Last year, I started a blog challenge - and a bunch of us had a blast sharing our posts and reading each others! What's it all about? See the links to last year's challenge at the right side of this post! What's the point of it? Read on!

In my writers’ group, the question was asked: Do you use real experiences from your life in your writing? The memoirists, of course, all put their hands up. But not surprisingly, every writer there did, too, in some way – they wrote in incidents they had lived; they wrote incidents others had told them about; they wrote into their character their own emotions when something similar happened to them; they created characters from people they knew. I finally asked the group: So are we fiction writers using our pasts to create stories, or secret memoirists who turn our lives into fiction?

However you answer that, the fact is, story is the stuff of life and we all draw from our lives to write our stories. So whether you write memoir or fiction, your work will be richer for digging deep into your own life experiences. Welcome to the October Memoir and Back Story Blog Challenge, 2013!

Because creativity can’t be hemmed in, once again I am leaving how you complete this challenge in your own creative hands. The overall theme is Memories. And based on comments at the end of last year’s challenge, doing this every day was a bit much. It was hard to blog and visit each others’ sites every day. So this year, we’ll all blog on odd-numbered days. That gives us the even-numbered days to hop from blog to blog reading each other’s posts. (Or, for those who tried to do more than one blog challenge in October, you have the even-numbered days to do your other thing!)

What kind of posts are acceptable? The sky’s the limit! Write poetry about your past; do a photo collection of old and new or then and now; explore the past through songs or art or cartoon; explore your characters’ fictional pasts.

What are the topics? I’m going to give you some choices here. Some people wanted to carry on reviewing their lives chronologically from where they left off – go for it! Others weren’t able to complete their 25 years last time, and want to work on that – great! For those who want to, though, I’m suggesting this year we have a memory theme each week. And since we’re posting on odd days only, that means three posts on each theme.

Week 1: Childhood. I’m sure we barely scratched the rich creative soil of our youth last year.

Week 2: Relationships. Memories or incidents involving our parents, siblings, friends, romantic interludes, marriages, even our children or grandchildren.

Week 3: Secrets. Dig deep, fellow bloggers, this is powerful stuff!

Week 4: Roots and Wings. Memories of home, leaving or finding it, and of travel or journeys.

Week 5: Gratitude and Regret. The people, experiences, choices you are grateful for or that you regret.

Remember these are options: the over-riding theme is memoir and back story, and we’ll all love seeing just how you choose to explore that! So, how will YOU meet the October Memoir and Back Story Blog Challenge, 2013 ? Get your creative juices flowing - post one is October 1!

Now, all you have to do is register: leave me a message below with your name (real or fictional), your blogsite URL, and your intent to join us. And spread the word - tell everyone you know about it - the more people who join us, the more fun it’ll be!

 


Comments

09/13/2013 11:54am

Hi Jane, I'm definitely interested in participating again this year. I love the idea for the weekly themes. Looking forward to it!
Stephanie Ingram (www.stephanieingram.com)

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Jane Ann McLachlan
09/14/2013 4:12am

Great, Stephanie!

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09/13/2013 3:00pm

I am for sure interested and would love to hear more about this event!

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Jane Ann McLachlan
09/14/2013 4:13am

Hope you join us, Terri!

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09/14/2013 2:19am

Sign me up! I read your posts last October and would love to join the fun this year.

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Jane Ann McLachlan
09/14/2013 4:14am

Fantastic, Amanda! Quelle bon surpris!

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09/15/2013 12:39pm

I'd like to participate. I didn't see any confirmed dates tho. :)

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Jane Ann McLachlan
09/15/2013 2:58pm

The challenge begins October 1st - that's when everyone's first blog should be posted. To join, please leave your name and blogsite here, in a response. Check my most recent post for more details. I look forward to seeing your posts!

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09/16/2013 1:31pm

Count me in! I'm looking forward to this blog challenge!

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09/17/2013 9:21pm

I'm going to take up this challenge. Yessiree. For me, it'll be a great way to do character backstory for a novel that will begin with a series of short stories about minor characters that prove invaluable later on.

I've already done the blog memoir of my own life, so this will be a whole new type of memoir challenge. This is such a terrific idea. Love it.

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Jane Ann McLachlan
09/18/2013 1:28am

Sounds great, Claudette! Can't wait to read your characters' back stories!

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09/18/2013 1:33am

Jane Ann, have you already taken off the web/blog site addresses. I could have sworn I gave you mine, but I can't find it. It's been a long day, so may only have thought I did it. Just checking on reality. It's one of my pastimes, you know. :)

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09/18/2013 3:54am

Yay, I can't wait for the first! I've been looking forward to this ever since the last challenge ended. I think I might do something different this year, though, and maybe do character backstories instead of my own. Or maybe not. Regardless, I can't wait to get started! :) (http://suddenlytheyalldied.com)

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09/19/2013 1:32pm

I'm in! I'm just now getting into writing - or getting back into writing - and I've been writing a lot about myself, just to get back into the habit of writing, so I'm completely down for this. thank you.

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Jane Ann McLachlan
09/19/2013 1:51pm

Comment deleted

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09/19/2013 2:18pm

I only have one blog, and it's here: http://suddenlytheyalldied.com/blog/

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09/23/2013 1:31am

I loved this last year. I'm in again! Thanks so much for organizing this.

(lesliehauser.com)

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09/25/2013 10:42pm

I'm in!

Joy Weese Moll http://www.joyweesemoll.com/

I posted about this today: http://www.joyweesemoll.com/2013/09/25/october-memoir-challenge-2013/

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09/25/2013 11:14pm

Hi there. I'm Claudette Young and my site is: http://claudettejyoung.com/

See you all in October.

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09/26/2013 2:30am

I read about this on Joy Weese Moll's blog and I'd like to participate.

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09/29/2013 12:14pm

I definitely want to give this another try. I want to get back into the habit of writing and last year I was studying for a certification exam so I dropped the ball before really picking it up. I am now certified and still unemployed so I have plenty of time on my hands. :)

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09/29/2013 2:56pm

I loved doing this last year, Jane. Thanks for inviting me again this year. I'd love to do it again! :) Can't wait to see all the interesting posts!! :)

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Jane Ann McLachlan
09/29/2013 6:17pm

Great to have you back, Satia & Susan!

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10/01/2013 11:41am

Oops sorry Jane Hawthorne has an "e" on the end and it's connecting to the wrong blog - should be http://timefloats.wordpress.com
Thanks !

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Jane Ann McLachlan
10/01/2013 4:20pm

Sorry for the error, Susan. It should be corrected now.

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10/01/2013 5:02pm

Hi Jane Ann! I'm going to try to do one post a week for each theme on the backstory for one of the characters of my upcoming NaNoWriMo project. Thanks for the motivation!!
http://www.rebeccabarray.com

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10/01/2013 11:42pm

I would like to join the challenge even though it's already Oct 1.

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Jane Ann McLachlan
10/02/2013 12:59am

Welcome, Rebecca and Bonnie - you're both on the list!

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10/02/2013 2:04pm

Found this through another blog. I am looking for some inspiration for my blog and my journal. I may do some of this writing style and some through my art journal- then shared on my blog

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Jane Ann McLachlan
10/03/2013 2:26am

Great to have you join us, Angie! You're on the list.

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10/05/2013 7:29pm

My link is already posted in the 2013 list, but I wanted to say "I'm here!" A little late to the dance, but I'll try to do better next week. My posts may only be occasional this year, though. Thanks, Jane Ann, for the push in this direction. Here's the first post: http://gerrygwilson.com/2013/10/05/memory-revisited/

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10/06/2013 2:55am

Hi Jane Ann,
I am interested though not sure how much time I have to devote to it. A class I'm taking is eating up a lot of my time. I guess I will be participating "free-style," whatever that turns out to be. Thank you!
-Linda G Hatton
http://whatnotshop.blogspot.com

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10/24/2013 2:49pm

I am enjoying reading these. Is it okay to jump in late?

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Jane Ann McLachlan
10/24/2013 2:54pm

Sure, Pamela. Welcome. I'll get your name up!

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