You can’t create out of a vacuum; your life experiences provide you a never-ending source of inspiration for story lines, characters and their mannerisms, locations, scenes, and so on. Accessing your life’s experiences will inspire nonfiction and fiction, poetry and essays, correspondence and journal entries. (Since I am new to ETWG, I am sharing this as “news.”) How to access your life in ways that provide inspiration and content is explained in my interview on Author’s Access radio several years ago.

At that time, the interview was about my program, Memories to Memoirs ™ and the tools that I developed to help seniors (and all writers) see their life in different ways so as to help them understand their life and create memoirs. As I tell students, “You can’t start your memoirs with ‘I was born at an early age.’ Well, you can, but who would read it?”

Over the years of presenting the tools (which are specific timelines and writing exercises), I found the techniques helped writers of all genre and of all ages. I shared, with great success, the processes with artists and photographers, women in shelter and job seekers, faith-driven organization team members and…the list goes on. Everyone can benefit from seeing their lives in different ways that allow them to see the wisdom, inspiration and hope within.

I then expanded the reach and functionality of the process, and explained them in my book LIFElines: Empowering All Aspects of Your Life. Insights into how they can be used can be found at

Here’s to never-ending inspiration, the power of voice, the spirit of creativity and the importance of stories.

Dion McInnis was a photographer at 6, a writer at 12 and a poet since birth. Throughout his varied career paths, writing and photography have been essential elements, and public speaking and teaching were added to the mix almost 40 years ago. He has published 14 books, if you include a few single-copy projects, like the wedding gift he created for his wife with poetry and photography. He published The Seeing, Not the Taking: A guide to seeing for photographers (it was given a Staff Award by the publisher, Blurb); Listen to Life: Wisdom in Life's Stories; Daddin': The Verb of Being a Dad; and, LIFElines: Empowering All Aspects of Your Life. He has developed workshops, presentations and readings around all those books.

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