I commenced my “True Stories Well Told” project roughly a year ago. I called it my “Self-Indulgent Project for 2011.” (2010’s was publishing Write Your Travel Memoirs. Before 2010 I didn’t indulge myself in yearly Self-Indulgent Projects.)
I kept the promise I made myself: I shared stories from my own life and those of my writing students/colleagues. I published occasional writing instruction tips. I wrote some book reviews. I’ve lived with this little sticky-note on my computer monitor for a year, reminding me to post often and what content to prepare. (It was inspired by those vintage “ice cards”–older readers will know what I mean.)
I have to say–it was easy–only took me an hour or so a week. And fun–“hey look Ma! I’m a blogger!” (Okay, I never told my mother.) And thought-provoking–it led me to polish and sequence and generally get comfortable with publishing my own writing about my life. Some important personal discoveries came from that.
But most of all, blogging “True Stories Well Told” has been inspiring. It pushed me to read memoirs more critically, and to listen extra-carefully to stories shared in my classes.
I’m flattered to be recognized this week by personal historian Dan Curtis, who included this blog in his The Top Personal History Blogs of 2011. I quote…
“The owners know their audience, write great content, post frequently and consistently, and create a visually appealing format. Kudos to [newcomers to the list] The Heart and Craft of Life Writing, Women’s Memoirs, and True Stories Well Told.“
And farewell, sort of. I’ll keep posting here, but I’m letting go of the “twice a week” expectation I’ve set.
For one thing, I’ve gone as far as I can go on publishing stories from my own life. Where it goes from here, I refer to as “The Sex Decade,” and I’m not ready to hang those stories out where my mother can find them. (I’m 55, can you believe I’m still worrying my mom will find out?) I came of age in that magic window between the Pill and AIDS. As soon as I figure out what it all meant, I’ll let you know. I’d like to work on that.
For another thing, I’ve been elected president of the Association of Personal Historians, to serve throughout 2012-2013. That’s my new Self-Indulgent Project and it’s a biggie. I’ll be continuing to share my thoughts, but I’m as likely to be posting on the APH blog as on True Stories Well Told. I hope you’ll follow me there.
I’m happy to continue to accept submissions for “True Stories Well Told”– read the guidelines here.
Thank you to everyone who shared your work with me, commented on a post, or just thought about writing your memoir and took a little inspiration from these posts.
Have a great year in 2012. And don’t forget to indulge yourself in the project of writing your true stories, well told!
-Sarah White, January 1, 2012