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Author Archive | Denis Ledoux

Showing up for my memoir

Showing up for my memoir– again!

DL: This is a reprint of a post that appeared in September of 2022. It strikes me as pertinent for many readers of The Lifewriter’s Digest. The final publication of French Boy took another year. I republish this both to present a proven process and to own that I have my challenges, too. I’m not […]

project manager

Writing a Memoir Is a Big Project. It Calls For the Project Manager Function.

Succeeding in writing a book of memoirs in an expeditious and meaningful fashion is important. If you dwell in your memoir project manager function for even a short while before you jump into your worker mode and write, write, write, you may be very pleased with how more smoothly and quickly you create.

I am not talking about outlining a story here. No, I am talking about setting writing schedules that don’t interfere with commitments, clearing unnecessary commitments so that they don’t nag at you, getting cooperation from other people in your household, and making sure you have the research capacity to pull off writing your memoir.

Writers love to dream and to do the writing. What they don’t like is planning their writing life. So… the planning is overruled and then the writing life is full of interruptions and rough going.

A Memoir Project Manager Helps You Set Goals for Your Memoir

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help writing a memoir

A Faulty Process Is—Well—Useless

One memoir writer who had spent two or three years writing her story submitted her formatted manuscript to me for a final edit. She told me she hadn’t gotten help writing a memoir because she hadn’t wanted to be influenced.

As I read her story, I struggled to find its focus. There didn’t seem to be any.

Ouch!

The manuscript was full of vague (meaningless, really) sentences that really didn’t transmit much meaning. Lines such as: “The town I grew up in was in the middle of nowhere.”

Ouch!

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publish a book

3 Decisions That Sustain Your Memoir Writing

I want to share with you three decisions you can make to help you to succeed more quickly and easily at memoir writing.

Over the last two decades, I have coached many, many writers—more writers than I can remember. In those years, I have seen some people soar with the experience—it’s as if they can do no wrong—while unfortunately, I have seen others coach with me for periods of time without making any apparent change or progress.

This experience has enabled me to come up with three decisions a person who wants to succeed at memoir writing must make. These decisions will help you to reach publication faster than you can without them.

1. You must resolve to commit to the discipline necessary to succeed.

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Memoir Editing

Be a Better Memoir Writer with Deliberate Practice

We all wear many hats as we go through our days. In my case, I am a writer, a memoirist, a teacher, a memoir coach, a memoir editor, a co-author, a book publisher, and finally, a small business person. I wear those hats with pride and, I hope, some accomplishment.

Beyond these, I wear other hats as all of you do also. One is that of an athlete of sorts: there has been swimming, jogging, and weight lifting. In this post, want to focus on how I worked on my physical conditioning through deliberate practice and then apply that to memoir writing.

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memoir editing process

So You Wonder How Memoir Editing Works

You ask how memoir editing works. This is an important and reasonable question.

In this post, I will take you through a typical process. (The process explained here is one an inexperienced writer would take. An experienced writer can expect to shorten the process.)

How Memoir Editing Works

When I begin the memoir editing process with clients, I tell them that proper editing generally requires three “read-throughs.” Unless the manuscript is already at a high level of organization and polish, no editor can give a manuscript all the attention it deserves in one reading.

That’s simply how memoir editing works when done properly

Reading a manuscript without doing any specific editing and forming only a general impression has always seemed a good idea in theory, but I have not found a way to do so that is economical for the client. I have therefore evolved this concept of read-throughs as a memoir editing technique. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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what is developmental editing

What Is Developmental Editing and Why You Need It for Your Self-Published Memoir

What is developmental editing and do you need it? If the big New York publishing houses NEVER publish a manuscript without extensive editing, why would you as a self-publisher?

A professional memoir editor can quickly and effectively help you tweak your lifestory so that you get to say more clearly and dynamically what you have been trying to say. You can’t write your best memoir without developmental editing—it’s game-changing.

Editors come in many stripes: some are copy editors, others are content editors while still another kind is a developmental editor.

In this post, I want to focus on developmental editing and how it will help you write a memoir you can be proud to send into the world.

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