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There are many pieces to the writing process, collected here are articles that will help the memoir writer at every stage of the operation.

writing process steps

Writing Process Steps–Linger With Your Story

One of the writing process steps is to linger with your story. Many, and perhaps most, people write too fast. I don’t mean that they end up with a text characterized by sloppy grammar, spelling problems and chronology issues—although that may be the case, of course.

No, what I mean is that they push through the process of writing their stories much too quickly. They end up with only a part of the story they could have written had they lingered. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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write memoir

How Is Learning to Write Memoir Like Learning to Swim?

When learning to write memoir, it can feel awkward and uncomfortable as you learn the process, just like learning to swim. We often see people who are not comfortable swimming flail about in the water, their heads reaching up high, desperately, to catch a breath of air. This awkward gesture soon tires them. Try as they might there is not enough air for them as they constrict their ribs, twist their heads, contort their jaws. Soon enough, considering that they had set out to enjoy the water, these people quit and return to the shore. Swimming is over for the day. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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Complete Your Book Manuscript

Write to the End: Complete Your Book Manuscript

A Suggestion on How to Complete Your Book Manuscript

May I present a surprise blocking solution to complete your book manuscript: don’t write just now.

learn how to continue writing to the end.

Learn how to continue writing to the end.

Here is an example of what I mean: one summer when I was serious about gardening, I went away on a late June trip. It was a fun vacation with my family, but the trip fell at a time when the garden seriously needed daily weeding, hoeing, and watering. As you can imagine, when I returned home, I found my garden overrun with weeds. The vegetables that I had so carefully planted were just about choked out, so I was, to say the least, challenged seeing the overgrown mess of weeds.

Rather than tackle the job immediately, however, which would certainly have been reasonable, I made a counter-intuitive decision: I spent time across several days just sitting on the edge of the garden, envisioning how I wanted the various parts to look once my work of cleaning up was done, imagining the lovely vegetables I would have.

Action will come.

After three days of on-again, off-again scrutinizing and visualizing, my time for action had come.

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

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formal research

You Need Formal Research

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.

memoir writing deadline

Memoir Writing Deadline: How To Set Yours

As in most endeavors in life, when you write a memoir as an open-ended task without any end in sight, you are likely to procrastinate and extend the project. What happens when you do not set a memoir writing deadline is, next year or the year after that, you are still writing, revising, and polishing your lifestory. You know how it is: you want to get it right. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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distance learning

Distance Learning: A Precious Opportunity

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. ]

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time sequencing and flashbacks

Before Sending a Manuscript To An Editor Part 3–Time Sequencing and Flashbacks

Note from the Editor: This third installment of Before Sending a Manuscript to an Editor series offers basic editing tips around time sequencing and flashbacks. For Part 1: Self-Editing Techniques Click here. For Part 2: Use of Time  Click here.

A writer can effect these tips to bring a manuscript to a higher level of finish before sending the piece off to a professional editor. In this section, I write about use of time: specifically, cause and effect time sequencing and flashbacks. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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best interview practices

Best Interview Practices for Writing a Memoir

Can you assume you can depend on your memory when you write your lifestories? The problem with this assumption is that memory isn’t always as reliable as you may want it to be! What are the best interview practices to find out if your memory is spot on?

work with and through pain

Work With or Through Pain: Writing Painful Memories

In this video, Work With or Through Pain: Writing Painful Memories, I talk about writing through painful memories. Pain is often a barrier to memoir writing. Who wants to revisit difficult times? Although delving into the past is a generally pleasant experience and promotes healing and growth, it can also be painful. In fact, sooner or later, pain seems to come with memoir writing. This pain if not handled well, can inhibit—and even stop—you from continuing with your writing. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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self-editing techniques

Before Sending a Manuscript To An Editor / Part 1–Self-Editing Techniques

Note from the Editor: This first installment of Before Sending a Manuscript to an Editor series offers basic editing tips around self-editing techniques. For Part 2 Use of Time Click here.  For Part 3 Time Sequencing and Flashbacks Click here

Self-Editing Techniques and Tips

I have been a memoir and fiction editor since 1990. In that time, I have worked with hundreds of manuscripts.

Some have come to me requiring only slight tweaking. The texts are nearly ready for publication. The authors have created an interesting and well-crafted piece of writing. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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