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November 9 Activity: How to Use Journals—Real or Imagined—in Memoir Writing

November 9: Use journals in memoir writing.

When you learn to use journals in memoir writing, you will produce more accurate and detailed stories.

If you are fortunate enough to have recorded your life in a journal, you can use your entries to refresh your memory and get access to salient facts or verify what you remember.

If you have not recorded your life, there is still hope you! You can enter into the world of the unconscious and write “as if.”

The action steps below will help you to use journals in memoir writing and to write the best memoir possible.

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Journal Writing

Journal Writing for the Memoir Writer

Journal Writing for the Memoir Writer

Journal writing is an effective practice for the memoir writer. It is a spontaneous and generally free-flowing activity and so can be very helpful to you in loosening up both your thinking and your writing type (the two usually go together). Your journal is an opportunity to bypass the familiar rules that govern much of the other forms of writing—especially the essay form. In the journal, whatever you write and however you write is ok. You don’t have to worry about form. For many writers—especially for new writers who are still caught in “the way it’s supposed to be written,” this is a great freedom!

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