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Work of Writing a Memoir

How to pick up and finish your memoir at last

Are you wanting to finish your memoir? How do you pick it up and finish a memoir that you started some time ago?
There are writers who stop writing and then do not know how to re-connect to the writing life. Writers who have stopped writing may want to write again, to pick up their memoir, but what has happened is that the train of thought, the feeling, and the sensibility that went into the creation of those previously-written stories have now been lost. They are no longer in that realm where writing a memoir is something they can do easily.
The source of their inspiration has dried up.

How to pick up and finish your memoir

Read a memoir.

Let reading whet your appetite for writing. Reading a memoir is an excellent way to re-enter the memoir conversation. Do not underestimate its value. As to your choice of memoir, one in the subject area that approximates your own is best.
If you are writing about raising an exceptional child, read a memoir about another parent doing the same. After you have read this memoir, read another and then another.
Take care not to read passively! Instead, read like a writer: analyze what works for you as a reader so that you can imitate this in your own writing. Conversely, avoid what did not appeal to you as a reader or a writer.

Keep a writing journal.

In your journal, record your reactions to your existing memoir. A writing journal is a great place to record your thoughts: you might ask yourself if your memoir is ambitious enough or if the tone is appropriate to the message. Have you done enough research to carry authority in your narrative?

Pick Up Your Memoir Again and Finish It

If you do not have a writing journal, obtain one. It need not be an expensive book—a composition notebook is fine. That’s what I use. A journal in which you thoughtfully record your responses to your writing permits you to explore your thoughts in a way an answer that remains in your head does not—and cannot.
The questions you will have to answer will usually be open-ended: such as “How did I feel when…?” Writing your answer on paper works very well for articulating it clearly and remembering later. Our difficulties are often problems that stem from our emotions and personal habits. Your journal permits you to explore these emotions and habits.
I wish you good luck with picking up your memoir again—and every success in finishing it.
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