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Archive | Art and Memoir Writing

While the memoir writer works with facts and a fixed historical timeline, every memoirist is also an artist who manipulates material to create something that exists on its own. The memoir inevitably creates an a world fashioned by art, wherein metaphor and image play dominant role, story telling is essential and esthetics rule.

The memoir writer is an artist. In this section are posts which explore this notion of the memoir writer as artist.

is memoir writing important

A Memoir Writer Is an Artist

A memoir writer is an artist. If you are writing your lifestories, you have begun to do the work of the artist, to create as an artist creates. Although you may not think of yourself as a maker of art, you are engaging in the artist’s process of creating order out of chaotic reality.

To make art is to embark on a journey of discovery that leads inevitably, even if in a meandering way, to a greater understanding of yourself and your life. When you practice an art regularly and learn to do it well, your emotions and ideas are disciplined through working within the form of that art and they are transformed. This process of creation has the power to teach you how to live your life— and it will continue to provide insights as long as you pursue your art honestly and deeply. This, too, is the work of memoir writing. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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write a significant memoir

Writing Is Soul Work

Do you find that writing is soul work or do you struggle with doing your pages? Like many readers of this blog, I myself struggle with the concept of what it means to me to be a writer. Notice I have written “what it means to me.” I am not much concerned with how other […]

writer's block

The First Paragraph Can Make or Break a Memoir for the Reader

Is the first paragraph of a memoir really important?

Writers sometimes struggle with how to begin a story and will not write the story until they have the beginning—the first paragraph.

This is not a good way to proceed.

The first paragraph of a memoir sets the tone.

The first paragraph creates the tone and often presents imagery that will shape the reader’s appreciation of your story—whether a vignette or a full memoir.

In a short story I wrote many years ago, I did not compose the first paragraph until I had written the whole story. Frankly, I was stumped and did not know how to begin the story, how to launch the  reader.

[Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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Start Your Memoir Right

Is Your Memoir Worth the Time to Write?

“Worth the time to write?” I repeated—raising my voice into a question—when a man said Denis Ledouxto me at a conference where I was speaking that most people didn’t have a memoir that was worth their time to write. “Not only is every life worth writing about,” I countered, “but the writing of a memoir […]

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