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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.

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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, 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.)

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7 Responses to 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.

  1. Daniel Bennett August 1, 2020 at 11:30 AM #

    Thanks Denis. Great tips. Just gotta follow a few and get writing.

  2. catherine coyle October 26, 2020 at 5:24 PM #

    Thank you.
    Finding this site has encouraged me to have another go at writing my memoirs.

  3. Denis Ledoux October 26, 2020 at 5:51 PM #

    You are welcome, Cathie.
    Thanks for your comment. It makes me feel my work is making a difference to people.
    I believe that the experience of writing is important to the writer and the reading of our memoirs can change people’s lives. So…
    Keep writing. It is an important undertaking. And…
    Continue to read. There are over 500 posts on the blog and all are available to you and everyone for free.

  4. Michaelboubs Michaelboubs November 28, 2021 at 6:10 AM #

    My brother and I are excited having found your website. It is exactly what my friends from work and I have been looking for. The knowledge on the website is beneficial and helpful and will assist my family and friends. It looks like the site has a lot of info about subjects on memoir writing and the other links and information really show it. I’m not typically on the internet all of the time but when I get a break I’m always hunting for this kind of knowledge and others closely concerning it. I have two of my family members that have acquired an interest in this because of all that I have found out about it on your site and they will for sure to be visiting the blog because it is such an incredible discovery.

  5. Denis Ledoux January 3, 2022 at 2:26 PM #

    Thanks for your words of appreciation. I am always gratified to know that my work helps other. Let me know how your writing is shaping up

  6. Tina Bozzuto April 7, 2022 at 3:54 PM #

    Hello, Denis,

    I am a graphic designer and writer/editor and have been working with an older friend who asked me to write, design and self publish her memoir. We have been working on it for 4 years. It is a slow process as I am not interviewing her, she has no word processing applications and insists in writing her thoughts in longhand and having me transcribe them into a typewritten draft. I use InDesign to do that and realized that eventually I will need to break that document into individual chapters so I can insert her photos that I am scanning. I recommended that she have Lulu publish the book ( I have worked with them before.)

    I have looked around on your site and see that there is a lot of useful, free information- thank you! Right now I am focused on the mechanics of how to efficiently get to the place where I can hand off the final files to Lulu. I expect that the writing will be finished in several months. What should I be planning for or avoiding to wrap up this project?

  7. Denis Ledoux April 29, 2022 at 10:25 AM #

    I’d be happy to spend sometime with you to address these questions. Send me three times you can meet for a consultation and I will choose one.

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