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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

wednesday well-being: writing

image courtesy of poetic home

after today, there are only two wednesdays left in my 9-hour weekly nyc commute. coming up here for 10 weeks of a 3-hour writing class may seem extreme, but it's felt like the right nudge toward bringing a memoir into existence. also being in a group of aspiring memoirists is a powerful learning tool. 

the stories penned and shared are powerful. i'm blown away by the stories from my classmates. and as i sip a soy chai latte before class, i'm watching hundreds of people pass by the window and know that each body whizzing by holds profound stories within. 

what is yours?

sitting down to write your story is scary. how much do you reveal? how deep do you go? are you even in touch with the depth that lies within? where do you start? who are the main characters? what's the major dramatic question?

for me, i'm still mulling all of this over. although i have more tools than i did when i began in january such as setting, dialogue, plot, and character, i'm still at the same spot of "i want to write a memoir but not sure the story." alas, deep sigh.

today's topic is theme so i'm hopeful this will tie the various vignettes together. my classmates seem to feel my theme is about journeys {oklahoma, colorado, dc, yoga, tranquility tour} and love {animals, gramma, le beau}. and oh have there been journeys!

want to try your hand at writing your story? this reader's digest piece offers ideas on how to write your memoir. i found this piece in insightful. and how about writing world-changing memoir? well here's an article on that by writer jeff goins. this cheat sheet from memoir writing for dummies is a great tool and i also recommend the book. and here's salon's guide to writing a memoir.

maybe memoir doesn't appeal. it's ok. the genre isn't as important as is the practice of writing. i subscribe to write to done and enjoy their 10 steps to create the habit of writing by a fave blogger, leo babauta. author chris brogan shares his writing practice here. and again jeff goins shares helpful tips on forming a daily writing practice.

some days it's all you can do to handle the day's emails, appointments, and obligations and here i go again encouraging something more. i know, i know. it may seem frivolous at times. however, i find writing to be an incredible exploration of one's soul, a powerful form of expression, and a way to leave a legacy. read more about this "leaving a legacy" idea in writing to change the world by mary pipher. amazing book!

take time today during your commute, lunch break, or right before bed and put pen to paper. start with something simple like "today i am feeling . . . " or "today i experienced . . . " 

start small. doodle in your journal. the idea is to make writing a habit, similar to brushing your teeth. the email can wait. the laundry can, too. 

however, your story is meant to be told. and your words are waiting to be expressed. let them out. set them free. give them breath. in the meantime, i'll keep pounding away at a theme for this intangible memoir. bisous. x

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Molly said...

Kimberly, I LOVE this post. I have had the juicy but repressed dream of writing a memoir myself. This is such a great resource for anyone thinking about doing the same - or anyone who wants to write more in general.

Thanks for posting it!


Dearest Kimberly,
I am so proud of your writing journey.
Your blogs are ultra inspiring!
You say that you are stuck for a theme,
Yet I believe you have a great memoir theme at hand:
How about writing about your relationship with your
Grandmother and paying tribute to her life journey/
Wisdom she imparted to you!
I am a poetess and I give voice to my maternal lineage!
Hope you keep sharing all of your loveliness with us!
Yours most sincerely, Camille Hurlburt

clairice said...

Thank you for this post Kimberly! I have clicked on all of the links and found a lot of useful information. I have been religiously following your blog since I seen your book in 2007.
Always an inspiration!!

Dawn said...

If you like typing rather than handwriting, I've really enjoyed using as a platform help with a daily writing habit. I've yet to complete a month challenge but I've been close. And I find the badges really help. I joined when it was free, now it's $5/month, but it's worth checking out.

kimberly wilson said...

ladies, SO happy this post resonated and thank you for your suggestions and resources. MUCH appreciated.

{and, camille, thank you for your kindness/encouragement re: my gramma} x

Katherine Dimas said...

I am absolutely loving your posts on writing. I seem to be drawn to all things related to the practice of writing lately, so I am heeding those whispers. I am also looking forward to seeing what evolves from your memoir writing class.
MERCI for sharing your journey, and all these helpful resources.