Lifestory Writers Need a Village


Fellow blogger Linda Austin included a reminder in a post on MoonbridgeBooks that at least for stories about the larger family, the more family members you involve in the process, the more complete and vibrant the book will be.

Amen to that! Especially when you’re writing about multiple generations within your family. The principle still pertains when focus is solely on self, but in the latter case, you may be better advised to rely on a group of writing buddies rather than relatives. Writing buddies won’t try to hijack your story and feed your inner critic by reminding you “That’s not the way it was!” or “You sure do have a creative memory” or “Why would you write about that?

Whether writing about self or family, every lifestory writer needs a village of collaborators at various stages. These are people you can turn to for inspiration, encouragement, feedback and more. Your writing buddies, whether a formal group or scattered people, can help neutralize Inner Critic assaults. They can tell you when you’ve talked about people without saying who they are or jumbled your timeline. They can warm your heart with wows. They can jog your memory. They can throw logs on the fire and hold your feet to it to keep you writing when the coals run low.

I might quit writing without my village. Mine consists of students, former and present. Local writing groups. Losing my Pittsburgh groups was the biggest wrench in moving to Austin, but Austin is crawling with writers, so I was quickly at home. NAMW is an important part of my village. Most of my village lives in my computer. You are part of it, especially when you leave comments here or on Facebook.

You’ll notice I’ve been slow to post lately. Ditto on working on my book. Hey villagers, keep my feet to that fire. Let me hear it!

If you don’t already have one, find a village, online or in town. Write your heart out, then craft the draft. Persist with your writing. I invite you to share your experience with your writing village in a comment. Or leave a suggestion for others on how to find or build a village of their own. Or tell me to get off the dime and WRITE!


Amy said...

Thanks for being part of my village!

Sharon Lippincott said...

And vice-versa Amy. :-)