What are things you associate with your mom?

What are those things you associate with your mom?

Do you often think about those things?

When I think of my mom, I think of:

flowers – especially wild flowers but some domestic as well. We used to pick her crocuses, shooting stars, buffalo beans, blue bells, lilacs …

rolled oats – I love them and still eat them to this day, although as a child I wasn’t such a fan of the porridge my mom made.

cinnamon buns she made really good, gooey ones. It was awesome to come home from school and she’d have fresh ones made. Yummy. Recently had a conversation with two of my sisters about them and for some reason I had a memory that they weren’t good. They both strongly disagreed so I spent some time thinking about them and the memory of the ones that my mom came back. They were really good and they were goey. So not sure whose cinnamon buns I had hers mixed up with. I do know that I could never make good ones. Not a skill she passed on.

gingerbread cookies – they were so good. Dark brown with sugar coating.

cinnamon – it is one of my favorite smells. Mom used it a fair bit in her baking. I loved coming home after school to that smell.

vacuuming – she was always on one of us to vacuum. Saturday mornings were when it was supposed to be done. I truly disliked it then and still do now.

the library – every Saturday, mom would take us to the library to get new books

reading – I don’t remember her reading to me but I always knew that she was the one to go to if I wanted more books. And she loved to read.

swimming – she used to take us and drop us off at the swimming pool in town. She made us a bag to carry our bathing suits and towels. they were old bleach bottles, that she’d cut the top off of and then sewn on a piece of cloth with a draw string. So when our stuff was wet it didn’t get all over everything. It was brilliant.

sewing – my mom did a lot of sewing, she made a lot of clothes for us and was determined her daughters would be good sewers. Which I think we all are but none of us sew to this day, except maybe fixing something.

being creative – my mom did ceramics when I was little and made some beautiful pieces. After we’d all left home she got into painting and really did some beautiful work.

education – my mom was one of two women to graduate university in a class of 126. Education was very important for her and she was committed that all her daughters would be educated. She did really well with that.

strong willed – my mom was very strong willed but sadly due to the times she was in, she really didn’t live up to her potential. I would love to see where she’d be today with all the doors that are now open for women.

chili – my mom made really good chili which I guess was my grandmother’s recipe. I still make it to this day. My favorite chili.

bright colors & matching outfits– my mom used to love to wear bright colors and matching outfits. I love bright colors and wear some but not a lot, but I don’t do the matching outfit thing.

being outdoors – my mom was constantly shooing me outside telling me it was good for me – sun, fresh air and nature. This is a huge part of my life today. I love being outdoors.

 

These are all things that are at least to some degree, still a part of my life.

What are the things you associate with your mom?

Are those things in your life today?

 

Start the conversation today.

 

 

Taking the time to get your mom's story.

It is the best gift.

 

 

 

Glenna Mageau, Multi-Award Winning Author & Speaker

Glenna is the author of heart-touching and humorous nonfiction (Glenna Mageau) and suspense/thrillers (Maggie Thom).

Glenna has always had a love of writing. She first discovered her love of words when she started cutting them out of books. Cat in the Hat was her first victim. When she started cutting words out of books her mom was reading, that's when she learned she could write her own words. She wrote her first book at age of 9. Unfortunately, she took a detour from writing and instead got a degree in Kineseology and then worked in a career that she loved. After getting married and having children she realized she was a long way from her dream. She started the journey back towards it. She published her first book in 2012 and hasn't looked back since.

Since then she has won several awards for her writing.

 

I don't know a lot about my dad's story. It is something I regret.

The expectations of her as a child shaped who she is.

It's time to discover her story.

Getting to Know Your Dad’s Story is the Best Gift

Discover Your Dad’s Journey!

Why You Should Ask Your Dad About His Life

Asking your dad about his life, isn’t always easy. Especially if you have an older dad. But it is still important.

If you have an older dad, he had a different role and expectation than dads do today. Dads were often responsible for bringing in the money, the food and keeping you clothed and with a house over your head. Some did really well at this, while others did not. 

But imagine this, you are put into a role that your only experience with it is from the generation before you, which was much stricter. You knew you didn’t like it but where were you going to learn differently. There weren’t any books on the subject. Being a father and how to raise your kids, wasn’t something you talked about. So here you are, expected to buckle up and take on this gigantic role with no guidelines, no rules and now support. You had to make it up as you went along.

Time passes way too fast.

Dads may struggle with talking about their lives

So your dad may struggle with talking to you about his life. Some is because that’s what he was taught, you don’t talk about yourself or your life. Some is because he’s not sure he did a good job, so he might be embarrassed, feel guilt but he also doesn’t want to be judged. And definitely not by his children.

That’s why how you approach talking to your dad is so key to getting to learn about his life.

