Friday, May 15, 2015
My Writing Companion
When I was leading memoir writing workshops I called on William Zinsser's book Writing About Your Life to help me create and organize my presentation. Zinsser's earlier work On Writing Well helped me so much when I was starting from nowhere and scared about becoming a copywriter.
The people who came to my workshops weren't studying to become professional writers. They were a diverse group of young and older. I got the sense that they just wanted to see if writing could help them with their experiences; if telling a story could help make some sense out of it all.
Their stories were factual: a trip, a breakup, a family gathering. I encouraged them to see how facts become universal themes, just as Zinsser explains.
William Zinsser's obituary is in today's Sun Times. It said: ". . . he championed the craft of non-fiction and inspired professionals and amateurs to express themselves consisely and vividly."
He was 92.