Thursday, February 19, 2015

How to write about your family - WD article

This is a question I hear every time I teach a workshop or course on Writing About Your Life.
Often when we begin to write about family, we want to tell all the negative things about some of them. Once a student said she had been waiting a long time to tell about her awful mother.
In the article in Writers Digest, the online editor, Brian Klem, has excellent advice about how we might handle the awful mother or others who have hurt us or let us down.

At one time, I wanted to write about my distant father who seldom seemed to know I was in the room. Now, after years of writing I see that my father had another side to him that I didn't know. I learned he was similar to most men of his generation, afraid to show his soft side. Afraid he might show tears that would embarrass him. I know that is why he didn't give me away at my wedding.

Brian Klem, in this article touches on many of the things that we must take into account when we write about family. Read more here.

Write Your Life Stories at Tri County Community College in Murphy, NC with Glenda Beall, instructor.
Classes begin Tuesdays, 6 - 8 p.m. March 24 for four weeks. Contact Lisa Thompson,   for registration.


DJan said...

My mother has been gone for more than twenty years, but she is just as alive to me in memory as ever. And I find that she has evolved during those two decades, too, becoming more lovable as time goes by. :-)

Glenda Beall said...

I don't know if we learn to be more appreciative of others or if we just learn to be less critical, but I find that gripes I had when I was young seem to have evaporated as years passed.
Writing also helps to make us see more clearly the person about whom we write.