In, Do You Know Your Dad’s Story? The Unasked Questions, I give you several tips on how to talk to your dad, how to get him to share about his life.

 

Why is it important to get to know your dad’s story?

I can tell you that I didn’t ask enough questions to my dad about his life. And now I don’t have that option to do so. He passed away many years ago. And since writing, Do You Know Your Dad’s Story? The Unasked Questions, I realize how much I truly don’t know.

So first and foremost there will come a day that you can’t ask anymore. So besides not knowing a lot about my dad’s life, I realized there are a lot of family history holes. There is a lot I don’t know about my dad and his siblings and his parents and his grandparents. So much history has been lost.

My dad was a strict man when I was growing up but there was also a softer, funnier man who would show up at times. He was a man who loved nature and would take us out to explore. I’d love to know where his love of doing that came from. He loved to fly fish and had a bamboo rod. I’d love to know who taught him and where he used to go as a kid to fish.

I could have asked more.

As my dad got older, he mellowed a lot, so I could have asked him more about his life but to be honest it never even dawned on me to do so. He was just my father and too often I guess I thought he’d always be there. I could call up whenever and ask him a question. Sadly it doesn’t work that way.

I missed out on a lot with my father.

I know that if I had broken that barrier of asking him more about his life, he would maybe have not wanted to share some but I know it would have meant a lot to him. I think he wanted to share lots but wanted us to ask. He didn’t know how to tell us about his life. I think there were many things that happened in his life that he wasn’t proud of and those are what kept him from talking about his life. He didn’t want us to know.

We all have those things in our lives that we don’t want to share. We don’t want others to know. But for our fathers I think those things might have been even more devastating. They lived in a tough time, when emotions weren’t okay. You were expected to work and to work hard. Having to shove down those emotions over and over had to take a bit of a toll. Some dads became a bit hardened and distant from feelings. Now, some of those things in their life might bring up a lot of emotion for them, which they want to avoid.

 

Your dad may struggle with talking about his life

If your dad is reluctant to talk to you about his life, try to fit into conversations when you are doing something. For exampe, you watch on TV or go to a baseball game with your dad. Ask him things like, did you have a TV when you were a child? Did you go watch games? Where did you go? Did you play baseball?

Start with one or two questions, see where the conversation goes. Depending on what he says, then ask more questions and make comments about what he has said.

“Yes, I played ball. I played without a glove.”

“That’s cool dad. That must have been hard on the hands. What position did you play?”

 

There is so much to learn.

Our fathers can teach us so much, about their lives, their families lives, what it was really like growing up in that era, what he has learned, what has worked, what hasn’t worked, what he wished he had done differently, what he is proud of … There is so much to learn. Start the conversation today. Getting to know your dad and helping him to share about his life, will help him to open up, will give you a new understanding of your dad and it can help to change your relationship. It can help you to see who the man you father really is.

Get to know your dad’s story. It truly is the best gift.

Talk to your dad.

 

Start the conversation today.

 

 

Taking the time to get your dad's story.

It is worth the journey.

 

 

 

Glenna Mageau, Multi-Award Winning Author & Speaker

Glenna is the author of heart-touching and humorous nonfiction (Glenna Mageau) and suspense/thrillers (Maggie Thom).

Glenna has always had a love of writing. She first discovered her love of words when she started cutting them out of books. Cat in the Hat was her first victim. When she started cutting words out of books her mom was reading, that's when she learned she could write her own words. She wrote her first book at age of 9. Unfortunately, she took a detour from writing and instead got a degree in Kineseology and then worked in a career that she loved. After getting married and having children she realized she was a long way from her dream. She started the journey back towards it. She published her first book in 2012 and hasn't looked back since.

Since then she has won several awards for her writing.

 

I don't know a lot about my dad's story. It is something I regret.

The expectations of her as a child shaped who she is.

It's time to discover her story.

Discover Your Dad’s Story

“…a wonderful way for adult sons and daughters to hopefully improve relationships with their Dad, learn something new or just have intriguing conversations with their fathers…” Author Christine Jackson

What do you really know about your Dad?

Do you know much about his childhood? The difficulties he has faced? The fun things he did? The things he wished he had done?

Your dad is so much more than the man who raised you. He grew up in a time very different from yours—the beliefs, habits, and expectations were very different, as were the way things were done. Your dad has seen a lot in his life, getting to hear his journey will help you to understand him in a whole new light.

Start the conversation with your dad, especially if he is elderly. This book is a guide which provides questions to ask, as well as how and when to ask them. Use this as a way to grow, mend and/or heal the relationship between you and your dad; preserve this man’s journey through life and in particular his role as Dad. His story is his legacy to you.

