The Heart and Craft of Life Writing
Tips, guidelines and observations for all facets of life writing
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Life Writing Is . . .

Wikipedia gives a concise and comprehensive definition of life writing: "Life writing is a fluid term used to describe the recording of selves, memories and experiences, whether one's own or another's. It is a term deliberately designed to describe many genres and practices, under which can be found autobiography, biography, memoir, diaries, letters, testimonies, autoethnography, personal essays and, more recently, digital forms such as blogs and email." In short, it's anything you write about your life.

Browse the links on this site to find a wealth of helpful material and other life writing resources.

Ten Reasons to Write About Your Life

Heart — or Craft . . .

The name "Heart and Craft" acknowledges two intertwining life writing components. HEART signifies that the best, truest, and most touching stories are poured onto the page from the depths of the writer’s heart. Some writers need help unlocking the contents of their hearts and learning how to spill those stories out. Life Writing Tips of the Day, books, articles and free resources on this site can help you get started.

The heart often spills words into formless puddles. The CRAFT component includes skills for shaping and polishing those diamonds to make your stories shine and sparkle with life. You’ll find resources and links on this site to help hone your polishing skills.

Tree of Life Writing

Tree of Life Writing

Life Writing is an organic process, living and vital, with interrelated functions.The Tree of Life Writing graphic shows how private writing forms (journaling, rants, and freewriting) convert raw material from the nourishing soil of memory into content for short stories and essays that may ultimately be compiled into a canopy of memoir. The entire tree comprises Story (capital S), explaining who and what we are — to ourselves and others. Click the graphic for an enlarged view. 

Each mode can be used to good advantage alone, i.e. a combination of rants form the basis of the acclaimed Pennebaker healing process, and freewriting can help untangle story snags and refine the ore of memory. Read more about the healing power of life writing on my blog and check out my Write for the Health of It class and program.

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Soup-to-nuts guide for any lifestory project.
Now in 2nd printing.

Sharon Lippincott, copyright 2010, all rights reserved,