What are You Really Writing About?

What is Your Memoir Really About? With memoir, it can take some digging to get to the heart of what we’re really writing about. There’s the story of what happened, and then there’s the meaning we’ve attached to it. In memoir, it’s not enough to tell us what happened—we need to know what that event meant to you. To help with that clarity, here’s an exercise I did with a recent class at Lighthouse Writers Workshop. “Truth in a memoir is achieved not through a recital of actual events; it is achieved when the reader comes to believe that the writer is working hard to engage with the experience at hand. What happened to the writer is not what matters; what matters is the larger sense that the writer is able to make of what happened.” Vivian Gornick, The Situation and the Story […]

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