“…this book, Do You Know Your Dad’s Story? becomes more valuable as the decades slip past, providing a snapshot in time not only of the individuals but also of the era in which they lived…” p.m.terrell, international award-winning, author

Discovering your dad’s journey is important.

Our relationship with our parents can be complicated, can’t it? One thing is for sure though, too often as their children we don’t really stop and take time to get to know them—who they are, what they liked to do as a child, what type of era they grew up in… We know them as Mom and Dad and how they are or aren’t involved in our lives and what they have or haven’t taught us.

In this article, I talk about why you need to Discover Your Mom’s Story. Many of the same reasons apply as to why you need to discover your Dad’s Story but we do have a bit of a different relationship with our dad’s than we do our mom’s don’t we? And if your mom and dad are elderly, their roles were very different than they are today. There can be a big difference in how much either will share about their lives, their journey.

Things may have been very different for your dad

If your dad was born before the 70’s, life and expectations were very different. There were a whole different set of rules, expectations, beliefs, habits, access to things… It was a very different time. Often it was the man who worked and ensured there was money to buy the things needed to look after a family—food, clothing, shelter. Men were often the decision-makers and rule makers in the family. It’s just the way it was.

I think many of the older dads didn’t really get an opportunity to spend a lot of quality time with the family. Sometimes there can be a rift between children and fathers because dads weren’t often around too much during the growing up years. If dads were involved it was usually teaching a skill, fixing something and sometimes it was about ensuring the family had family time.

My goal is to help you grow, mend or heal your relationship with your dad and to preserve his life journey.

Getting to know your dad will not only be a gift to him but to you as well. It will help you to understand who this man really is and the journey he has been on. It can also help you to understand him in a new light and to understand your own life, in a new way.

When we reach old age, we should be happy, healthy, loving life,

know we made a positive difference, know we matter and to feel connected. If possible let’s do that for our dads. I know not all relationships can be healed so if you can’t heal your relationship with your father, for whatever reason, then heal it from your perspective. Our relationships with our dads affect our lives in ways we can’t often measure, so the more we are at peace with that connection, the healthier and happier we all will be.

 

Start the conversation today.

 

 

Taking the time to get your dad’s story.

It is worth the journey.

 

 

 

Glenna Mageau, Multi-Award Winning Author & Speaker

Glenna is the author of heart-touching and humorous nonfiction (Glenna Mageau) and suspense/thrillers (Maggie Thom).

Glenna has always had a love of writing. She first discovered her love of words when she started cutting them out of books. Cat in the Hat was her first victim. When she started cutting words out of books her mom was reading, that's when she learned she could write her own words. She wrote her first book at age of 9. Unfortunately, she took a detour from writing and instead got a degree in Kineseology and then worked in a career that she loved. After getting married and having children she realized she was a long way from her dream. She started the journey back towards it. She published her first book in 2012 and hasn't looked back since.

Since then she has won several awards for her writing.

 

Do You Know Your Dad’s Story – Cover Reveal

Writing Do You Know Your Dad’s Story? The Unasked Questions was interesting to do. I had written and published Do You Know Your Mom’s Story? 365 Questions You Need to Ask Her, a year ago. The response has been amazing and I have heard such incredible stories. So it only made sense that I write a book to make sure that Dad’s Story wasn’t lost. It really was my intention all along but I did get a lot of requests for the book.

I am thrilled to say that the book is written and will be available soon for Pre-Order.

For now I wanted to share the cover with you. I am thrilled with this cover, which was created and designed by Druscilla Morgan. She is incredibly talented and I think did a great job of grabbing the concept and purpose of the book.

“…a wonderful way for adult sons and daughters to hopefully improve relationships with their Dad, learn something new or just have intriguing conversations with their fathers…” Author Christine Jackson

What do you really know about your Dad?

Do you know much about his childhood? The difficulties he has faced? The fun things he did? The things he wished he had done?

Your dad is so much more than the man who raised you. He grew up in a time very different from yours—the beliefs, habits, and expectations were very different, as were the way things were done. Your dad has seen a lot in his life, getting to hear his journey will help you to understand him in a whole new light.

Start the conversation with your dad, especially if he is elderly. This book is a guide which provides questions to ask, as well as how and when to ask them. Use this as a way to grow, mend and/or heal the relationship between you and your dad; preserve this man’s journey through life and in particular his role as Dad. His story is his legacy to you.

“…this book, Do You Know Your Dad’s Story? becomes more valuable as the decades slip past, providing a snapshot in time not only of the individuals but also of the era in which they lived…” p.m.terrell, international award-winning, author

 

To learn more about Do You Know Your Dad’s Story? The Unasked Questions

and where you can purchase it, click the button below.

Why Writing is So Stressful

Spread Your Wings… Write Your Book!

