Uniquely in America, there is “a desire to understand in the heat of living,” says Natalie Goldberg in her book about the practice of writing memoir. Don’t think of memoirs as records of events. Instead, think of it as a chance to make sense of your life and search for meaning. For thirty years, she has lead workshops that are designed to help people learn how to get started writing. She advocates a “sideways” approach that involves sorting through layers. She recommends beginning with a series of ten minute warm-up writing exercises that can lead to discovery if you’re honest.
Natalie Goldberg, Old Friend from Far Away (New York: Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, 2007), p. 62.