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Note from the editor: This post is a memoir-writing course. I suggest that you glance through the whole of it, and pick those best memoir-writing tips that you most need to read at this time. Later, bit by bit, you will read the rest.

Click on the links that interest you and study the posts where you land. The links in even just a few of the tips below will uncover articles that pertain to the topic(s).

Following these best memoir-writing tips, your knowledge of memoir writing will grow more certain, and you will write with more confidence. One day, sooner than you think possible, your memoir will be published and in hand.

–––

It’s later than you think. Don’t put off writing your memoir any longer.

Our 21 in-depth, best memoir-writing tips below will help you to start memoir writing today. 

You’ll find these guides will see you through the process of how to write a memoir—an interesting and meaningful memoir—more easily and quickly than you may now think possible.

One day soon, you will have written your book.

The Memoir Network’s 21 Top Best Memoir-Writing Tips to get you to memoir success.

1. What is a memoir? Hint: it’s not an autobiography!

Is the difference important to the memoir writer? Somewhat! Knowing what you are writing will orient you from the start! It can be discouraging to realize that you have been headed in the wrong direction when you could have saved yourself time and energy by understanding the difference between memoir and autobiography as you launched yourself. While it’s not huge, but it can be significant.

An autobiography is about a whole life: from birth to the present. A memoir is a part of your life that is characterized by a theme. It might be about the first years of your marriage during which you realized what an immature and selfish person you were and earned to be a giving souse. This may interest many people as it is a struggle many are waging.

The fact is that, while it is totally possible to write a memoir that will interest the public and draw an audience to you, the same is not true of an autobiography. If you are famous: possibly. If you are not, it is not likely that people will be interested in what grade school you went to and how much your grandmother loved you.

(This statement about autobiography is not applicable if you are writing for a family audience. Your children and grandchildren will definitely be interested in an autobiography.)

(more…)

Listening to your memoir yields dividends. As writers, we have often experienced writing what we deem to be deathless prose. Later, perhaps a week or a month later, when we pick up our own manuscript again, we realize that our deathless prose is perhaps closer to deadly prose. (more…)

Using specific words in a memoir enables you to write a story with details that establish character and setting. Concentrate on nouns and verbs and discard any adjectives or adverbs that aren’t specific to the description, and your memoir will pull your reader in. (more…)

You can use visualization in your memoir recall to write your memories in more detail.  There are powerful tools you can use to assist when you are visualizing.  When you learn to use visualization in addition to these tools, it can help you come up with more details for your memoir writing. (more…)

When you write in quantity for your memoir, you will amass an amazing amount of stories, vignettes, scenes, dialogues, and short descriptions. All of these can be written anywhere and quickly on paper, on the computer and even the backs of napkins and scraps of paper.  In this activity, you’ll start writing short pieces to weave together later for your story. (more…)

To write better, memoir writers need to be memoir readers.  Do you read other memoirs? Do you think it helps to study how they wrote their memoir in order for you to improve your own writing? To be a better writer, you must immerse yourself in the memoir genre, particularly in the area you are writing. (more…)

When you include feelings in your memoir, your reader’s interest is heightened and they are drawn into the story.

Make a list of different words to describe the feelings that you will want to highlight in your memoir.  Put these words in your memory list both to draw from as you write and to keep you focused. (more…)

It’s important to gather details for a better memoir and use them effectively to draw your readers in. The use of vivid sensory details helps your reader not only “see” but engage all of their senses to be fully immersed in the story. (more…)

The bigger picture in a memoir is essential for your reader (and you!) to better understand the period of your life you are writing about. A memoir that is set in the historical context of your time, even with just a few references to events, broadens your personal story into a larger story for your readers. (more…)

Writing the setting as a character of your memoir will tell us a lot about you and the people who were in your life. Many fiction writers give setting the prime role of character in their novels. As a memoir writer, you can also think of setting as a character in your memoir. (more…)

What you will do today is travel to the place that figures in your story. This is the setting of your memoir. If you can do so physically, that is great.

If however, you need to travel to the setting of your memoir in your mind – because it is too far away or because somehow it no longer exists, you can always get there in your imagination. (more…)

best memoir-writing tips

How to write a memoir: our 21 Best Memoir-Writing Tips to get you writing your memoir—quickly and well—and getting it into the hands of your public.

Note from the editor: This post is a memoir-writing course. I suggest that you glance through the whole of it, and pick those best memoir-writing tips that you most need to read at this time. Later, bit by bit, you will read the rest.

Click on the links that interest you and study the posts where you land. The links in even just a few of the tips below will uncover articles that pertain to the topic(s).

Following these best memoir-writing tips, your knowledge of memoir writing will grow more certain, and you will write with more confidence. One day, sooner than you think possible, your memoir will be published and in hand.

–––

It’s later than you think. Don’t put off writing your memoir any longer.

Our 21 in-depth, best memoir-writing tips below will help you to start memoir writing today. 

You’ll find these guides will see you through the process of how to write a memoir—an interesting and meaningful memoir—more easily and quickly than you may now think possible.

One day soon, you will have written your book.

The Memoir Network’s 21 Top Best Memoir-Writing Tips to get you to memoir success.