Think of your First Draft as those Messy Teenage Years

Glenna Mageau, Award Winning Author, Speaker, The Write Success Coach

What is writing?

Let’s consider what writing really is. Simply put, it is putting words down on paper. Well that’s easy enough or at least sounds easy enough but we don’t see it as just that do we?

Nope, we see it as this profession that is only done by professionals who are really good at what they do and they are making money at it. 

Too often we think, well that’s not me. So we don’t call ourselves a writer, even if we are actually writing.

So what makes writing so difficult?

Let’s go back to grade one. Now for many of us, especially if you are older than about 40, I’m not so sure that grade one was all that much fun. The rules were pretty strict and things were taught in a way that you did it their way or got yelled at. Ouch. Sad that the teachers of before were taught there was only one way of learning and only one way of doing.

So guess what? In grade one, you were taught to print out your letters. The letters had to be printed just so which meant you had to keep them between the lines. And to get better at doing this you had to repeat… repeat… repeat. And sometimes miss recess to do so.

Then as you went through school you were taught more rules—sentence structure, punctuation, grammar… some of which has and is actually changing.

Then you were taught how to write reports and essays. There was a specific format that you had to follow and the information had to be in a certain order. 

So before you’ve even tried to write something that interests you, you’re trying to keep track of all the rules you learned. Which means you’re mind is too busy trying to keep it all straight to be creative.

It’s not anyone’s fault, it’s just what was taught and what we interpreted from that.

Can I end a sentence with of?

There has to be a messy stage

There is nothing more exciting than getting an idea to write a story, a message, a book and then find it difficult to start or to keep going.

Too often when we start writing we worry about the end product. But here’s what we forget, back when we were in school we had to do research. We wrote out information that we wanted to include. And then we started to pull that information together, with our understanding of it and our ideas and to write out our report or essay. I don’t know about your first draft or fifth draft, but mine were always a mess. I had information here, there and I was moving information around to make it fit and have it make sense.

The early form of Cut and Paste

My first year of University, I had several papers due, which stressed me a lot. I used to do my research, write some of my paper, do more research and then write out the full essay. But once I’d written it, I’d rearrange the information. This was before the ease of the computer. It was all hand written and then typed up.

I used to cut my pages and tape pieces for where I thought the information should go. When I liked how it read, I’d rewrite it so that I could then type it out. It was very time consuming but there wasn’t the luxury of typing out your information and have it saved so that you could edit it easily. You had to hand write it, yes that was a while ago, and then rewrite it without mistakes to make it look good. And then you’d worry about typing it and pray you didn’t need to use a lot of white out. Well after writing a 10 + page report, 3 to 5 times or more, you figure out a way to take short cuts. So I literally just cut my pages til I had the right order. I call that the early form of cut and paste.

There needs to be this messy stage so that you can get to the final end product, your story or book.  And believe me, getting there is so worth it. In this blog post, What Writing a Book Gives You, I talk about all the benefits of writing a book.

You need to allow yourself to gather, and to write down all of your ideas. It does not matter what order you do this in or how you do it. Gather and then write. Write and then gather. Both are fine. You just need to get the information down, so then you have something to work with. That’s when you worry about putting it in an order so that it looks good… sounds good…

“Think of your first draft as those messy teenage years.”

Drop the Rules

The best gift you can give yourself is to drop the rules. By dropping the rules, you are freeing up your mind to be creative and to just write. It doesn’t have to stop you ever other sentence and remind you about putting a comma, a period, breaking up your long sentence… You just write. That can all be fixed later.

Don’t worry those rules and the formatting is important but not until you are nearing the finish line. You can go back when you are done your story, your book, your message and fix it in the final rewrite and editing phase.

 

Be Messy… don’t worry you’ll grow out of it… maybe…

The best thing about those teenage messy years is that eventually your child grows out of those years. Well the same will happen with your writing. To get better at writing you need to write. You need to allow your mind to open and the ideas to flow. The more you do this the better you are going to get and the less messy you will be. Or at least that is the goal but it really doesn’t matter if you keep writing your first draft like a messy teenager.

The goal is to write a good story, a good message, a good book. And all of that really comes to life in the rewrites where you reorganize and see what adds and what takes away from the story.

Allow the mess!

Give Yourself Permission to Write

There really is no right or wrong way to write, it’s all about what works for you. But you need to be able to get beyond the hurdles holding you back. 

Unfortunately, we let the final, perfect product be what we are aiming for with our first draft. There are very few people, if any, who can write an amazing first draft. And definitely not when they are starting out.

So aim for the messy teenage years, and just write. Don’t worry, you’ll reach the final, perfect product.

Stick with it!

Self Publishing

What you need to know.

These just might save your writing.

