Six features of life-changing memoirs by M. Shannon Hernandez

I'm so happy M. Shannon Hernandez has agreed to return to Choices to discuss memoir while on her WOW! Women on Writing virtual book tour. We met her here before with her thoughts about journaling, and since I think journal writing is a great way to jump-start a memoir, it is fitting to have Shannon tell us how to write a life-changing memoir. Shannon recently launched: Breaking the Silence: My Final Forty Days as a Public School Teacher. She shares her vast experience in providing us with the six features of life-changing memoirs. How to Write a Life-Changing Memoir By M. Shannon Hernandez Life-changing! That is a tall order, isn’t it? If you are an author, you most likely want to change lives with your words. Not only am I a connoisseur of memoirs, I also have written a memoir, and I coach memoir writers to turn their memories into manuscripts. I have spent much time dissecting memoirs. Here I discuss:  Six Features of Life-Changing Memoirs  1: Narrow your focus waaaayyyy down … [Read more...]

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Why I turned to digital journaling

Journaling remains a major force in my life. Rarely a day goes by that I don't write a journal entry.  I find the time to write down at least no matter where I am. M. Shannon Hernandez recently posted my thoughts on digital journaling at her The Writing Whisperer blog. I feel so honored to be her guest poster. Here's Why I Turned to Digital Journaling  Writing for Healing I turned to journaling regularly in 1993 just after my son Paul was diagnosed bipolar, and I continued on after his suicide death in 1999. Journaling became my therapy. Keeping my fingers moving across the page was both an obsession and a healing balm. It gave me a way to organize my fears, pain, and thoughts. As a result I have become a huge proponent of journaling as a way to heal. I still journal every day. At first I wrote in notebooks – the finer the better. I especially love the ones I bought in France and later found at Banner Stationer’s in El Segundo California – Clairefontaine. The pages are very t … [Read more...]

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Please welcome The Writing Whisperer, M. Shannon Hernandez

I'm very pleased to introduce you to M. Shannon Hernandez. I met her a couple weeks ago at Dawn Herring's weekly Twitter Journal Chat, as we discussed the benefits of journaling. Journaling is such a wonderful way to tell our life stories and kick off future writing pieces of any genre. I also like to journal to report daily happenings and dreams, and make lists of to dos and what I've accomplished. Shannon discusses her technique for journaling in short reflective bursts. Here's Shannon. The Journaler’s Nightcap: Conscious Reflection Journaling by M. Shannon Hernandez Most of us leave extremely busy lives. We are bombarded with more information than ever before. A short walk from my house to the train station in Brooklyn yields advertisements whizzing by on busses, flyers handed out on street corners, and newspapers thrust at me as I descend underground. I didn’t even mention that you would most likely see me checking my voicemail, email, and text messages along the way too. One day I … [Read more...]

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