Jonas Salk asked, “Are we being good ancestors?” U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas captured what it means to leave our footprint when he said, “We are a continuum. Just as we reach back to our ancestors for our fundamental values, so we, as guardians of that legacy, must reach ahead to our children and their children. And we do so with a sense of sacredness in that reaching.”
While you might cherish your great-grandmother’s gold locket and walnut armoire, a written legacy might well be the crown jewel of all bequests. Come write the stories of your legacy. Some call it the story of your soul. Like memoir writing, legacy writing chronicles your most profound—defining—moments and milestones (some joyful, others painful) that inform and perhaps inspire future generations of your fundamental values.
Unearth your personal stories. Your narratives. What do you value? How do you add value? What did your ancestors value? Figuratively, speaking, what garden did you plant? What did you stand up for? What did you touch? Who most inspired you? What gift have you shared? What mark do you hope to leave? Spend a week developing your most significant stories through focused, engaging work, including writing prompts, selected readings, in-class conversation, and one-on-one discussion with the instructor. This workshop is designed for writers at all levels.
Linda M. Bendorf (M.A.T., J.D., The University of Iowa) is an award-winning instructor and writing coach who inspires novices and seasoned pros alike. Her essays, features, and poetry have appeared in the Chicago Tribune Media Group’s Triblocal, the University of Iowa’s The Daily Palette, USA Today, Gannett News Service Wire, The Des Moines Register, Instructor, The Iowan, and Gather Magazine. Linda is also director of Blue Sage Writing (www.bluesagewriting.com), offering one-on-one coaching and private writing retreats in Boulder, Colorado. She and her husband, Carl, recently moved to Colorado’s Front Range, where they enjoy hiking, biking, birding, cooking, and collaborating on a unique birding and nature writing workshop, Birds & Words (http://coloradobirdingadventures.com/birds-words/).