The very act of writing can stir a person’s deepest insecurities and inadequacies. Who am I to write anything? Am I uninteresting? Shameless? Why would anyone want to read this? This creative anxiety is only amplified when the material one is working through has been a lived experience. Is my memoir too revealing? Too salacious? Too full of failure? Why would we seek to excavate the very things we’ve spent so long hoping to forget? In an interview, Chris Kraus rejected the claim that her work was confessional with a quote from Gilles Deleuze—“life is not personal.”
Join us for a series of life writing workshops where we get over it, air it all out, and refigure our relation to shame. Through a series of flash exercises with topics such as—moments our bodies failed us, against all better judgment, and I would never, except—paired with excerpts from Kraus, Sappho, Julia Kristeva, Melissa Broder, and more, we will not only conjure the ghosts of shames’ past, generate pages, share and respond to one another’s work, but begin to see the universal in what had been our darkest secrets and, in doing so, begin to unblock our inner critic both in our writing and daily life.
Julie Schulte has ghostwritten memoirs and her essay on handbags, memory, and shame was included in The Atlantic’s Object Lesson series. She was the Fiction Editor at Faultline Journal of Arts and Letters at University of California, Irvine, where she completed her MFA in Writing. She is finishing a novel.