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Freewriting a unique supplement to brainstorming

Freewriting a unique supplement to brainstorming | memoir writing | Scoop.it
One important benefit I think students can gain from freewriting is that it can help get past the part of yourself that says you can’t write. We all have that “inner critic” that is cynical and softly says that you are terrible at writing. 
Gene Bodzin's insight:

You cannot write by intention. You must have something to say. Focusing on the blank sheet of paper or the blank screen cannot be nearly as useful as focusing on the inner motivation, the impetus for writing. 

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memoir writing
a look at how we remember and write about the past
Curated by Gene Bodzin
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Philosophy has a lot to learn from film

Philosophy has a lot to learn from film | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Picture this: a man – a samurai – is killed in a grove. One by one, all those involved are brought before a court. The woodcutter talks of the horror that seized him when he stumbled upon the body. The priest testifies that he had seen the ma
Gene Bodzin's insight:
All narratives demonstrate that nobody's story is the same as anybody else's. Here's a famous example from film.
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What we all need to know about memory

What we all need to know about memory | memoir writing | Scoop.it
There’s been a lack of understanding about memory for a long time – and it’s had dire consequences.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
More categories. They could help us understand why we remember some things and not others. 
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What is a memoir?

What is a memoir? | memoir writing | Scoop.it
So, what is a memoir, exactly? Here's an exploration into the definition of the genre, its various forms, and examples.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Back to basics. If you're concerned with boxes and categories, no better place to start than here.
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Writing about loved ones is delicate

Writing about loved ones is delicate | memoir writing | Scoop.it
When you set out to write about loved ones, there are things to keep in mind.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
This article looks at what happens when a writer thinks more about the potential audience (especially if they happen to be the family) than about the integrity of the material.
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Poland's Holocaust law seeks to weaponize memory

Poland's Holocaust law seeks to weaponize memory | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Some will never stop seeking to whitewash World  War II memories, but parliaments should keep out of it.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
A discussion of cultural memory, asking who owns it and who has a right to change it.
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10 struggles forgetful people know all too well

10 struggles forgetful people know all too well | memoir writing | Scoop.it
When you walk into a room and forget why you were even there... *facepalm*
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Ten good reasons always to keep a pen and paper ready. 
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Why we forget most of the books we read

Why we forget most of the books we read | memoir writing | Scoop.it
... and the movies and TV shows we watch
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Finally, a good reason why cramming for an exam isn't the best way to remember the material.
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Using virtual reality to identify brain areas involved in memory

Using virtual reality to identify brain areas involved in memory | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Virtual reality is helping neuroscientists at the University of California, Davis, get new insight into how different brain areas assemble memories in context.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
More research on how we think that we think.
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Somewhere in the brain is a storage device for memories

Somewhere in the brain is a storage device for memories | memoir writing | Scoop.it
New technology and new ideas spur the hunt for the physical basis of memory.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Neuroscience: some animals can retain their memories even when they lose their heads. Research is now using that hint to explain why some old memories unexpectedly pop into our heads.
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Flaws of normal memory

Flaws of normal memory | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Regardless of age, you're unlikely to have a flawless memory. People who can remember very long lists of numbers or recall the minutiae of their daily lives…
Gene Bodzin's insight:
However we judge the trustworthiness of our memory, it is never perfect. But there are compensations for its weaknesses.
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Innovative memoirs and more

Innovative memoirs and more | memoir writing | Scoop.it
The books newsletter from the LA Times for Jan 20, 2018.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Two useful links at the beginning of this article for anybody interested in the various ways life stories can be told.
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I am different now from the person I wrote in my memoir

I am different now from the person I wrote in my memoir | memoir writing | Scoop.it
I wrote a book about rage, my rage. The basic narrative follows my postpartum experience and the related health issues: pelvic floor dysfunction, incontinence, hormonal imbalance, and hypothyroidism. I spent two years trying to sort out the source of my anger: situational, hormonal, ancestral or mental? I threw rocks
Gene Bodzin's insight:
You write about your experiences so that you can get on with life. That's the therapeutic power of writing. But when people read your words, they rarely appreciate the disconnect between you and your book. They continue to focus on the person you were. 
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What if you could recall forgotten memories?

