What’s Your Story?


On September 15, I began to attend a memoir-writing class called What’s Your Story? The class is free, runs for eight weeks, and is led by teacher/writer Mary Clare Powell, who has taught at Leslie University.

In all my years of writing, I’ve never taken a writing class. Oh, I’ve signed up for numerous online courses, usually the kind that emails lessons to you, aren’t on any time schedule with deadlines, and don’t actually require interaction with either a teacher or other students. They’re convenient, inexpensive, and the information they impart is useful. But in truth, I don’t really learn anything from them.

I’ve always shied away from actual writing classes, not only because (at least through colleges and universities) they can be too pricey for me, but because I was too nervous to share my writing with a roomful of people, never mind with an actual teacher that would be grading me.

But since starting the blog a year ago, I’ve become more comfortable sharing my words with others, albeit through the safe interface of the computer. The blog has become many things for me, including a way to find my tribe, getting comfortable calling myself a writer, and sharing work. The next logical step in my evolution as a writer would be to finally take a class with real people, listen to others’ work and give feedback, and yes, open my mouth and read my own work. Yikes!

This is stuff written right in class, off the cuff to a prompt; nothing written and revised and polished at all. Just raw mind and a memory. The first time I did it, about a memory from the street I grew up on, I thought everyone would be able to hear my heart pounding, see the slight tremor in my hands. Afterward, I had a terrific headache. But I was soaring on an adrenaline rush I’d never experienced before. Here I was, a writer reading her work with other writers. About time!

We’re only two classes in, and I’m loving it already. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the class goes and what might come out of it.



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