The 3 Mindsets Key to Writing

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The Truth About Burnout in Women

Spread Your Wings… Write Your Book!

The Truth About BurnOut!

Glenna Mageau, Award Winning Author, Speaker, The Write Success Coach

Burnout is more common than you think.

Burnout is one of those things that pretty much everyone feels at some time or another in their life. It’s basically when you get to that point of “I’ve had enough! I can’t (don’t want to) keep doing this _______ (thing) anymore.”

I think women tend to feel this a lot more than men do. Why? Because women tend to take on a lot more. We multitask and do whatever needs to be done. And we are always thinking about how to do for others. So we tend to have a lot going on. No wonder we get to that point of ‘I can’t and won’t do this any more’.

Burnout is really a bigger sign than just “I can’t or won’t do this…” it is telling you, actually it really is screaming at you that you need to stop… everything and take stock of where you are at and what you are doing. But most of all, what do you want?

Do you feel lost?

Too often we tend to charge into life, generally with something to prove. We are going to fix the wrongs, make a difference and have fun doing it. Only… some of that gets lost along the way. We get lost along the way. We soon find ourselves slugging through stuff that we have time and again. It feels like there is no end. That we’ll never find our way out—it can be a career, a relationship, a lifestyle… We just tend to find ourselves stuck and feel like there is no where to turn and no one who gets what we’re going through.

I know for a long time I ignored my burnout, I just my head down and kept moving forward. What else was there for me? I had responsibilities—a family, a home, an ailing mother-in-law… 

We feel like we are alone in how we feel!

Burnout isn’t a negative.

Even though burnout is a difficult thing to accept and acknowledge, it really isn’t a negative. I know it can feel like that. It can feel like your world is caving in and you can’t figure out what you did wrong.

The problem is that you didn’t do anything wrong… except forget to stop and take time for you.

Burnout is really the gift that says, ‘hey you haven’t been taking care of you, time to stop doing everything for everyone else and take me time’.

It took me a while to see it as a positive, I thought I had just failed because I couldn’t do everything any more. 

“Burnout is the hip check that is meant to
knock you off your current course.”

Glenna Mageau

Are you listening!

Many people look at burnout as being something that can easily be fixed by a vacation or a change for a short period of time. Don’t get me wrong vacation, doing me time stuff, is really important but burnout means that something big needs to change in your life.

It means it is time to take stock of what has meaning for you? What do you need to ‘feel’ again? What will rejuvenate and regenerate your soul?

 

Taking care of yourself is key.

Taking care of yourself might be simply making sure that you are doing some self care—yoga, meditation, learning a new skill, music, painting, writing, walks in nature… Or it might mean that it is time to make some changes to that part of your life that isn’t working for you, that isn’t fulfilling you.

It truly was the best decision I made. I quit my job… again. It took me 3 different times to quit the same job before I made it stick. It was then that I really started to take care of myself. Writing had always been my go to, to escape life and responsibility and overwhelm… But now writing became so much more because I really started looking at who I was and what I needed. I started to take care of me for a change.

It’s time to put Me First!

Questions to ask yourself.

If you are feeling burnout, it means that you really need to step back from all that is going on in your life and really look at it:

What parts of my life do I like?

What parts of my life are soul-sucking?

What would I really like to do? Do I know?

Am I living my life with passion and purpose? Am I reaching for my dream?

Am I feeling disconnected?

What is burnout really keeping me from achieving?

What do I really want?

Pushing ahead is not the answer. Believe me I did that for a long time. I had a lot to prove, I could do it all—be educated, work in management, work a lot of hours, have a family and be there for them… It didn’t work well for my health or my sanity.

Understanding what you need and want is so important. You’re worth it!

Get in touch with your creative side.

We are all born creative but somewhere along the way we often let it go—we don’t have time, it’s too expensive, we don’t feel we’re any good at it, life gets in the way, it didn’t take you where you thought it would… So we stop writing, painting, drawing, sculpting, singing, dancing, playing, creating… But all of this is key to who we truly are.

Our creativity is what feeds our soul and is why it is so important that we step back into that creativity. It is the best way to discover the true essence of ourselves and to regain that part of us that we often feel like we lose as we go through life.

Creativity is so much more than an outlet, it is expression, it is playful, it is energizing, it is freeing, it is soul connecting, it is community building, it inspires others… It is yours to discover. And it might be the best cure for burnout!

What is your creative talent?

Things to Consider when Writing True Life Nonfiction

Write for the Love of it!

Things to Consider when Writing True Life Nonfiction

Glenna Mageau, Award Winning Author, Speaker, Writing Coach

 

Writing your memoirs or  true life nonfiction or biography or an autobiography is amazing and is something that many people are doing. It really is a great exercise for anyone, however, when you are writing about true life events, situations and people, there are some things to consider. Unfortunately, if you aren’t careful there can be some legal ramifications.

