can conjure a landscape and its peoples to live inside you, and the best writers make you feel they’ve disclosed their soft underbellies. — Mary Karr, The Art of Memoir WHEN YOU READ A MEMOIR, what about that author’s story evokes emotion in you? What makes the […]


What Makes a Memoir “Good”? 11

WITH THE APPROACH of St Patrick’s Day, I got the idea that it would be appropriate — and fun — to write a piece about taking writing inspiration from Irish memoirs, meaning memoirs written by Irish authors. But I quickly realized that aside from Angela’s Ashes, that great classic of […]


Entanglements: Writing About Family 9

WHEN YOU SET OFF TO WRITE ABOUT YOUR LIFE, you will end up, at some point, wonder how much to include about your family members. Especially if you’re revealing family secrets, which memoirs tend to do. Even when journaling about family, you may worry that family members will some day […]


How to Bring Memories from the Fog to the Light of Day 3

ONE OF THE CHALLENGES of writing memoir is pulling partial memories into full and clear focus, and remembering the concrete details surrounding those memories. You might want to write about your first day of school, the first time you met your stepmother, or your relationship with your father. But when you […]