1. What is a memoir? Hint: it’s not an autobiography!

Is the difference important to the memoir writer? Somewhat! Knowing what you are writing will orient you from the start! It can be discouraging to realize that you have been headed in the wrong direction when you could have saved yourself time and energy by understanding the difference between memoir and autobiography as you launched yourself. While it’s not huge, but it can be significant.

An autobiography is about a whole life: from birth to the present. A memoir is a part of your life that is characterized by a theme. It might be about the first years of your marriage during which you realized what an immature and selfish person you were and earned to be a giving souse. This may interest many people as it is a struggle many are waging.

The fact is that, while it is totally possible to write a memoir that will interest the public and draw an audience to you, the same is not true of an autobiography. If you are famous: possibly. If you are not, it is not likely that people will be interested in what grade school you went to and how much your grandmother loved you.

(This statement about autobiography is not applicable if you are writing for a family audience. Your children and grandchildren will definitely be interested in an autobiography.)

[Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

We'd love to have you access this content. It's in our members-only area, but you're in luck: becoming a member is easy and it's free.

Already a Member?

Not a Member Yet?

story collecting party

November 23: Listening to Your Memoir Yields Dividends

Listening to your memoir yields dividends. As writers, we have often experienced writing what we deem to be deathless prose. Later, perhaps a week or a month later, when we pick up our own manuscript again, we realize that our deathless prose is perhaps closer to deadly prose. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

We'd love to have you access this content. It's in our members-only area, but you're in luck: becoming a member is easy and it's free.

Already a Member?

Not a Member Yet?

story collecting party

November 22: The Power of Using Specific Words in A Memoir

Using specific words in a memoir enables you to write a story with details that establish character and setting. Concentrate on nouns and verbs and discard any adjectives or adverbs that aren’t specific to the description, and your memoir will pull your reader in. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

We'd love to have you access this content. It's in our members-only area, but you're in luck: becoming a member is easy and it's free.

Already a Member?

Not a Member Yet?

story collecting party

November 21: Learn to Use Visualization In Your Memoir

You can use visualization in your memoir recall to write your memories in more detail.  There are powerful tools you can use to assist when you are visualizing.  When you learn to use visualization in addition to these tools, it can help you come up with more details for your memoir writing. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

We'd love to have you access this content. It's in our members-only area, but you're in luck: becoming a member is easy and it's free.

Already a Member?

Not a Member Yet?

story collecting party

November 20: Practicing to Write In Quantity

When you write in quantity for your memoir, you will amass an amazing amount of stories, vignettes, scenes, dialogues, and short descriptions. All of these can be written anywhere and quickly on paper, on the computer and even the backs of napkins and scraps of paper.  In this activity, you’ll start writing short pieces to weave together later for your story. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

We'd love to have you access this content. It's in our members-only area, but you're in luck: becoming a member is easy and it's free.

Already a Member?

Not a Member Yet?

story collecting party

November 19: Memoir Writers Need to be Memoir Readers

To write better, memoir writers need to be memoir readers.  Do you read other memoirs? Do you think it helps to study how they wrote their memoir in order for you to improve your own writing? To be a better writer, you must immerse yourself in the memoir genre, particularly in the area you are writing. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

We'd love to have you access this content. It's in our members-only area, but you're in luck: becoming a member is easy and it's free.

Already a Member?

Not a Member Yet?

story collecting party

November 18: Time to Include Feelings in Your Memoir

When you include feelings in your memoir, your reader’s interest is heightened and they are drawn into the story.

Make a list of different words to describe the feelings that you will want to highlight in your memoir.  Put these words in your memory list both to draw from as you write and to keep you focused. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

We'd love to have you access this content. It's in our members-only area, but you're in luck: becoming a member is easy and it's free.

Already a Member?

Not a Member Yet?

story collecting party

November 17: Gather Details For a Better Memoir

It’s important to gather details for a better memoir and use them effectively to draw your readers in. The use of vivid sensory details helps your reader not only “see” but engage all of their senses to be fully immersed in the story. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

We'd love to have you access this content. It's in our members-only area, but you're in luck: becoming a member is easy and it's free.

Already a Member?

Not a Member Yet?

story collecting party

November 16: The Bigger Picture in A Memoir

The bigger picture in a memoir is essential for your reader (and you!) to better understand the period of your life you are writing about. A memoir that is set in the historical context of your time, even with just a few references to events, broadens your personal story into a larger story for your readers. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

We'd love to have you access this content. It's in our members-only area, but you're in luck: becoming a member is easy and it's free.

Already a Member?

Not a Member Yet?

story collecting party

November 15: Setting as A Character in Your Memoir

Writing the setting as a character of your memoir will tell us a lot about you and the people who were in your life. Many fiction writers give setting the prime role of character in their novels. As a memoir writer, you can also think of setting as a character in your memoir. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

We'd love to have you access this content. It's in our members-only area, but you're in luck: becoming a member is easy and it's free.

Already a Member?

Not a Member Yet?

story collecting party

November 14: Travel to the Setting of Your Memoir

What you will do today is travel to the place that figures in your story. This is the setting of your memoir. If you can do so physically, that is great.

If however, you need to travel to the setting of your memoir in your mind – because it is too far away or because somehow it no longer exists, you can always get there in your imagination. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

We'd love to have you access this content. It's in our members-only area, but you're in luck: becoming a member is easy and it's free.

Already a Member?

Not a Member Yet?