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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?

In this section, we offer you some conceptual and hands-on suggestions for you to start writing a memoir well so that you keep writing to the end.

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.

commit to writing your memoir

Commit to writing your memoir with a time management strategy

Note from the Editor: The following post is taken from Writer’s Time: Management That Works. This program functions with an open enrollment, and it will be launching on July 13. Discounted registrations are being accepted now.

The first step to maximize your writing time is to commit to writing your memoir—really commit. More than other choice, committing to write will focus you and make every other decision easier—and even sometimes unnecessary.

“But I already want to write my memoir!” I can hear some hypothetical writer protesting. “I am very interested.”

How “committed” manages time and how “interested in” does not

No, commitment is not about wanting to write a memoir, not about trying to write one, and not about being interested in writing one… [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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Writing a memoir: how to

Writing a memoir is not easy.

Writing a memoir requires a lot of time and energy—but you can do it. You can succeed in writing a memoir. Many people just like you have succeeded in doing so already.

I want to share a system with you for getting started on writing a memoir.

As with so many projects you might undertake, you can reinvent the wheel or you can plug into a system that has been shown to work. My Memoir Network has been helping people just like you to write personal and family stories since 1988 and our proven system can help you, too, to write a memoir.

The system that I have found to be best for launching new writers—and many practiced writers, too—has three parts to it.

1. When writing a memoir, create a memory list.

A Memory List is a list of everything you remember either in your life or in the life of the person you are writing about or, instead of memory listing an entire life, you can choose a part of a life—the period you are currently writing about. In fact, I usually ask people to chose some small period of their intended memoir and To make a Memory List of that time.

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

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Your Subject—Where Writing With Passion Starts

Writing with passion

“What to write about in a memoir?” is a basic question. The right answer will keep you writing and the wrong may lead you to believe that writing a memoir is too hard and not for you.

My answer to what to write about in a memoir is always to write about something important to you—not what you think is important to others.

Why are you writing? What is it that you hope to get from this effort of creating a memoir? You are about to devote a lot of time and energy to this task. Be sure it is for reasons that will keep you writing with passion. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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Where Do You Start Writing Your Memoir?

Where Do You Start Writing Your Memoir?

It’s a quandary: where do you start writing your memoir? Many people may say: from the beginning. So? Does that mean you start from the first thing you can remember in the sequence of the story? I suppose you could do that, but, I don’t think that is the best place to start your memoir. So where is the best place to start your memoir?

1. The answer is actually quite simple: Start your memoir anywhere in the story. 

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

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How to Begin a Memoir

Many writers agonize about just where to start a memoir. There are, of course, many places where a story can commence.

Start Your Memoir Right

Where Do You Start Writing Your Memoir?

Is there a best place to start writing your memoir? It’s a quandary: where do you start writing your memoir? Many people may say: from the beginning. But, I don’t think that is the best place to start composing. The answer is actually quite simple: Start writing your memoir anywhere in the story.

memoir writing support

Why Should You Write Your Memoir?

Should you write your memoir? This is such a basic question that perhaps everyone who contemplates writing will be—or should be—asking him/herself that question.

The Memoir Network

How to Start Writing a Memoir: What’s Your Focus?

DL: I are pleased today to introduce an Australian writer and memoir professional to readers of The Memoir Writer’s blog with this post: How to Start Writing  a Memoir: What’s Your Focus? This post was previously published on Alan’s website which is full of informative articles for the memoir writer.

At first glance, writing memoir might appear to be easier than writing fiction. After all, it’s your life and you know the story, yes? It’s not as if you have to make anything up. Not like fiction writers who have to think the whole lot up: plot, characters, everything.

But writing about your own life is rarely simple and never easy. Some writers suggest that memoir is harder to do well than fiction.

Before we go on, it’s probably useful to define what a memoir is and isn’t. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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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.