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 there that consistently offer quality content on these topics. Don’t get me wrong—there are many, many blogs written by memoir authors and proponents of journal writing. It’s just that the majority are either focused on selling products (books, art supplies, memberships, etc.) and/or the blog posts are personal writing from and about the author, rather than about the crafts of journaling and memoir. There are also many sites on journaling on which the last posts are dated a year or more in the past.
In addition, most of the blogs are written and maintained by women. I say “most,” though in truth I have only found one blog on memoir writing or journaling maintained by a man. And the content on that blog is not fresh. (So if you know of men who write memoir or teach journal writing, tell them there’s a niche audience out there just waiting.)
The following sites all post regularly on the craft of life-writing: memoir, journaling, personal essay, or some combination. Like mine, they all have products — books, memberships, classes, and services — but they also provide quality content for the information-hungry among us.
The Heart and Craft of Life Writing – Sharon Lippincott’s site on life writing is probably the closest thing to a WritingThroughLife sister site. Sharon’s posts are always informative and include writing prompts to help you develop your personal stories. The Writing Tree of Life image Lippincott created (shown to the right) represents her philosophy of the interrelationships of the different types of life writing. Sharron writes: “We grow individually by writing about our own lives, and we grow collectively as we share stories and provide safe spaces for affirming and supporting each other. As the seasons change and the tree matures, its leaves compost into the soil of memory for future generations, helping life go on.”
The National Association of Memoir Writers — In addition to free monthly roundtable teleseminars for nonmembers, NAMW offers resources, books, and services from a variety of authors and other writing professionals.
Telling Herstories – Telling HerStories is a life-writing blog connected to the Story Circle Network, a nonprofit, life-writing organization created by and for women. Though written with women in mind, if you’re looking for writing prompts or unique ideas, this blog is an excellent resource for writing tips and methods to begin getting your life story on paper, whatever your gender.
WomensMemoirs.com – While Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnet’s audience is, again, intended for women, the writing advice and resources offered here are not gender-bound. When you visit, you’ll find posts on everything from how to get started writing your memoir to how to write scene and structure your memoir stories. The site also solicits and posts stories from women, so if you’re interested in having your stories published online, you’ll want to keep an eye out for their frequent story contests.
Marion Roach Smith’s Memoir Blog – Marion Roach offers a no-nonsense approach to writing memoir, along with straightforward advice to help you get and stay started writing. I find her sales approach rather aggressive, and I disagree with her opposition to all writing exercises — when done in the context of exploring character and reflecting on life events, I think they can be very helpful — but, overall, her advice is excellent, her blog offers solid writing tips, and you certainly can’t fault her path to success. If you’re looking for a boot in the rear end to get going, her approach may be just what you need.
Creative Art Journal – If you love to paint, draw, and create collages, Creative Art Journal provides examples and inspiration for the many ways to incorporate art into your journal. Or maybe, even, incorporate a little writing into your art while recording the events of your life. In a recent post, Emily T writes, “Sharing ourselves is not narcissistic or entitled. Sharing ourselves is a gift. We are all made of the same stardust, so why not realize that whatever our own unique voice has to say is going to connect somewhere, somehow, deeply to another bit of stardust?” I heartily concur.
Create Write Now – Mari McCarthy’s CreateWriteNow blog focuses on the healing and transformational powers of journaling. She often invites guest bloggers, so it’s a good place to go for different perspectives and ways to use journaling for self-exploration and growth.
Do you know of other life-writing blogs we can add to this list?
They should be current, fresh, and post regularly on journaling, legacy, memoir, or personal essay writing. If so, please provide their URLs in a comment below, and I’ll check them out.