When I stop my momentum . . .

When I Stop My Momentum

“In the center of our speed, in the core of our forward movement, we are often confused and lonely. That is why we have turned so full-heartedly to the memoir form. We have an intuition it will save us. Writing is the act of reaching across the abyss of isolation to share and reflect. It’s …

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The Gifts of Age

“I was at a wedding Saturday with a lot of women in their 20s and 30s in sexy dresses, their youthful skin aglow. And even though I was 20 or 30 years older, a little worse for wear, a little tired and overwhelmed by the loud music, I was smiling. I smiled with a secret …

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Living Happily Ever After

“It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis.” —Margaret Bonnano Reflect on this quote and its meaning in your life.

Make a list of all the unexpected things that have happened in your life.

Harvesting the Unexpected

“We hope for a linear method of writing. Do A, B, C, and voilá—your memoir is before you, sprung like a cake from a pan. But look at your life: A often doesn’t lead to B or C. And that’s what makes it compelling—how things worked out in the wrong places or were a disaster …

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Traveling Without Plans

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu Tell me about something that happened when you traveled and it wasn’t planned.

The Importance of Obstacles

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which (s)he has overcome.” —Booker T. Washington Make a list of the obstacles you have overcome in life. Choose one to write about in detail. Tell us about the obstacle and what you had …

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“The point . . . is not to record what you already know about what happened to you in the last 24 hours. Instead, it’s an invitation to the back of your mind to come forward and reveal to you the perishable images about the day you didn’t notice you noticed at all.” —Lynda Barry …

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Death on My Shoulder

“Living a self-conscious life, under the pressure of time, I work with the consciousness of death at my shoulder, not constantly, but often enough to leave a mark upon all of my life’s decisions and actions. And it does not matter whether this death comes next week or thirty years from now; this consciousness gives …

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Does Suffering Lead to Creativity?

“The artist is extremely lucky who is presented with the worst possible ordeal which will not actually kill him. At that point, he’s in business.” —John Berryman If you’ve experienced trauma in your life, do you think it’s fueled your creativity? Has it fueled your desire to express yourself in writing, or has it been …

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Stories, Not Atoms

“The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” —Muriel Rukeyser Make a list of stories that make up your universe. Share part of your list with just enough detail to intrigue us. Then choose one story from your list to tell us the whole thing.

A Thread of Purpose

“I don’t need to create my life. I only need to follow the thread that’s already there.” —Unknown Tell me about a positive thread in your life that has always been there. Even if you couldn’t see it at the time—but only in retrospect—tell me about one thread that has woven through your life and …

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Tell me what this means to you.

An Artist with No Art Form

“Like any artist with no art form, she became dangerous.” —Toni Morrison Tell me what this means to you.

My Life At 20

“Eight of the ten things you have decided about yourself at the age of twenty will, over time, prove to be false. The other two things will prove to be so true that you’ll look back in twenty years and howl.” —Cheryl Strayed Where did you think you life was going at twenty? Who did …

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how was writing changed your life? When I write, I become . . .

Who Do You Become?

“It’s not what you produce as you write that’s important; it’s who you become as you write that’s important.” —Louise DeSalvo, American writer How has writing changed your life? When I write, I become…

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