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Where Do You Start Your Memoir?

It’s a quandary: where do you start writing your memoir? Many people may say: from the beginning. So? Does that mean you start from the first thing you can remember in the sequence of the story? I suppose you could do that, but, I don’t think that is the best place to start your memoir. So where is the best place to start your memoir?

The answer is actually quite simple: Start your memoir anywhere in the story 

That’s right. Let your instinct prompt you about what you ought to write on any given day and keep writing that topic/vignette for as long as you feel like it. Then, if the topic or vignette ceases to interest you and you would like to write about something else, go ahead and write something else. Write about the new story line even if you haven’t finished the previous one. You are connecting to your muse at this point! You can finish the first effort later.

Memoirs are really collected musings that are woven seamlessly.

Think about it: if you wrote 3 pages a day—in any order—for 100 days you would have three hundred pages of manuscript. You would then organize the stories and vignettes—most people do this task chronologically. Inevitably, there will be many transitional stories missing. These you will then write and insert in their proper chronological place in the manuscript.

Only you will know that the vignette between pages 179 and 184 was written first of all the stories; the reader will not even suspect it. For the reader, however, the memoir will begin on page one! While this is certainly not always the case, the beginning of the memoir, the place that more than any other in the book, creates a tone to the story, may have been written last. In fact, writing or re-writing the first chapter of your memoir is frequently the last thing you do in the writing of your book.

The most important thing: start your memoir today!

Memoirs do have an incubator stage in which you feel your way through the story, evaluate its significance—”Is this memoir, told from this point of view, espousing this sort of theme significant enough to warrant the enormous undertaking writing a memoir will entail?” Now after your incubtor period, supposing your answer is the memoir is significant enough, there remains the inevitable:

Start your memoir

It is by writing that the writing gets done. Good luck and stay in the memoir conversation.


Two big assists to help you start your memoir:

1. The Memoir Authority membership program provides you with many resources to help you grow and persevere as a writer. Every month, receive links to new interviews with memoir writers working at the national level, e-courses to help you with specific aspects of memoir writing, e-books that you will want to refer to again and again. Click here to learn more about how you can join Memoir Authority, our premier membership site for writers who seriously want to finish their memoir this year.

2. Accelerate your mastering-the-writing curve. Take advantage of all the resources in the Memoir Start Up Package. It comes with over $80 of bonuses. Click here for a complete list of package benefits available immediately to help you move your memoir along.

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