What if you could recall forgotten memories? | memoir writing | Scoop.it
New research from MIT is shedding light on how our brain forms and recalls memories.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
What happens in our brains when we think that we remember? Here's research that examines the elusive nature of memory, including speculation that it's like predicting the past.
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Willful blindness in writing

Willful blindness in writing | memoir writing | Scoop.it
The memoirist Terese Marie Mailhot on how Maggie Nelson’s Bluets taught her to explode the parameters of what a book is supposed to be
Gene Bodzin's insight:
To write your own story, the first thing to do is forget all the rules you have ever heard about writing.
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Interviewing mass shooting survivors can be harmful to their well-being

Interviewing mass shooting survivors can be harmful to their well-being | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Interviews with mass shooting survivors immediately after the event are common. But here's why experts say the interviews are actually damaging for them.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
You might wish you could remember more, but there are times when you see why forgetting is also a blessing.
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Confabulation: why telling ourselves stories makes us feel ok

Confabulation: why telling ourselves stories makes us feel ok | memoir writing | Scoop.it
In a now classic experiment, the psychologists Richard E Nisbett and Timothy Wilson at the University of Michigan laid out a range of items, such as pairs of stockings, and asked people to select one. Participants consistently preferred the item
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Our life story is a story after all, and how we see it depends on how honestly we can face the choices we have made. Here is a study that offers doubt on our ability to know our own motives.
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At the Guggenheim, a memoir about America, colonialism and desire

At the Guggenheim, a memoir about America, colonialism and desire | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Danh Vo’s mid-career retrospective is powerful, haunting and sad.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
In memoir art, as in writing, the power and the interest are in the details.
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Women writing memoirs: Embrace the truth, let it all out. You cannot unsay memories

Women writing memoirs: Embrace the truth, let it all out. You cannot unsay memories | memoir writing | Scoop.it
A session on women writing memoirs, attended by Abeer Y Hoque, Alia Malek, Amy Tan, Juliet Nicolson and Keggie Carew at the Jaipur Literature Festival, looked at the use of defence mechanisms and the unpacking of emotional baggage.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
An enlightening summary of the views of seven women who have written memoirs or books based on their life. 
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Wendy Mitchell on her extraordinary Alzheimer’s memoir

Wendy Mitchell on her extraordinary Alzheimer’s memoir | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Diagnosed at 58, Mitchell was determined not to be beaten: ‘Why feel ashamed of having a complex brain disease?’
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Memoirs can be about anything, even about the loss of memory.
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What's it like to work with a ghostwriter on your memoir? 

What's it like to work with a ghostwriter on your memoir?  | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Acclaimed ghostwriter Katy Weitz explains her process for collaborating with authors on their memoir, from the first interviews to the final manuscript.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Sometimes two minds are better than one. But not for the reasons you might think, and only sometimes.
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Memory remains elusive, but the search continues

Acting Editor in Chief Elizabeth Quill explores the history of memory and scientists' search for its physical trace in our brains.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Some people think our memories are in a file cabinet, and all we need is the right key to get at them. But that's poetry and metaphor. And so are many of the other ways people have used to try to understand memory
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Why this sad queer loves Joan Didion

Why this sad queer loves Joan Didion | memoir writing | Scoop.it
In his column Sad Queer Books, writer Brandon Taylor explores the comforts of Joan Didion's melancholy work.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Writers who recall incidents that changed them are at bottom using incident only as a pretext; they are really writing mainly about their inner selves.
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Reasoning lies

Reasoning lies | memoir writing | Scoop.it
The habit of lying starts early at home because parents introduce us to lies. I know this because I am one of those parents.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
The strength of memoir lies in the trust of the reader that the story told by the author is true to memory. But some of the stories we hear are outright lies. How do we cope with them? 
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‘When you write about a dead person you loved, you must tell their version too’

‘When you write about a dead person you loved, you must tell their version too’ | memoir writing | Scoop.it
An interview with Gayathri Prabhu, author of the literary memoir ‘If I Had to Tell It Again’.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
"What do you remember?" is not the only question to answer with memoir. Sometimes "What do you want others to remember?" is just as important.
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'Memory is a weird thing': Canadian theatre legend Robert Lepage explores the instability of memory in 887

'Memory is a weird thing': Canadian theatre legend Robert Lepage explores the instability of memory in 887 | memoir writing | Scoop.it
The highly inventive piece also delves into Quebec's cultural revolution
Gene Bodzin's insight:
A theatrical examination of one person's memory of historical events, and some tentative speculation about why we remember things we never experienced. 
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