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November Is Memoir Writing Month

November 9 Activity: How to Use Journals—Real or Imagined—in Memoir Writing

When you learn to use journals in memoir writing, you will produce more accurate and detailed stories. Your journal is a kind of writing laboratory, where you can experiment with techniques to record your feelings and perceptions. It’s also a great tool to get around writer’s block!

If you are fortunate enough to have recorded your life in a journal, you can use your entries to refresh your memory and get access to salient facts or verify what you remember. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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The Memoir Network

3 Benefits of Keeping a Journal

Journal Keeping Benefits

When keeping a journal—regular (even daily), some people feel a release of energy they don’t have in other writing forms. Because of that, journal keeping can be an important developmental experience for you both as a person and as a writer. Because the journal is private by definition, you can write in it without fear of how an audience might react. No one will ever see it. Not ever—unless you want them to!

Your journal is a kind of writing laboratory. Scientists use a laboratory to conduct experiments. They check what results from adding this to that, from changing relationships and quantities and sequences. Sometimes when the results are interesting and prove worth pursuing, they continue conducting experiments in similar areas, pairing these findings with those from other experiments.

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

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journal writing for the memoir writer

Journal Writing for the Memoir Writer

Journal Writing for the Memoir Writer

Journal writing is an effective practice for the memoir writer. It is a spontaneous and generally free-flowing activity and so can be very helpful to you in loosening up both your thinking and your writing type (the two usually go together). Your journal is an opportunity to bypass the familiar rules that govern much of the other forms of writing—especially the essay form. In the journal, whatever you write and however you write is ok. You don’t have to worry about form. For many writers—especially for new writers who are still caught in “the way it’s supposed to be written,” this is a great freedom! [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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Turning-Memories-Into-Memoirs-Denis-Ledoux-Picture

What I Do to Stay in the Memoir-Writing Conversation

I read professional journals. Poets and Writers from cover to cover. I receive the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance e-newsletter weekly. It’s a membership newsletter and comes chock full of news about what other writers are doing, readings schedules, and announcements of book publications. Do you have…

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.