Iyanla Vanzant once said, “When you stand and share your story in an empowering way, your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else.”

The truth of this statement hit home for me when I began to share the story of my cancer diagnosis.

I believe that sometimes God allows us to face dark times so we can later be a light to others. I’m learning this as I’ve been able to use my breast cancer experience to be a support system and sounding board for other women battling this disease.

Don’t get me wrong. This revelation doesn’t make the hardships any easier to accept. I would rather we all just not have cancer in the first place! Cancer is stupid. Chemo sucks. And radiation is a pain – literally. But being able to help other shows me my suffering was not in vain. It motivates me to heal and live my best life so I can inspire other cancer survivors to do the same. And every time I share my story in an empowering way I feel as if I’m taking back more and more of the power that cancer tried to take from me.

What You Need to Write Your Story

So, what’s your story? And what’s keeping you from sharing it?

Here are three things that I think could help you write and share your story so that you can empower others and yourself.

Prompts. Sometimes it’s hard to write your story because you’re just not sure where to start. That’s why I love a good writing prompt! Creative non-fiction writing prompts can bring out stories you didn’t even know were inside of you. Check out these Best Creative Nonfiction Writing Prompts from Reedsy.  

People. Sometimes we don’t share our stories because we’re afraid of what certain people will think. Forget about those folks for a moment. Instead think about the people your story could help if you shared it. Also, find your people – people who can give you constructive critique to make your work even better and people who will encourage you to keep writing no matter what.

Place. Maybe it’s not fear or a lack of inspiration keeping you from sharing your story. Maybe you just can’t find the space or time to write. Unfortunately, I have no easy solution for that problem. If you can’t find the time you have to make the time. Get up early or stay up late or write during your lunch break or when your kids are napping. Schedule time to write when you can. Write in the margins of your day when you must.

Related Reading: 3 Tips for Writing Your Story

Introducing the Mini-Memoir Writing Workshop

You have a story worth sharing and I want to help you write it.

That’s why I’m teaching the Mini-Memoir Writing Workshop, set for June and July of 2021!

This 6-week writing workshop series (hosted live via Zoom) will guide you through writing several brief personal narratives that you can later pitch to your favorite publication, adapt into a blog post, or use to jumpstart your book project. Throughout the workshop, you will also get feedback on your work from me and other workshop participants.

Here’s what to expect each week:

  • 2-hour meetup
  • 30 minutes of teaching on a topic related to non-fiction and personal narrative writing
  • Prompts to inspire your writing
  • 30 minutes of writing
  • 30 minutes of critique
  • Time for networking and Q&A

The final workshop will also include tips on how to get your work published.

This workshop series will give you the prompts, the people, and the place to write.

If you’re wondering why you should listen to me, peep my resume: I am a freelance journalist, essayist, and blogger and the founder of See Jane Write — a website and community for women who write and blog. I’ve written monthly columns for two magazines and I currently solicit and edit essays for Reckon South’s Reckon Women platform. I have 20 years of journalism experience, two journalism degrees and I also taught English for 10 years. So, as you write your pieces, I can help you with grammar and grit!

You can choose from 3 different time options:

  • Sundays at 2 p.m. CT (6 sessions, 2 hours each) — Dates: June 6, 13, 27, July 11, 18, and 25
  • Tuesdays at 6 p.m. CT (6 sessions, 2 hours each) — Dates: June 8, 15, 22, 29, July 13 and 20
  • Thursdays at 10 a.m. CT (6 sessions, 2 hours each) — Dates: June 10, 17, 24, July 1, 15, 22

Only 10 spots are available for each workshop time. The cost of the workshop is $200.

You can sign up for the workshop here.

Let’s do this!