Our memoir writing exercises are different from those found on other sites. We do not like to provide ready-made writing prompts such as: “who was your favorite teacher in high school?” or “what three things did you like to do during the summer?”
Writing prompts can be entertaining, and when shared in a group, they can be fun enough, but they are an example of writing from the outside in—which promises a miss—and not from the inside out as we advocate throughout this site.
Instead of prompts, we advocate organic memoir writing exercises that are likely to lead to a deepening of your insight rather than to a titillation for your entertainment — which is what we think of most writing exercises.
Our premier writing exercise is the Memory List, but as this category demonstrate there are many other possibilities to hone your skills.
Read the many posts below to see for yourself how the memoir writing exercises we suggest are better than any writing prompt that asks you to write about something like “It’s the year 2500 and you are…”
When writing memoir the project typically starts with a burst of energy. “This is going to be a good piece of writing! Help to keep you writing your memoir.
Choose A Voice To Write From Choosing a voice is imperative. This may sound like a joke, but it’s not. In fact, it is a very serious question that will determine-or at least greatly influence-the tone and the theme of your narrative. “But, I’m writing my memoirs!” you might answer. Yes, of course. It’s you! […]
Recently on the Forum, David wrote about not accessing the feeling side of his memories, of writing a memoir that, if I am understanding him right, was all details and facts.
Below is my response which can serve as a stand alone article, but I hope you will go to the Forum and read the thread and even write a note to David about what your take is on his situation.
Or if you prefer, leave a comment below about your thoughts about writing feelings into your memoir.
Here are some of my suggestions for writing feelings into your memoir:
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Many writers would like to write or blog a memoir. It’s not that different than writing or blogging a novel, except, of course, you are blogging or writing about your own experiences…
Over the years, I have worked with many writers to help them create and shape their memoirs. It’s my pleasure to bring to your attention one such writer: Peggy Kennedy from San Ramon, California, for whom I had the pleasure of providing coaching and editing help. After a number of years of preparation, her memoir of growing up in a family with a mentally-ill mother, Approaching Neverland, is now in print. (Ordering information below.) I am happy to report on her memoir success.
Peggy recently sent me news of her book in the months following publication.
“Approaching Neverland is doing well. I’m pleased to say that the Midwest Book Review gave it five stars. I’m also pleased to be losing my fear of speaking before an audience, and I’m almost to the point of looking forward to it! I was on ‘CBS 5 Bay Sunday,’ a Bay Area morning show, on August 2. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]