What can you write about?
Anything, as long as it matters to you.
For example, you might write about:
- A piece of art you’ve always loved.
- A topic that interests you, professionally and/or personally.
- Disastrous Christmas gifts.
- The first time you moved into an apartment of your own.
- The neighbourhood cats.
- How the view from your kitchen window has changed over time.
- A passion or past-time that's been on your mind.
- What you never noticed about your partner/child/spouse until today.
- A conversation you keep replaying in your head that you wish had gone differently.
- Your theory of footwear.
- Your favourite memories of a person no longer in your life.
- Family traditions.
- The people at the pub.
- A piece of music that you’ll never forget.
- Roads not taken.
- The colours of a nectarine.
- Kitchen quirks.
- And so on…
What do I write about?
A lot of my writing is what I would call personal essay or memoir. Here's what I mean by these two genres:
Usually these are thoughts precipitated by an event, a conversation, a book or an object. I write to understand why something has captured my attention, to make connections between how my kids learn and how my students learn, to look more closely a painting I love, to bow to my muse, to hold on to a memory in the hopes that one day I will understand its import. These writings usually start as pages in my journal and evolve into posts on one tree bohemia. To me, they are ways of sharing my reflections on experience. I share them with friends and blog readers because I’ve learned that by choosing to become visible and vulnerable, unexpected connections and friendships can come alive.
If you journal and wonder what to do with all those words in your notebook, or if you are interested in blogging and want a place to develop your pieces, joining a Writing Circle would support you by being a small and open-minded audience to test out your voice and your ideas.
Memoir - I’m working on a series of short pieces based on growing up in the Rockies. Each piece is an homage to a person, event, or location that holds rich personal meaning. I write about these memories because I want to understand why they matter so much to me and I want to see if I can transport others through space and time to a land where I no longer live. Living vicariously through someone else’s story is perhaps the oldest form of travel. Even if you didn’t grow up at 7200 feet above sea level in the shadows of the mountains and the Cold War, I bet you know what it is to feel the thrill of a dare, remember a first kiss, survive a betrayal, argue with siblings, lose a friend, discover a passion.
I see memoir as a way of holding dear the events and moments that are a part of being alive. We all have things to write about. The details of setting, voice, style and so on vary for each of us; they are what make our stories distinctive. When reading others’ writing, it is often the exotic flavour of difference that draws me in. But what keeps me reading is the shared subtext of acknowledging and celebrating life itself, the commonality of the extraordinary ordinary*.
If you want to write about your own life and muse on questions you wonder about and insights you've gained, I’d call that memoir. I invite you wholeheartedly to join us in a Writing Circle. Fame and celebrity are not a prerequisite to owning your stories.
To find out about upcoming courses and registration dates, sign up for our newsletter here.
And, if you’re unsure, and it would be so easy to say ‘no’ even if another part of you wants to say ‘yes,’ maybe this recent blog post of mine will help you make up your mind.
Lastly, if you'd like to hear from some people who have participated in my writing workshops, click over to these testimonials.
* I realised/remembered after I posted this that'the extraordinary ordinary' is the name of a blog I follow from time to time. Check it out. You might like it, too!