Susan Wittig Albert, award-winning, bestselling author and memoirst, on the importance of women’s stories:
“Women’s stories must be told, so that the women who come after us will know how it really was, so that they know that their mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers are more than just the characters in men’s tales, that we are dimensional, intentional beings with minds of our own, wills of our own, dreams of our own. You and I are the only ones who can tell those stories, because we are the only ones who have lived them. By telling them—by telling our real, true woman’s story—we will challenge and correct all the myths and made-up stories about women’s lives. We will show that women’s lives aren’t lived as men have taught us to imagine them. Our stories are more than idle gossip, family chitchat, more than old wives’ tales—although they are these things, too, and isn’t that wonderful?”
Writing from Life is from the Tarcher/Putnam series of Inner Work Books, which also spawned The Artist's Way. Written specifically for women, Writing from Life offers a framework (and a generous amount of encouragement and kindling) for writing, chapter by chapter, about the various aspects of your life. Start with your own birth, Susan Wittig Albert recommends: ask anyone who might remember it to recount it for you; go to the library and find out what kind of world you were born into. By book's end you will have delved into your shiniest glories, your darkest days, your deepest secrets, and your most mundane moments. You will have written about (and thus discovered how you feel about) your family and soul mates, journeys you have taken, places you have called home, and causes that motivate you. Inspiring quotes, mostly by women, are strewn throughout.
Believing that all women have stories to tell and that they can grow spiritually as they learn to put those stories into words, Susan Witting Albert provides a guided writing program that is practical and inspiring. Her step-by-step instructions and exercises derive from her 30 years experience as a teacher of writing. She encourages women to discover their own voices through exploration of eight thematic clusters: beginnings and birthings; achievements, gifts and glories; female bodies; loves, lovers, lovings; journeys and journeying; homes and homings; visits to the Valley of Shadows; and, experiences of community. In an appendix, Albert shows writers how to create what she calls a "Story Circle," a community of women who can gain, through sharing their writing, a sense of belonging and an appreciation of "transformative magic of writing." Albert's book brings charm and elegance to the view of writing as a process of self-discovery. Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.