You have so many great stories to tell! Some of them may even make for quite an interesting memoir--if you could figure out how to write one! If you're a beginning writer, tackling a memoir might seem like a daunting task. You might be wondering which of your personal experiences should be included in your memoir and how you can tie all your memories together into one story.
Take the First Step in Writing a Memoir By Creating a Memory Tree.
Developing a memory tree from your personal experiences will give you much-needed clarity and focus before you begin to tell your story to a larger audience.
Memoir is a very popular genre of storytelling, but there are many misconceptions about what memoir is and how best to write one. You will learn the do's and dont's of writing a strong memoir, as well as how to really engage readers with your writing.
You will also be better prepared to develop a theme or focus for your memoir through the creation of a memory tree, a brainstorming tool designed to help you reconnect with and organize your memories. It's perfect for beginning writers looking to kick start their writing process.
Most of my students are beginning writers, so I know how difficult it is to have a great story to tell but lack the information needed to put that story down on paper. The lectures in this course gradually build a foundation toward a better understanding of memoir. I offer summaries of what memoir is, what the key elements of the genre are, and how to incorporate universal, relatable themes in your writing.
When it's time to learn what a memory tree is and how you can use it to improve your writing process, you will watch two separate demonstrations of how to create a memory tree. You will see me create a fictional tree from start to finish, and watch me make connections between similar memories. This visual demonstration will help you begin developing a theme from your many, varied experiences.
Finally, you will be invited to create your own memory tree during the course. Once it's complete, I will provide you with some next steps in your journey toward telling your story. By the end of the course, you will have a memory tree full of significant experiences and will feel more confident about starting to write your own memoir.
A description of the brainstorming tool we will use in this course to connect with and organize our memories.
A slowed-down look at the memory tree animation shown in lecture 5.
An introduction to the creation of a memory tree, starting with the very first step.
Getting started with the formation.
Branching out on the tree.
Filling in your tree with memories.
Making connections between memories to focus the lens of your memoir.
A visual demonstration of the options you have for making connections between memories on your tree.
Next steps and thank you!
Sarah Bradley is a freelance writer, creative writing teacher, and the founder of Pen to Paper Creative Writing Services. She has written for various print and online media sources for more than ten years. Since 2012, she has been teaching creative writing to youth and adults, encouraging writers of all ages to put "pen to paper" and tell their stories.
In 2014, Sarah was the recipient of the first place prize in fiction at the Trumbull, Connecticut Arts Festival. Her fiction has appeared in The Lost Country, The Forge Literary Magazine, and Black Fox Literary Magazine. Her nonfiction on motherhood and raising boys has been featured at Tribe Magazine, Mom dot me, Sammiches & Psych Meds, Mommy Nearest, Mothers Always Write, and Parent dot co.
In her "free time," Sarah is a baker, homeschooler, and lover of anything DIY. Thanks to her sons, she also knows more about dinosaurs than she ever thought possible.