Ask yourself a few questions:

1. Why do you want to write this real life story?

2. Who do you hope will read it?

3. What do you plan to do with it?

There is no right or wrong answer but it is always good to be clear on why you are writing this and what you hope to do with it.

 

Is what you are going to write potentially going to hurt someone else’s reputation? annoy them? anger them?

Might they take offense to this information being shared?

Stick to the Facts

When you write true life stories you need to make sure to stay to facts (and even that can cause you problems), be careful of inputting your opinion and not sharing something that is defamatory or that someone does not want the public to know.

Which is why it makes it incredibly dicey when writing your memoirs that will include stories about another person(s).

Ask yourself:

1. Do I need to include a lot of information about that person?

2. Is this information public knowledge already?

3. How much do I need to include?

4. Can I mask it enough that someone would not be able to identify that person?

You might need to change names and enough identifying details that the person you’re writing about could not be identified by it.

So instead of writing that it was your boss, you could write a neighbor who had a different profession and appeared differently.

Reasons to Write Your Memoirs 

I think writing your memoirs is a good idea. It can be very cathartic and eye opening for you. It can really be beneficial to you to heal that which maybe you haven’t. It can also be very healing for others who have been through the same things or similar situations.

Nobody wants to be seen in a negative light in the media, in the public eye, well at least not having their dirty laundry aired and definitely not by someone else. Something you will need to understand, it isn’t how you see the situation, it’s how the other person believes it means they will be perceived. It might be something awful that the person did or it might be something that was you saw as funny, heart-warming… but if the person doesn’t want the public to know, you might have a problem.

It can then become a legal situation, which I don’t think any author wants to find themselves in.

But remember if someone doesn’t like what you have written, your fate might be decided by a court of law.

Write it as Fiction

An alternative to writing your true life story as a memoir is to write it as fiction. You can still tell the essence of the story but make it appear as a story rather than fact.

However there are still several things to consider:

1. change names of those involved

2. change the situation that it happened in

3. change the person’s or persons’ occupation

4. you might need to change the location… the age… the sex… what actually happened… who it happened to…

The truth is that even if you are writing it as fiction, you may need to mask it as much as you can. If the person can identify that this is about them and a situation that you are mentioning they were a part of, they can still try to sue you.

It really is a grey area.

As you’ve probably guessed this is a really grey area when it comes to writing memoirs and true life nonfiction. It’s not about how you see it, it’s about  how the other person you are writing about sees it. If it is something they feel puts them in a negative light in the public’s eye or they don’t want others to know about it, you might have a problem. 

Don’t be Discouraged

Writing true life stories is so important and I don’t want to discourage you. My suggestion is to write it for yourself and use it to heal. Write out everything. Every detail. Every event. Everything.  Then go back through your story and see what really needs to be included. Before you publish anything make sure to get at least someone else to read it, someone impartial (I recommend a minimum of 5 people). If you can, show it to the person that you’re writing about in your story. I recognize this isn’t always an option but understand if you can’t talk to them about what you are writing, chances are they aren’t going to like it. If you can talk with them, you might save yourself a few headaches. 

I don’t know if there are truly a lot of lawsuits against authors for memoirs or autobiographies or biographies but I do know that it is something that happens. Most people, never mind authors, do not want to find themselves on the receiving end of a lawsuit.

Use Due Diligence

You need to use due diligence and do what you can before you publish to make sure this won’t come back and bite you.

I am not a lawyer and have never been in this situation but I do want you to be sure to protect yourself. Do some research but find a way to write your story. It truly is important.

Writing is the best gift and an incredible way to heal, the mend and grow. Don’t let this article discourage you, use it to find out more and find a way to make sure that you can share your story in a way you are proud of it but  also won’t land you in hot water.

Plan for writing

Writing memoirs is a grey area.

“Be clear on why you want to write about certain events can you change them and still feel good about what you wrote?”

 

Start the conversation today.

 

 

Taking the time to get your mom's story.

It is the best gift.

 

 

7 Techniques to Get You Writing

Write for the Love of it!

7 Techniques to Get You Writing

Glenna Mageau, Award Winning Author, Speaker, Writing Coach

There are many ways to get started with writing, I’ve combined several of them into 7 techniques to help you get started with writing. It’s too easy to get caught up in; I don’t know how to start, or where do I to start or I don’t know how to keep writing… to struggle with getting the ideas from your thoughts to down on paper. Many people find themselves lost in this place is really not aren’t sure where to go with it or what to do with it. This is very common and I think all writers go through this at different stages of their writing. So if you feel this way about writing, you’re in good company.

