Writing a memoir is like opening a window into your life. It can also help clear the fog on windows of the past. Writing my own story in my memoir Nothing Like Normal (to be published by Black Opal Press November 14) caused me to wonder about the tales of my parents and ancestors and […]
The Memoir Writer’s Blog is a regular online newsletter to help you write the best memoir you are capable of. This help is available through the generosity of or fellow writers who form the network part of our name.
Guest bloggers broaden and deepen the help available on The Memoir Network site. We hope you will consider submitting to this blog so that you can help others as you have been helped.
Below we have collected and published articles other memoir writers have submitted for your development. Please interact with these writers by leaving a note to continue the conversation.
I have been married to a man who worked for the CIA for thirty-two years and we spent many years living outside of the USA. I tell my story from the context of being a wife and mother making all those moves — 18 in 21 years.
People are driven to express themselves. Each of us has a story and an urge to tell it. No other style is as effective as the irreplaceable memoir.
Why would I go away to a writer’s retreat to write when I can write at home, at my very own desk, with my cat and my favorite coffee mug? Writers at all stages of their writing life and in their projects can benefit from attending a retreat. Even in the beginning, when you may […]
“What do you think of my website?” It’s one of the questions I hear the most from authors, whether they write memoirs or mysteries. I wish that my answer each and every time was, “It’s fantastic!”… but it isn’t. And more often than not, the problem is with the site’s blog. Oh, how I wish […]
A guest post Three Stages of Writing a Memoir: Own Your Truth; Find Your Voice; Tell Your Story In December 2011, I decided to take a trip to my home country, Azerbaijan. I had a property to sell and family to visit there. More importantly, I was on a mission to find my father’s grave. […]
DL: I are pleased today to introduce an Australian writer and memoir professional to readers of The Memoir Writer’s blog with this post: How to Start Writing a Memoir: What’s Your Focus? This post was previously published on Alan’s website which is full of informative articles for the memoir writer. Connect with him at http://www.alanclose.com
At first glance, writing memoir might appear to be easier than writing fiction. After all, it’s your life and you know the story, yes? It’s not as if you have to make anything up. Not like fiction writers who have to think the whole lot up: plot, characters, everything.
But writing about your own life is rarely simple and never easy. Some writers suggest that memoir is harder to do well than fiction.
Before we go on, it’s probably useful to define what a memoir is and isn’t.
When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.
For the past eight months, I have been writing my lifestory. As a professional personal historian, I believe in practicing what I preach to those in my lifestory writing workshops. I have even gone as far as hiring an editor to help me. There is nothing quite like being accountable to another person. I firmly believe that everyone has a story worth telling. I’d like to share with you my motivation and exactly why I decided to get busy preserving my own story.
A valuable resource to remember the past more accurately
I possess 523 personal and heartfelt letters that were written over a span of thirty-nine years – precious letters written between my grandmother and myself. My dear grandmother was more like my mother and our relationship was a very close one. As I thought more about writing my lifestory, I wondered “how can I use these insightful letters to help me tell my story.” It seemed to me as if each one of these 523 letters were calling out to me. A great many of the letters were written during the time I lived overseas with my husband, an Information Officer working for the Central Intelligence Agency. Together, we lived in six foreign countries from 1976 through 1992 making eighteen moves during that time.
[DL.: Many readers of this blog are writing memoir as a possible entry into fiction writing. The following is a reprint of an article that appeared in the fictorians.com blog that explores the relationship between the two genres. The Fictorian blog is an extensive one and many readers of The Memoir Network blog will enjoy perusing its archives—and becoming members. Kristen Luna, its author, has graciously given me permission to reprint her post here. While I am not in total agreement with the fluidity between memoir and friction as depicted in this post, I believe the post is a stimulating one. I have written about this topic of memoir and realistic fiction elsewhere. Please post your feedback below.]
In the summer, my brother and I would walk to our small town library. Sometimes, we’d cross paths with a man walking his mountain lion on the sidewalk. One time, the mountain lion bit my arm, and I needed fourteen stitches.
It’s crazy, but it’s actually mostly true. I was afraid for my life when I saw the mountain lion, but it never actually bit my arm. But it’s plausible, and who’s to say I’m wrong? It’s my memory, after all.
I technically could sell this story as a memoir. But when someone starts digging into my history and finds that, although there was a man in my hometown that had a pet mountain lion, there are no hospital records of me getting stitches.
As authors, we are artists and we create masterpieces through our words. Here’s how as memoir writers are master sculptors. With the recent launch her first memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse, Kathy Pooler is reminded that the process of envisioning, carving, chiseling and shaping our book can be […]