BEGINNING & INTERMEDIATE MEMOIR
People who love to write generally have strong emotional associations with certain words. For example, I love the word “emphatic.” It reminds me of the way my father’s fist sounded against his big wood desk the night I argued about staying up past my 11PM curfew. And the word “corduroy”? It reminds me of a kid I used to know who had a chronic case of impetigo. (He wore corduroy pants to cover his oozing sores.)
I guess it’s fair to say that words have never been just words for me. Each word has meaning far beyond a dictionary definition. Each word is a magic trick, made up of letters connected to our most powerful memories.
One of the questions I’m often asked is what is the difference between an autobiography and a memoir. A memoir is not an autobiography: an autobiography spans one’s entire life, and a memoir focuses on one particular moment or series of moments around a theme. In a memoir, you want readers to walk away knowing you, and that one experience, on a much deeper level.
Over the years, I’ve developed a highly introspective and intense method, which helps writers see where exactly their story starts and stops. I can’t wait to share my experience with beginning and intermediate writers again this semester.
ABOUT RENEE SCHULS-JACOBSON
An former educator with over twenty years of classroom experience, she has taught at Brighton High School and, more recently, at Monroe Community College. A published author, poet, and storyteller, Renée has a blog at http://rasjacobson.store/blog. A professional artist, Renée also provides art instruction. You can see her work on her Facebook page – RASJACOBSON ORIGINALS – and at http://rasjacobson.store.