My Life Sideways is my practice of writing memoir based on Natalie Goldberg's book, Old Friend From Far Away. In her book, Goldberg provides exercises that are used as jumping off points. The idea is to write whatever comes to mind and not worry about the outcome. By starting with something as innocent as a word or an idea, one can begin the process from a state of openness and freedom. Goldberg stated, “Because life is not linear, you want to approach writing memoir sideways, using the deepest kind of thinking to sort through the layers” (p. xxiii).

When I first discovered Goldberg’s book, I was very excited. I went home and immediately completed the first two exercises. But then, I stopped writing because I was afraid to explore memories that I longed to forget. I put the book away for several months. Fortunately, I was able to overcome my fear and decided to continue working through the exercises in the book. Others have told me that they felt inspired to write and to explore a deeper part of themselves after reading my work. That alone makes sharing my writing worth it.

If you’re interested in writing memoir, I highly recommend starting with Goldberg's book. She makes it easy and fun. I hope that my writing sparks your own process of creative inquiry!