A memoir can connect you to others in a vibrant and real way—through story.

Guided Life Story helps you to start your legacy.

Does this sound familiar?

You want to write about your life.  You desire to create a collection of meaningful life stories to share with family and friends.  But when it comes to actually creating and putting it out there, you keep putting it off.  You don’t know where to start.

 

Have you tried to write your life story, only to get overwhelmed, or lose steam? The unfinished work floats around your desk, and you keep meaning to get to it, but never do?

 

You want to explore and process your life events and experiences, however you worry that it will be too painful and emotional.

 

Doubt creeps in. You think you’re a bad writer; ‘how can I really write my story if I am not a professional writer? What if my life isn’t very interesting? What if I can’t remember anything? Where do I even begin? 

 

Guided Memoir Workshops can help with all that.

Based on the Guided Auto Biography method of memoir writing, or GAB for short.
These classes are designed to help you to recall, write about and share some of the richest, most important parts of our past–the things that shaped us. We tackle themes like our families, our health, our work; we explore our loves, our fears and joys, our challenges and triumphs. And we do it all in a small supportive group.

We start with small steps, two pages at time

Why Does This Course Work?

Because it is interactive. Being part of a small group is key online. Shared memories spark more memories. We learn we are all survivors and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of things that have happened in our lives. There are opportunities for growth, friendship, validation and learning. Great joy and satisfaction can come from sharing stories with others. Trained facilitators become your guides, but the group itself is where the real magic lies.

We learn. We reflect. We talk. We laugh.

What is in a class

The course consists of six two-hour weekly sessions. Meetings include instruction on autobiography, some tools and perspectives to inspire your writing, and time to meet in small groups to read your story and receive feedback.

In this first hour participants will have a series of writing prompts, and sensitising questions to help get the memories flowing and ideas for their story that they will write at home.  We also do two or three creative prompts to help with the recollection of stored memory, and to strengthen our writing skills. 

we will share our observations, and our stories. Participants will come to each class with a written story or narrative based on the individual themes each week (approx 2 pages). These stories build strong memory of your experience of the week’s theme.

You will share a recent story with the other class participants and get gentle feedback, too. Great joy and satisfaction comes from sharing stories with others, and nobody will be taking a virtual red pen to your work. This isn’t school!

Your writing will improve, but GAB is not a typical creative writing class, and no writing experience is necessary. Our focus is content, on the experiences being shared and on getting to the heart of the story.

No writing experience is required. The purpose of this class is help you tell your story in your voice, for the people who matter to you

At the end of the course, you will have:

Life Story Prompts

You’ll receive 6 life topics and more than 60 related questions to stimulate your memory and get those creative ideas flowing. You can download, print, and save these questions for further reference and writing.

Started Your Life Story Book

you will be surprised how your life will start to take shape on paper in just six weeks. We start with small steps.  Just two pages a week, You can create your Life Story project to remember and record your most significant life events and create a time capsule of your journey for self reflection or for future generations.

Strategies to manage emotions

Reflecting on life brings joys and up and downs. You will learn helpful psychological strategies that can be used in everyday life so that you can manage overwhelm and feelings of stress

Here's What You Need to Participate

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Access to email

You’ll need email access to receive communication (e.g., reminders, schedule changes, etc.) about the workshop

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You’ll need to connect to a browser so you can watch the videos, download the printable materials, and participate in the Storytelling Sessions. The Storytelling Sessions will be video conferences (via Zoom). If you don’t have a device that includes a webcam so you can participate by video, no problem. You can join by phone. You’ll also receive a login to my Life Story School.

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Each week, you’ll write at least two pages of your memoir. You can hand write your stories or you can type them. It’s your choice. You’ll need a notebook or a laptop to to finish your assignments. You might also want a folder or a binder to store the handouts and your stories.

FAQ

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As this small group of GAB participants attest, you share only what you are comfortable sharing.

 

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For those who feel they wish to continue remembering and documenting their lives, Guided Autobiography Level II is a natural progression.

Still rooted in the curriculum from the Birren Institute this course is intended for those ready to take a deeper dive into the elements of the memoir genre. This course will include more discussion on writing techniques and story structure,while examining more in depth themes such as independence, trust, finding power and discovering talents as some examples. As with the Level I course, each week participants will come prepared with their two page story and share with the class.

Stories from the Heart”: Guided Autobiography Classes

 

Your life story is truly a gift from the heart ~ for yourself, your loved ones, and future generations.

 
In my “Stories from the Heart” class, you’ll write ten short but meaningful stories about your life, each on a different theme. You’ll receive support, structure, and encouragement in the safety of a small group. Guided by a trained instructor, you will explore themes and priming questions that evoke memories of events once known but filed away and seemingly forgotten.

No writing experience is required.  The purpose of this class is help you tell your story in your voice, for the people who matter to you.

Our lives may feel routine and monotonous, hardly worth writing about. Yet buried in the details of each individual life is unique autobiographical material that has universal human interest. This is true of people at any age and from any background."

James E. Birren, Associate Director of the UCLA Center on Aging

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Current Workshops

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