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Archive | How to Write a Book

In a sense every blog post on this site is about how to write a book, but in this category I have listed some blog posts that may contribute specifically to answering your questions about how to go about the process of writing—the mechanics of doing so.

how to write strategically

Why You Should–and how to–Write Strategically!

Can memoir writers write strategically?

We writers are artists. Most of us cultivate inspiration and are happy when we are under its influence. However, there is no one reading this who is unaware that writing can be pick and shovel work and it can be hard going sometimes—there are days when we would rather clean out the garage or the refrigerator than sit down to write. So…why not make the most of our work and learn how to write strategically? [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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why we write stories

Why we write stories

Why we write stories

In the following YouTube video to which I will send you shortly, I write about why stories fascinate us all our lives. As children, we love to listen to bedtime stories. As we grow older, we tell our own stories about what happened at school or at our after-school job. As adults, we often speak in stories and consume stories in the form of novels, movies, TV dramas and conversations at the grocery store as we wait in line. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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writing a non-fiction book

Writing a Non-Fiction Book

Writing a non-fiction book is possible!

A common lament, I hear from writers goes like this, “I wanted a book, and I got off to a good start writing a memoir. I’ve always wanted to write a book, but then I just stopped. I don’t know why.” [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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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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memoir writing program

Six Reasons to Join a Long Distance Memoir Writing Program

Six Reasons You Should Join a Memoir Writing Program

Many of the biggest challenges facing memoir writers can be alleviated by joining a memoir writing program.

Memoir writers—as all writers—work in isolation. There are many times when a memoir writer would like to have a contact with someone who could help her/him to resolve a writing issue—whether it’s  a question of grammar, style, or structure.

If you were not a plumber, would you do the plumbing to your house without first learning as much as you could about plumbing?

Of course, you would want to inform yourself.

You might peruse YouTube, buy some how-to books on plumbing, give a call to a person who is a plumber to ask your questions.

Here’s how you as a new writer can follow the same process to write your first memoir draft. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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Helpful Thoughts As You Write a Memoir

As you write a memoir, you will find that you need much more information about technique or about style or about research or any number of other topics. Unless you have been writing much over the years, this is likely to be you. Going to the library for information is a necessary next step for […]

how to write a successful memoir

How to Write a Successful Memoir: Digging for Treasure

Today’s successful memoir writer is Jean Crichton. Jean attended the very first national workshop that I organized in 2000. From that time, we developed a strong working relationship via coaching and editing. She was one of those writers who was an absolute pleasure to work with. To read past interviews For the most recent interview with […]

ItCanHappenCover

How to Write a Successful Memoir: It Can Happen to Any Family

Today’s writer is Cindy Doucette whose book is It Can Happen to Any Family. On August 22, 2012, we printed a testimonial written by a young person who was in the correctional system and who wrote of the influence Cindy Doucette’s book had on her. Our last interview was with author Peggy Kennedy. If you haven’t read it, click here. Denis […]

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How to Write a Successful Memoir: Approaching Neverland

Denis Ledoux: Can you tell our readers what your successful memoir is about and why you were impelled to write it? What was driving you to spend the time, energy and money to get this book out into the world? Peggy Kennedy: The name of my book is Approaching Neverland, A Memoir of Epic Tragedy […]

A Memoir of a Girlhood Spent in a Parsonage

I Finish A Sugary Frosting: Notes on the Memoir Writing Process

I am in the very last days of polishing A Sugary Frosting / A Memoir of a Girlhood Spent in a Parsonage, the early lifestory of my deceased spouse, Martha Blowen. It’s a time to make sure I have written what I want to write and to check grammar and spelling before it goes out […]

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