The Story of You
The Story of You
I've been an advocate for self-discovery through writing since 2009 when I started blogging. That is not at all what I set out to do. While writing to gain a deeper understanding of my own life, I found a passion for helping other women do the same. In other words, when I focused on healing myself, I found a way to be a source of healing for others, which is something I've always felt called to be. Maybe you don't think of yourself as a healer, but by writing your story, you have no idea how many people you could help.
I created my latest offering, The Story of You — a series of 2-hour online writing intensives — to help you address the most commonly faced challenges that come up when setting out to write your story.
September 15 @ 8 AM ET
Seasons: How to Identify Themes and Gather the Stories You Want to Tell, $49
Identifying the key transformational turning points in your life is an important first step in writing your story. In this session, we will explore how to narrow down these turning points and associate specific stories and lessons to each one. You will come away from this session with a completed timeline template, where you can see how your stories fit into a linear structure.
September 29 @ 8 AM ET
Flow: How to Stylize the Narrative Arc and Develop an Outline, $49
Once you have the building blocks, how do you create a beginning, middle and end? This session details how to use conflict, resolution and character growth through each section to build your story and keep your reader engaged. We will discuss how to play with the standard narrative arc of conflict, rising action, crisis, climax and resolution to create your own unique storytelling format. You will come away from this session with a frame structure and a rough outline.
October 20 @ 8 AM ET
Distance: How to Tell Your Truth Without Burning Bridges, $49
This session addresses the ethical dilemmas that come up with memoir writing. What are the risks? How do you tell your story without hurting loved ones? What if you doubt the quality and accuracy of your memories? What techniques can you use to tell your stories and still distance yourself and your loved ones from direct exposure? You will come away from this session with alternatives and best practices.
Up until now, I've designed my workshops to be broad and comprehensive, to include as much information as I could squeeze in. These intensives are quite specific to allow writers to focus on one challenge at a time. You don't have to be certain about sharing your work publicly to benefit from this information, you only need to be sure that you want to write your story, even if it's just for your own healing.
You will need a computer or device to login to the webinar, earbuds and/or a quiet space to listen and write, and a notebook or journal to write in. You will be able to submit questions and comments to me through a chat feature during the webinar. All sessions will be recorded.
Over the past nine years, I've written poems, blog posts, essays, articles and books about my ups and downs and the lessons I'm learning as I journey through this life experience. Writing has been my way to align my inner and outer worlds. My first book, The Beautiful Disruption, is autobiographical fiction written in free verse. My second book, Wallflower, is a book of essays about finding my expressive voice as a quiet, sensitive, passionate woman. In Writing the Layers, I share writing exercises that have helped me identify patterns and become more self-aware. These outputs have led me to teach writing workshops on how to break through creative blocks, how to write without inhibition, how to use writing as a meditative practice, a self-care practice and more.
Thus far, all of my books have been self-published. Now that I'm working on my first traditionally published memoir (currently seeking representation and claiming it!), I'm even more obsessed with storytelling — the healing benefits for the storyteller as well as the reader and the broader culture. I recently shared an essay that is part of my manuscript-in-progress with Shondaland.com, called Choosing My Mental Health Over My Mother. The book is about my mental health journey, a topic that is both deeply meaningful to me, but also impactful to society as it captures the voice of a black woman breaking her silence and ending a cycle of avoidance and denial through storytelling.
One of the questions I get most often is how does your family react to these essays and how do you find the courage to write about such topics? Other questions and comments include:
+ I want to write my story but where do I start? What stories do I tell?
+ How do I structure the work and identify themes?
+ I have a painful past. Will writing about it bring up emotions I can't handle?
+ I don't think of myself as a great writer. How do I do my story justice?
+ I want to share my story but maintain my anonymity. What techniques can I use?
+ How much is too much? How do I know when I'm oversharing?
+ I've had a so-called "normal" life but I want to write my story. How do I find the universal meaning in it?
To answer these questions thoroughly and with specific examples and instruction, I created The Story of You. Please email me if you have any questions. To read reviews from my other workshops, please click here.