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Many new memoir writers come to The Memoir Network site—as you have done—and find here much material—informative posts on this blog and e-books, MP3s, and e-courses in the My Memoir Education area.

For some of writers who have in mind a readership of children, grandchildren, relatives and a few friends, the free material is enough—enough to supplement their writing skills and knowledge and culminate in a well-received memoir. While they want to write the best memoir they can, they also realize that the bar is not high—theirs is, after all, an appreciative audience which will be thrilled with whatever the writer produces.

For other writers, however, who want to produce a memoir read by a larger audience—people they don’t know and who don’t know them—the challenge is greater. The memoir calls for more structuring of the story line—its pacing and arching, more depth of analysis—after all, “that’s just who I was” is hardly a perceptive observation, more attention to style, greater use of fiction techniques—foreshadowing, suspense, repetition, allusions, compare and contrast.

These topics are covered in many of the blog posts, but knowledge is one thing and practice is another. So…

Many writers come to the realization that if they could have done it alone, they would have done it by now. If this is you, working with a memoir professional will bring you great dividends. It will take you from trying to write a memoir to being a published writer. Look up how an editor, coach, or ghostwriter can help you write a memoir a larger public will want to read.

memoir writer's blog archives

Benefits of Reading the Memoir Writer’s Blog Archives

Two new articles each week

What are the benefits of reading the Memoir Writer’s Blog archives? Twice a week, I post a new article on the Memoir Writer’s Blog. It then appears in the Memoir Writing Blog Archives. I write about a variety of topics, and most of them are understandably not in sequence with what I have written just days before—or even the previous week.

I write in the Memoir Writer’s Blog as the fancy takes me. Most readers want to learn in a just-in-time manner.  What I write today may very well be the very topic you need to keep going even if you had not known that before reading the post on The Memoir Writer’s Blog. That’s why you need to keep checking the memoir writer’s blog archives.

What writing topics are in the archives?

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

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memoir editing process

How Memoir Editing Works

When I begin the memoir editing process with clients, I tell them that a proper editing requires three “read-throughs.” It is impossible to 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. 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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distance learning

Distance Learning: A Precious Opportunity

For most emerging writers, enrolling in a distance learning program is an exciting experience. At long last, for a period of time that is long enough to make a difference, you give yourself the opportunity to immerse yourself in learning the “best practices” of the writing craft that you has been so wanting to learn for a long time.

An adult-learning program which will help you to master writing might be a university course, a local workshop, a one-on-one relationship with a mentor, or a tele-course over the telephone and/or internet.

Many, perhaps most, adult learners, with responsibilities that often include a family, a job, a home, you are unable like your adolescent counterpart to take time out—months, even years—to leave your life to devote yourself to mastering the craft of writing.

Open your world up with distance learning.

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writing a first draft

You Can’t Write Without a First Draft

Give yourself permission to write a rough first draft. Write pages and pages in which you describe the who, the what, the where and the when of the story. Later, as you rework the piece, the why will be written in.

If you are one of those memoir writers who is not otherwise a writer and who will perhaps never write anything else, know that you need to be kind to yourself. In the Turning Memories Into Memoirs workshops, I am often surprised—and dismayed—at how demanding writers are on themselves at an early stage of the process. There are even times when a writer will not turn in a piece of writing because it was not “good enough”—and that in spite of my having told the group that the writing they would submit would still be in its first draft stage.

Think of the first draft of writing as “fixing” the story in the same way that in days when photographs were fixed by chemicals that stage was important if the image was not to be lost. Your first draft is the stage when you “fix” your story, keep it from being lost rather than make it into a masterpiece.

Don’t reward yourself for being a perfectionist!

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

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compterinhand2

How to Make Writing Easier

Why is writing so hard? Why does what you want to write become so difficult the moment you sit down to write? Where are the words you need to convey the excitement or the dread or the anticipation. You are shocked to realize that what appears on the computer screen has no pizzazz! This is […]

A Long Distance Writing Program

6 Benefits of A Long Distance Writing Program

The Write Your First Memoir Draft program has been designed to bring you all the best of an academic external degree program. Many of us have looked into these long distance writing programs or at least have seen them advertised in writers’ magazines like Poets & Writers and the Writer’s Digest and wished we could afford the time and/or the money to attend.

An external, long distance writing program provides a way for an aspiring memoir writer who is not a young person to incorporate significant serious extra learning into a life that is already full. Such is the goal of the Write Your First Memoir Draft program.

How Write Your First Memoir Draft  compares

1. Short residency

Most external long distance learning programs require a short residency on campus. For one day to one week to 10 days to weeks, writers gather on a campus and share and develop their manuscripts in community.

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

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Frustration from writer's block?

3 Causes of “Writer’s Block”

Many writers suffer from writer’s block, yet few understand its possible causes. Memoir writing certainly has its difficulties which can create it, and not just writer’s block! There are a number of reasons that contribute to difficulty in writing. 1. In memoir writing, “writer’s block” can be the result of dealing with uncomfortable material. Perhaps you […]

My Memoir Writing Plan

Commitment vs. Interest

There’s a big difference between your commitment to writing your memoir and being interested. “But I do want to write my memoir,” I can hear some hypothetical person insisting. No, this is not about wanting to write a memoir, not about trying to write one, not about being interested in writing… What I am writing […]

The key to memoir writing success is positive daily habits.

A Key to Memoir Writing Success

Do you ever wish you had the key to memoir writing success? Let me offer you one key that, I believe, every writer needs to make use of. Memoir writing success is built on daily habits. As has been bandied about and attributed to many different speakers, it is said that “you go to the […]

Writing your memoir is a marathon. Getting memoir writing help is valuable for strengthening your writing skills.

A Memoir is a Marathon. Can you do it?

You can write a memoir! When you are facing a challenging undertaking, it is wise to seek help. If you were attempting to run a marathon, you would study up on the endeavor and be sure you are doing things right. Perhaps you would join a running club or a website that offers you a […]

A gift for you...
...because you need to get your memoir written. This little book will focus you to complete your memoir.
  • Your memoir deserves to be written. We help people get their story down—right!
  • Writing a memoir or want to improve one you're working on? Download Memoir Writing 101: How to Craft a Compelling Memoir or Lifestory / 10 Steps and a Bonus.
  • Memoir Writing 101 comes with The Lifewriter's Guides, a biweekly "workshop in an email.".
  • If you are already a member of The Memoir Network, this e-book and others are available to you free in Member Resources.