So the key thing with writing is to get ideas flowing and get that information from your head to paper. Until you have something on paper you’ve only got a thought, one that can vanish.

7 techniques to get you writing:

1. Information Download

2. Talk It Out

3. Cues

4. What if…

5. Who, What, When, Where, Why and How

6. Write, Where you’re At

7. Outline

These 7 techniques will help you to get your ideas down on paper so then you have something to play with. Each of these can be used to get started, to build your story and/or to help you with where to go with your story.

1. Information Download

Get the information down on paper, no format, no form, let it be messy. Just write, all of it can be organized, arranged, figured out what you want to do with it, later.

2.  Talk it out

Using this technique is a great way to flesh out your idea and really figure out what it is and where you want to go with it. You’ll discover you know a whole lot more than you think about your topic.

– Talk to someone about your story, your idea
– Have someone interview you
– Talk about your story out loud
– Talk to your story, your characters, your people

It may seem reluctant or find it kind of funny to talk about your story or to your story but believe me this is one of the best ways to get clear on it and to get the ideas flowing.

3.  Cues

– Start with a sentence

– Use pictures

This technique is where you use a prompt, something to get you started writing. It is really just about doing the writing, not spending time on thinking about writing. This can be great to break writer’s block.

4. What if…

Is the best writing game, simply ask the question, what if… what if this happened in this location, to this person, in this period of time…

This is a great technique to grow your idea but also can get you writing. It really is a good technique to see if your idea is a good one for you and one that you really do want to grow into a story or book.
 

5. Who, What, When, Where, Why and How

Great questions to ask your idea, your story

This technique is a great way to really get acquainted with your story. These questions can be used to flesh out your idea, to figure out where to go with a part of your story, as well as who this story is for and what you want them to get out of it. This is a good one to use to add depth and clarity to your story.
 

6. Write Where You’re At

Simply sit down and write, don’t think about doing it, do it.

This sounds simple but sadly can be very difficult to do, which is why I have given several other ways to get started with writing. Having said that, this is one of my favorite techniques. Often I’ll get an idea, play with it and then just start writing. This is where you stop thinking about writing and just write. Let go of the expectations of the outcome. Let the story take you where it will. This is also known as being a panster – you write from the seat of your pants with no real plan.

7. Outline

Start with outlining your story – it can be

– Brief

– Expanded

– Detailed

This is where you sit down and basically create a map of your story – it can be as brief or as detailed as you like. You can write it out, draw it out like a mind map, draw a picture of what it will look like, record it, it is whatever works best for you. This is also sometimes called a plotter.

I tend to use this technique in conjunction with Write Where You’re At. I love to be a panster – sit and write – and then be a plotterer (I don’t think this is a word but it’s fun) – write a bit of an outline. I use technique 6 and 7 a lot, intertwined. I tend to call myself a panster-plotterer. I don’t think that’s a word but it sounds cool. 

Plan for writing

Let’s get writing!

Play with these techniques and see which one works for you. You will probably find that you use each of them at different stages and in different ways for different projects.

I’d love to hear what techniques work for you?

“Getting started writing does not need to be difficult.”

Do Creativity and Fear go Hand in Hand?

Glenna Mageau, Award Winning Author, Speaker, Writing Coach

What is it that makes creativity and fear want to hang out together?

When we write or do some other creative craft, or want to, it’s like we go back in time to all that we were taught and wonder if what we are doing is okay? We were taught rules—how things had to be done, how to make it fell within certain guidelines or how to make it perfect.

If you’re a writer you were taught how to write a sentence but not just any sentence, a perfect one—perfect length, perfect spelling, perfect grammar, perfect punctuation, perfectly interesting, perfectly active…

We were taught rules. If you’re an artist what’s one of the first things you were taught? To color inside the lines. We were taught so many rules about how things were supposed to be and if we didn’t there were consequences. Not following those rules, especially if you are older than 40-45ish, might have meant: you got a red pen marking up your English paper or assignment; you might have been ridiculed in class; or you might have been yelled at. Most people I don’t think got the strap or spanked because of not following the rules for creativity but that kind of punishment was a thing. It was given out, sometimes at the whim of a teacher or a parent.

For many of us, I think we have connected not following the rules with judgment and harsh consequences. We were taught things had to be perfect before we let anyone else see them and if they weren’t then something would happen. There could or would be some sort of reprisal – red ink, yelled at… other.

Never given the opportunity?

There are a lot of reasons why we really struggle with our creativity. If you’re in your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, plus, you were probably never given the opportunity to just be creative. To just let your imagination take you away. To just have fun with it and not worry about what it looked like or sounded like or if it fit in with all the guidelines. There were always the rules and regulations of how you had to do it. If you were fortunate not to have this restriction applied directly your craft, it was generally applied to all other areas of your life. Especially for women. Women were really taught how to do this, how to do that, when to do this, when to do that and be perfect while doing it. Image was everything.  

