Arthur Miller once wrote: ‘The best work that anybody ever writes is on the verge of embarrassing him, always.’
Good literature, unfortunately for us writers, usually dwells in the caves of shame. Shame is a reliable barometer to detect those urgent stories we need to tell. But how to dare, and find the right language, to write about what makes us blush, what causes us discomfort, particularly when we’re writing about our own lives?
I designed this workshop for memoir writers of all levels, to help you to find the courage to write about what matters to you and work through the ethical issues involved in making literature out of the uncomfortable. Through a series of theoretical and practical suggestions, writing examples and exercises, the workshop is meant to help foster your confidence and ability to tell your personal, and urgent, stories.
We’ll begin by looking at arguments put by various writers about why it is important to write about what makes us uncomfortable. Then we’ll move to the how-to of such writing and I’ll introduce you to a variety of strategies that hopefully will help you write about difficult things with less discomfort. Finally, we’ll discuss the ethical challenge of writing about others, which is usually memoir challenge that causes the most discomfort to writers.
It may take you about five hours to complete this course, however it can be also accomplished in stages, at your convenience. You will need a writing pad or notebook and pen, or a laptop. It can be also a good idea to use a timer for your writing exercises.