Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Setting Up A Space for Writing Memoirs

Our guest blogger, Joan Hust, is sharing how to make the ideal setting for writing your memoirs. Her background will make for a best selling memoir. She attended 25 elementary schools by 5th grade, earned university degrees in elementary and secondary education, business administration and library science. She continues to take several classes a year.

Joan's work resume is enviable: taught K-junior college classes, ESL and numerous courses at the Theological College of Central Africa in Ndola, Zambia and led safaris for nine years there. She wrote and produced TV shows for children and women and ran a printing company, "Printing for Jesus". She served as the librarian in DeArmond Library in Coeur d'Alene, ID. She credits her mother who read aloud encyclopedias during car trips, and faith in the Lord. Now Joan travels on missions to start or add to libraries to Guatemala, Cuba, China India and Africa. She lives in Coeur d'Alene with her husband and one of their three children.

Joan is an prolific writer. She has written numerous articles (travel, religious, health oriented, learning in all forms) for a variety of sources. I read her articles frequently in the IWL newsletter and the newspaper "Goodwill." Joan's interesting web site is Writer's Roost (http// Thank you, Joan, for this guest post. Here is Joan when she isn't writing or traveling.

Every writer has a favorite place where they like to write. Some are most fortunate and have a room of their own or a place they have made for themselves under the upstairs steps.
All writing areas should have the basics: thermos of coffee, tea or water, tissues, pens and paper, computer or typewriter, waste paper basket, dictionary and extra cartridge of toner for the printer.

Biography writers will need inspiring memorabilia:

* Photographs, posters or postcard paintings of the subject of the biography.

* Items which relate to the subject such as an elephant wood carving from Africa

* Other biographies on the subject

* Reference guides to the times, cultures or places of the subject

* Newspaper and magazine articles

Autobiography writers will need some more personal items:

* Boxes and albums of family photos

* Contact numbers of relatives for help in remembering names and dates

* A notebook for writing down dates and times

* Diaries or journals

* Autobiography software

* Birth, marriage and death certificates

* Diploma and degree certificates

* Newspaper clippings (birth announcements, etc)

* School photos

* A cork board, push pins and cards to write thoughts and memories on

* Collectables from the life being written about figurines, badges, tickets from events attended

Memoirs often call to mind the exact emotions of the exact time in the individual's life. Photographs of that same time in your life:

* Wedding bouquet, childhood toys

* Pictures and items that bring to mind the emotions most common in the memoir

* Music, Perfumes, Scents to suggest memories

* Books and movies that bring back memories

For the writers that do not have a special writing room or corner it is ok. Here are a few ways to have a practical writing space:

* Have a bag or suitcase to keep your writing materials

* Have a computer desktop that has links to all of your inspiration music, scan in your family photos, use journaling or autobiography software

* Give yourself time every day to browse the internet for information and inspiration.

Limit Distractions

* If it is the internet turn it off. It can be very distracting.

* Don't listen to music if it sidetracks you.

* Get inspired and that

1 comment:

Kathy Cooney Dobbs said...

Good & helpful information for those of us interested in writing memoir. Thanks, Joan