Plan for writing

Image was everything

We learned it was important to be and do perfect.

As women we learned to do… and be… perfect, but not how to let ourselves just enjoy what we were doing and to let ourselves be free. If we did we had to make sure it was just right before anyone else saw it. And getting to that point is often what stops us from really doing anything with our creative craft. It is a lot of work and stress to make things perfect. Too often we feel like we are failing before we’ve even started.

We are learning and there is a yearning to free that creative, playful side of ourselves. But… with that comes fear—the fear of judgment, the fear of not doing it perfect, the fear of who am I… Just fear. We don’t often even know why we’re feeling it, we just are. We’re scared that there will be some reprisal of some sort – from overwhelm to judgement to failure to success…

Now that we are in our 40 plus years, we are looking to get back in touch with that creative side of ourselves. But it’s scary.

“You can break the rules,

you can step outside of that comfort zone

and be safe.”

I know how tough it is.

Believe me, I know how tough it is but I did it, so I know you can too. I was petrified what other’s would think. And I had this constant thought, ‘who am I…” I realized though that I could just play at my writing, my creative side, or I could take the leap. I took the leap. Why?

In 2008, I lost two people very dear to me and I almost lost a 3rd. The sad truth was that these people left this world with regrets. In fact, that was some of the last words I ever spoke to them was about things they had wished they had done. How sad that they carried that dream with them their whole life and couldn’t find the courage to step forward and do it. Some of the things they shared were small, like I wish I had gone to this place or that place but some were bigger, I wished I had… followed my dream.

It broke my heart but also woke me up to the fact that if I kept on the path I was on, I would be living with regret which means when my day comes, I’d be leaving with regret. I didn’t want that. I wanted to explore and discover all that is possible for me.

So I took the leap.

 

The truth is

We’ve kept ourselves playing small and safe. We’ve kept ourselves… inside a box. One that was created a long time ago.

Guess what?

You no longer need to stay within it. You are at an age and stage where it is time to break free.

 

So how do you break free?

 

  1. Decide what creative venture you want to pursue.
  2. Find someone who can teach you.
  3. Find someone to hold your hand – very much recommend
    this last one. You have probably felt like you have to do it
    alone, you don’t. It is so much funner and easier with a friend.
  4. Start playing with your craft. See what really appeals to you about it. Explore it.
  5. Look for opportunities of what you can do with it. Think outside of the box.
  6. Take the leap, believe me you are safe.
  7. Join a group of like minded women, they will understand your fears and your frustrations.
  8. Know that this is the right journey for you.
  9. Find someone to guide you.
  10. Have fun with it. It truly is okay.

 

We’ve connected things we shouldn’t have.

I always think of Sesame Street – one of these things is not like the other. One of these things doesn’t belong.

Fear does not belong with writing or any other creativity. It is time to shed the fear and realize that our creativity is our gift. It is perfectly okay to explore them, express them and share them. 

 

Step into your creativity.

It truly is time for change. Time to let go of fear and embrace joy and fun and peace and connect that to your creativity. Writing is meant to be fun. Step into your creativity, step into the freedom of expression, allow yourself to break the rules… and write, draw, paint… be creative.

Fear and creativity do not need to hang out together any longer. It is your time to shine.

Are you ready to take the leap?

My Interview with Spotlight on Your Business

My Interview with Author Spotlight

Recently I had the honor of being interviewed by Becky Norwood, of Spotlight Your Business.

 

 

We discussed my book, Do You Know Your Mom’s Story? 365 Questions You Need to Ask Her.

I share why I wrote it and what my hope is for it.

I had interviewed many women who were in their 80’s, 90’s and 100’s who back in their day had stepped outside the norm – they worked or got educated. That had to have taken a lot of guts. I learned a lot about their journey. The biggest surprise though? Was that they hadn’t shared their journey or their story with their children. That broke my heart. So much lost. 

Women are amazing but especially Moms. Sadly though, many women, especially moms and especially the older moms don’t see their lives as all that important and they carry around guilt and shame and embarrassment and that which they were taught – not to brag. The times were such that women were taught to work, to do for others and to not really talk about it. And emotions weren’t seen as all that useful.

It is so important to get Moms to share their story – it is such a gift, such a legacy. 

Bridge the gap, get to know your mom’s story.

To get your story down on paper, there are several ways to approach it. First thing, stop thinking, just write.

  • get your information down on paper, then you can fix it
  • do an interview, talk to someone and share your story
  • record your information
  • speak to type software

The key is to get it down on paper, then you have something to play with, something to build on.

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