Preserve family memories by writing your own memoir

By Jennifer Coe - ReminderNews
Windsor - posted Wed., Jan. 8, 2014
Susan Omilian, author and writing coach, will present a series of classes on memoir-writing at the Windsor - Contributed Photo

As generations age, memories are lost. Stories of adventure and inspiration can be forgotten if a motivated writer doesn’t take the time to preserve the precious experiences of the past.

Starting on Jan. 21, the Windsor Historical Society will begin hosting a course called “From Memory to Memoir: Writing Your Life Story.” The presenter, Susan Omilian, will instruct people in the skills used to pull memories from the past and access them for a memoir. She will also help writers develop a regular writing regimen that will hopefully give them success.

Omilian herself is a published author and public speaker, as well as a writing coach.

“Most people want to make some record of their lives or of their family so that important details and great stories will not be lost forever,” said Omilian. “I like to think that all of us are part of history, and it is important to write down not only what happened to us, but also how it felt to live in this time and space. Most of all, it’s fun to remember things about our lives, even the more difficult moments, because we can see where we have been, how far we’ve come and where we want to go next.”

“History starts with personal experience, and everyone’s experience contributes to history in some way,” said Christine Ermenc, executive director of the historical society.

The six weekly classes will be held on Tuesday mornings. Many topics will be covered, such as why you want to write your life story, taming your inner critic, focusing on defining moments, using pictures and preparing for publication.

“I’m excited to host this program at Windsor Historical Society because our mission involves reminding people how important memories are,” said Ermenc. “We have run oral history and photograph collecting initiatives in the past to give people awareness that history isn’t just names and dates.”

No previous writing experience is required.

“Many people don’t know where to start and they have a fierce inner critic that tells them their story isn’t very interesting, no one will want to read it, and they don’t know how to write,” explained Omilian. “That is not true, because you can learn more about the craft of writing and how to tell a good story, even if you think it is too commonplace or boring. Good storytelling means starting the story in a place that will engage the reader and make them want to read more.”

To register for this six-week class, contact the Windsor Historical Society at 860-688-3813 or via the website

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