Interviewing family members and friends is clearly a form of research, but interviews alone are usually not enough to give your stories the depth they require. For that, you need formal research.
For many new writers, the excitement of conceiving a memoir—you are excited by the thought of how good this memoir is going to be—is followed by the challenge of actually getting started with the writing.
A let down sets in. You’ve never written a memoir before. Where do you start writing a memoir and how do you keep going?
Many people just like you have succeeded at what you propose to do. You, too, can succeed at getting started writing an interesting and meaningful memoir.
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. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Scope: What’s Right for You?
In this video, Scope: What’s Right for You?, I ask how much time and energy are you willing to give to writing your memoir? The more honest and insightful you are in answering this question, the more pleasure you will derive from your writing and the greater the satisfaction you will find in preserving your stories. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
How to be a Better Storyteller
Some people come to memoir writing with a natural facility for storytelling. If that is you—great! But…
Don’t despair if you aren’t one of these natural storytellers. To a great extent, storytelling is a facility which can be learned—you can acquire this facility. It’s a matter of developing both technical skills to shape a story and a belief in yourself as capable of growth and of assuming your rightful role as storyteller. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
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. ]
People who are writing a memoir will sometimes say, “I want to write my stories but I have forgotten so many details. Is there any way I can get them back? Should I use writing prompts?”
There is one tool above all others that makes the experience of life writing successful. That tool is not a writing prompt: it is the Memory List. No other exercise opens up the process of life writing as quickly and as surely as the thoughtful and thorough compilation of such a list. It’s simple, and as a first step, it’s crucial.
Let me tell you about the Memory List (a general term for your list of memories).
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. ]
Celebrating and honoring your life by remembering and writing both big and small stories is very rewarding. It is a significant way to understand your life and to come to peace with it. Your memoirs are a legacy your family will treasure for generations–don’t you wish your grandparents had written their memoirs? Follow these simple […]
Is your family one of the many whose history is at risk for getting lost to future generations because no one has written it down? Here is a clear focus for writign a memoir Writing your lifestories—even just a few—is a great way to memorialize your family and to keep the experience of your life—and […]
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. ]