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A big part of being successful at memoir writing is showing up and doing the work. To succeed you have to do the writing; you have to exercise writing discipline, some “nose to the grindstone.”

Now the writing process is neither straightforward nor linear, and there are many unexpected twists and turns to the process. In fact, in the blog posts below on writing discipline, you will even find one on taking time out—which doesn’t seem very much like discipline. But when you go to the post you will see that it does lead to more discipline—now that’s a twist and turn!

People get it that they need to show up for paid employment as scheduled, but so many writers don’t get “showing up” very clearly and insist on writing when they feel like it. (“I don’t want to force my writing!” etc.) The fact is that big parts of writing can be compared to yeomen’s work and not too many people feel like doing “pick and shovel work!” No, this sort of work is best scheduled—or else it will be always put off.

Turn inspiration on.

Inspiration is an on-again-and-off-again experience. What I have found is that inspiration can be turned on with scheduling regularity. Just as going to the gym at regular times can get you motivated as exercise time approaches, so too writing at fixed times can get the juices going. And if it doesn’t?

You will have a period of time set aside anyway to produce your memoir.

In Conclusion

There are many factors that will contribute to your success as a memoir writer, and discipline in writing your memoir is one of them.

The posts below will provide some insight into what you might do to let discipline help you succeed.

Good luck as you write your memoir.

 

time for writing

Your writing is your work–Make time for writing

To make time for writing, you have to be serious about the principle that your writing is your work. You must act on it and take it as seriously as your paying job. You honor your writing schedule!

You do not show up at your work when you feel like it

If you are working as a nurse or a therapist or a business office administrator or what not, you do not show up at your work when you feel like it or when you are inspired. You have certain hours whether you work full-time or part-time during which you are expected to show up at the job. The same is true of your writing. You show up for your writing schedule.

If you write when you “get to it,” when you “feel like it,” when inspiration moves you, you will likely do little writing and almost certainly not complete a book of memoirs. If you were being paid for this memoir “job,” your boss would fire you. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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Work of Writing a Memoir

The Work of Writing a Memoir Can Be Hard: Do it!

No one said it would be easy to do the work of writing a memoir!

“Writing is hard,” you realize again as you look at your production for the day. “Perhaps I’m not cut out for this work of writing a memoir.”

To your dismay, you have been writing in snippets for many days now. In the mornings, when you show up at your laptop—later and later it seems, you must face, as does every writer, a demanding master: your daily writing. Why can’t writing be more fun? Why can’t it be—well, to tell the truth—less hard?

Oh, how you wish it were the end of your scheduled writing period for the day! Why did you think you could do this book-writing thing!

“Whom am I kidding?” [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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take a break from writing

Four Reasons to Take a Break from Writing

When should you take a break from writing?

Writing is hard work, and there will be many times when it seems too difficult. You sit at your desk and nothing much comes. Your impulse is to get up to do something—anything—else, as long as it’s not writing! You think of the lawn that needs mowing, the closet that needs cleaning, etc.

But, stop and ask yourself if you may simply need to take a break from writing and need some physical activity, rather than avoiding the work. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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writing your memoir

Writing Your Memoir One Story at a Time—It Adds Up

Make Writing Your Memoir Less Daunting

Writing your memoir does not have to be an intimidating task. Envisioning your autobiography as a series of stories makes the sizable task of writing the stories of a lifetime tolerable and ultimately enjoyable. Lifestories, written singly just as they are told, one by one, add up—sometimes effortlessly—to a memoir.

Whenever I have written a book, I have written it several pages at a time. Were I to ask a beginning writer, “can you produce a 140-page story for me?” most would blanch and then protest, “I can’t write that much!” When I ask people if they can write a 3-, 4-, 5- or even 7-page story, most will answer, “Sure I can do that.” [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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don't feel like writing

Writing When You Don’t Feel Like Writing

What to do when you don’t feel like writing?

Writing a memoir is not easy. As I have written so many times—no one has ever promised it would be. Au contraire

Memoir writing can be difficult. Among the biggest of the difficulties is discouragement. How easy is it to write when you don’t feel like it and are sure you are producing junk words? In case you haven’t guessed (but I’m sure you have been there done that)… [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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writing

Show Up and Do the Writing!

To your dismay, you have been writing your memoir in snippets. In the mornings, when you show up on your laptop, you face, as does every writer, a demanding master: a writing stint for the day.

Oh, how you wish it were the end of your scheduled writing period!

Like many memoir writers, your memoir writing time is perhaps not long. Then you need to move on to the numerous chores that are attendant on keeping a life and a home going. You feel some urgency to write deathless prose because of the short time allotted.

But some days, even your short writing period seems too long. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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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 […]

writing energy

Save your Writing Energy: Don’t Give Your Memoir Gold Away

People everywhere have an urge to make their stories public—in any format that will satisfy the impulse. Because in human development, speech comes first and writing later, the impulse to make a story public is almost certainly to speak it initially and only subsequently to write it. But this can be dangerous for chanelling your […]

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Writer’s Block Is Often Caused by Lack of Discipline

Some people successfully use the notion of writer’s block to convince friends and family that, while they’re real writers, they just happen not to be producing–but a person can do this only for a while. Remember: you can never successfully use writer’s block to get your stories written!

A Long Distance Writing Program

Don’t Talk Your Stories Away

Don’t Talk Your Stories Away

When a writer talks too much and too revealingly about a work-in-progressespecially at the early stage before the writing has taken shapethe energy to get the story written is often scattered. Sometimes what passes for a writer’s block is only a failure to relate to your stories in a way that’s conducive to getting them written. This may seem like a writer’s block but it’s not. It’s really poor writing discipline!

People have an urge to make their stories publicin any format that will satisfy the impulse. Talking over a cup of tea may be just as satisfying a release as shaping a memorable poem or novel or life story.

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

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