Women Who Write Memoir

As writers, we move out of the way and craft real life characters and narratives that resonate with readers. Good writing is built on not worrying about inappropriateness. This “confidence of voice” has been especially challenging for women. Silencing confident women remains prevalent in our society. Although I wrote a version of this post almost four years ago now on Women’s Writing Circle, the truth remains that women who speak out are courageous, gutsy and help other women do the same, all of which takes motivation, intent, hard work and fearlessness.

In telling our stories, we accept our imperfections, flaws and our gifts.  The alchemy, the magic of life story writing takes the mundane, the ordinary and converts lead into gold. We bring to the conversation something which “speaks” to all of us.

In Lena Dunham’s bestselling memoir, Not That Kind of Girl, a young woman tells you what she’s ‘learned’:

“There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told, especially if that person is a woman. As hard as we have worked and as far as we have come, there are still so many forces conspiring to tell women that our concerns are petty, our opinions aren’t needed, that we lack the gravitas necessary for our stories to matter. That personal writing by women is no more than an exercise in vanity and that we should appreciate this new world for women, sit down, and shut up.”

The creative medium that is memoir leads to awakening. It opens the possibility of connecting with others. It’s not narcissistic vanity or self-indulgence, it may even be the ultimate act of love…and self-love.

Studies have shown that we are wired to remember stories more than data, facts or figures. The “power” of a story resides in a narrative that brings both the storyteller and her audience together, sometimes in a transformational way. Story, whether memoir or fiction, gives us an opening to teach or persuade, to learn more about ourselves and others. If done with goodwill and intent, this is a gift.

Published by Susan G. Weidener

Join me as I share reflections, always with an eye toward the challenges and struggles we women encounter and embrace in both creative and personal ways. My memoir, Again in a Heartbeat, was selected as a 2011 editor’s pick by Story Circle Network. Its sequel Morning at Wellington Square has also achieved critical acclaim. A Portrait of Love and Honor, a novel based on a true story, is centered around a story of two people destined to meet and one man's commitment to honor following his years at West Point. In 1991, I joined the staff of The Philadelphia Inquirer and worked as a reporter covering news and writing feature stories until 2007. A native of the Philadelphia suburbs, I attended the University of Pennsylvania. In 2010, I started the Women's Writing Circle, a critique and support group for writers in suburban Philadelphia, which now meets informally. I live in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania with my Yellow Lab, Lily.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

The Alchemist's Studio

Raku pottery, vases, and gifts

RelatoCorto.com

Blog Fiction

Spiritual Awakening

A Journey to Inner Peace

Tuesdays with Laurie

"Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing." —Laurie Buchanan

LINDA C. WISNIEWSKI

WRITER, memoir teacher, knitter, quilter, happy trail walker...

REVERIE

"Write down this vision; clearly inscribe it on tablets so one may easily read it." (Hab 2:2)

Life in the Slow Lane

Contemplating life, faith, words, and memories

Discover

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

Longreads

The best longform stories on the web

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: