Welcome Back to The Cheerful Word!
At The Cheerful Word, we all write memoir. That is my heart and soul and mission. Some people who come here are brand new writers, exploring life story for the first time. Other friends pop in for a visit to immerse themselves in writing; to stir the creative juices, gaining inspiration from fellow writers and get back on track. Yet others are returning for guidance and to put a finishing touch on a manuscript before submitting to us for consideration to publish.
Over the years, I have learned a thing or two about how you prefer to write memoir. I hope the refined services on my website reflect how I and my team can better meet you right where you are. Some of our clients want us to do the writing for them. Others become writers through our workshops and retreats—a perfect choice for those who enjoy the camaraderie of the small-group experience where our unique memoir magic comes alive.
Whether you write your memoir yourself or we write a memoir on your behalf, you can publish a book. Either way, we promise the process of leaving your legacy life story will be rewarding.
Where I’ve been and where we’re going
This is the brief summary of the lessons I have learned after taking some well-deserved time to work at a slower pace, make some decisions about life, and take in some adventure along the way.
On one recent day, I took out many of the surveys, emails, and personal notes that workshop students wrote over the last nine years. I knew it was a special thing that we had going on here, but I was moved to tears by the common words shared by so many of you. Following are the top 10 experiences and emotions you use to describe what you loved most while working with me:
- Sam’s compassion/safe space/fun exercises
- The thrill of speaking my story aloud (after initial fear)
- Connection to others through their stories
- The voice of others as they share their stories
- How initial prejudice disappears by listening to someone’s story
- How self-doubt disappears after others accept my story
- I came to write, but learned about vulnerability and communication in ways that that changed me
- I showed up in fear and left in love
- I didn’t want this connection to end
- I love writing now
I cherish these words and outcomes. These are the reasons I get up every morning and look for new ways to unearth another story from the heart, to listen to someone’s self-doubt fade away, to figure out another way to hold more workshops, and write memoirs that matter.
The gift of story
Ever since I was little, the thing that makes my heart sing is to help people tell their stories. I love the way their faces light up as they hear the goodness of who they are while they share their stories in their own voices. Witnessing someone experience freedom, hope, or self-acceptance is a priceless gift. This is the gift of story. This is the gift of memoir.
During my time off, I thought about the different titles my students conferred upon me, including story doula, life story shaman, and memoir guru. Some said I helped them heal their hearts and that was the greatest compliment of all. A healer of hearts is one of the gifts I share across my life, not only as a memoirist. I do my best to serve my fellow humans so that whatever story sits on the heart and on the lips has the opportunity to come forth and be heard in love and acceptance in any moment, not just in a workshop in exchange for money.
So, as a healer of hearts and intuitive guide for memoir writers, my workshops no longer have binders full of mandatory worksheets and rigid agendas. I have workshops with a mission, where everyday people can write and share their extraordinary stories. I invite people to come together in an environment in which we are all friends and confidants; where they can give voice to the stories of their heart and make meaningful connections while they write their memoirs.
Join me as I open the doors to The Cheerful Word. I hope to meet you soon. I welcome you right where you are. You can find me at a retreat or workshop here.