This class is called How to Tell Your Story. We're talking today, this morning, about true, personal stories, memoir writing. I want to get a sense of who is here so I just want to ask you guys so who writes in a journal? Sometimes. Good, that's a lot though, it's maybe more than half the audience. Who writes emails? Good. Who writes, ad, no I'm sorry I didn't mean it, who writes promotional copy for your job? Mmm, worker people in here. Who writes on social media? It's almost everybody. And who tells stories to their friends? Everybody. So why? Why do we write? I'll tell you why I write. I write to figure out who I am. I write to figure out how I think and why, why I do the things I do. And I also write to kind of figure out the world. How does this world work? And I think that's why we all write. And why do I share my stories? Why do I tell my stories to my friends? I do that to connect. I do that so that I feel less alone. So that someone else will say, every once in a while maybe, ...
like, "Hey I get you." And I think that's also the reason we read. We read to connect to someone else's writing. I wanted to say before we get started that writing students, memoir writing students, you guys, are my favorite people in the world. I love you guys so much because you are people who do this work. You look inward, you think about who you are. You're thinking about why you do the things you do. And I'm guessing that you're here in a writing class because you kinda of wanna do that better so that you can share it, share it with more people. And I know that memoir writing, memoir writers, people who write personal stories, people who write about themselves, get a bad rap. We've been called narcissistic navel gazers, (audience laughter) maybe. But I say we are noble. Because writing and sharing our stories is the best way to first understand ourselves, and then each other. I really think writing is, one, it's a conversation, and writing is a path to peace. So thank you for being here. I'm gonna first talk about how to find your stories. And then I'm gonna talk about how to take that story that you've written, a first draft, and how to then polish it and make it something better, whether or not you want to publish it. Who here is, is this anyone's first writing class? Yeah! Three new people, oh I'm so excited for you. Thank you for coming, don't be afraid. Or be a little bit afraid. Okay, I'm gonna use examples of writing from a podcast that I produce and cohost called Writing Class Radio. I have three examples that you'll hear later of stories that were written by students in my class and then aired on the podcast. And I'm gonna use one or two stories, I'm gonna tell you the stories about how I've gotten to my stories.
Everyone has a story to tell, and most everyone has a desire to tell it. What stops some is the mistaken belief that they can’t write. But if you can speak you can write. And the most important thing for a writer to do when telling their story is to speak the truth.
Andrea Askowitz is a teacher, writer, performer, and co-host and creator of the podcast Writing Class Radio. In this class, she’ll inspire you to figure out what your story is, help you write a first draft, and learn key techniques to strengthen your writing.
In this class, you’ll learn how to:
- Mine your life for story ideas.
- Start with the who, what, where and when of your story.
- Use specific details.
- Raise the stakes by figuring out why you’re telling this story.
- Create a likable narrator, which means a vulnerable narrator.
- Practice by reading your story out loud and telling your story without reading it.