Life Sentences

Writing for Yourself and Others

You don’t have to be rich, famous, or extraordinary to write about your life. You just need to be willing. This course approaches life-writing from three directions: writing for discovery, writing for wholeness, writing for legacy. You will explore what it means to be you, at this age and stage of life. “Life Sentences” also will include guidelines for a variety of life-writing possibilities, such as ethical wills, tributes, testaments, travel narratives, faith-journey accounts, memoirs, and more. You are welcome to participate, whether you are a beginning writer or one more confident and practiced. 

Aim: Learners will recall, record, and reflect on meaningful life experiences.


Personal Growth Objectives

  • Participants will understand life as a meaningful story
  • Participants will explore ways that life writing “gives life” (e.g. energy, confidence, coherence) and addresses vital tasks of elderhood (e.g. evaluation, integration, communication)
  • Participants will think of themselves as writers (“I am a writer”)
  • Participants will gain confidence in their writing abilities
  • Participants will gain perspective on the meaning, purpose, values and direction of their lives (will gain a sense of ‘the Big Picture’)
  • Participants will experience life writing as a creative, spiritual act
  • Participants will understand life writing as a way to leave a legacy for (e.g. to share perspectives with)  subsequent generations.
  • Participants will gain confidence using on-line resources and aware of its potential for elder learners
  • Participants will become more self-directed, independent and self-reliant in using a wealth of learning resources.

Writing Knowledge Objectives

  • Participants will understand life writing as a means to learn from experience, a way to remember and “re-story” one’s life
  • Participants will know how to leave a written legacy
  • Participants will understand that “publication” is only one stage in a meaningful writing process 
  • Participants will know how writing can complement and enhance meditative practice.