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Be a Memoir Professional FAQ

Q. I want to be a Memoir Professional, but I am concerned about how much could I earn?

A. How much you could earn will depend entirely on how much outreach you do, how effective it is, how good you are at retaining students and converting prospects into coaching/editing/ghostwriting clients and workshoppers. For some, this is the fun part, and for others, this is difficult.

Your earning power will depend on your ambition, your skills, your drive, your focus. While some localities may be more conducive to higher earnings, generally with the variety of memoir services you will be prepared to offer with the guidance of the Memoir Professional Package, you can overcome the limitations of a particular locality.

For many who want to be a Memoir Professional, the workshop is the cornerstone of their memoir work so I will proceed with the workshop model as a way of helping you to estimate your income. Start by identifying local and regional presentation venues (senior centers, clubs, book stores or cultural groups). How many of them lie within a reasonable driving distance for you to travel to them? Does this seem enough? (These are the same venues where you also ought to present a speaking program if you are interested in coaching, editing and ghostwriting.)

Look through the calendar of events in area arts / culture and community news magazines and newspapers. (These are the “freebies” you will find in libraries, bookstores, boutiques, etc.) They list workshops, lectures, and activities being offered in your area. (These are the places where you can also offer memoir workshops and programs.) Read the listings with the eyes of someone who wants to be a Memoir Professional and is looking for viable venues.

Select those venues whose workshop fees are feasible for you. (Centers that offer nearly-free programs may be attractive while you’re gaining experience, but they will not support your work in the long run. (The most successful Memoir Professionals do not undervalue their work with low fees!)

Call venue directors to assess their interest in having you present a memoir-writing workshop.

Here are two “how to be a Memoir Professional” blog articles: how to assess your income and how to launch yourself successfully.

I expected the Memoir Professional Package to be full of information—but not this full. You guys know what you are talking about. It felt like I was in good hands to launch myself as a Memoir Professional under your guidance. I feel confident now. It’s been good.

—Lynda McDaniels, Memoirs for Life, Miami, Florida

Q. Is a Memoir Professional Package appropriate if I do not need to earn income?

A. We have had many people buy the program without having much need for it to provide income—either because they are on a pension or because the are working elsewhere.

You have much to contribute to your community and whether and how much you charge or do not charge is up to you. There are many ways to assess worth that does not include money. But… for those who need to earn income: that’s fine too. We have a variety of people who want to be a memoir professional

Whether you are pushing for income or not, you need to fill your classes. The Memoir Professional Package  will help you to attract the right clientele for you.

Q. Do I have to use the text Turning Memories Into Memoirs / A Handbook for Writing Lifestories?

A. This a book that will organize and facilitate your class instruction. You will be able to refer to it to make a point and your students will be able to review material easily when they get home. With these benefits, why would you not center your workshops on it?

Turning Memories Into Memoirs / A Handbook for Writing Lifestories will also be an attractive source of complementary income for you as it simplifies and enhances your task of teaching the best lifewriting workshops in your community. You receive a commission of up to 50%. Turning Memories Into Memoirs / A Handbook for Writing Lifestories will also inform your editing and coaching. Here’s an article on offering back-of-the-room sales successfully.

Interestingly, university teachers who do workshops have no problem assigning texts—they have done so every September and January for years. They know that assigned texts facilitate the work for teachers and for students.

Q. Once I buy the materials to be a Memoir Professional, can I say I teach the Turning Memories Into Memoirs workshop?

A. We ask that you say you teach using Memoir Network Memoir materials or method, but not say you teach THE Memoir Network Memoir workshop. We do not have a certification process at this time—although we did have one for years. Only certified teachers can say teach THE Memoir Network Memoir workshop.

I took online classes from Denis a few years back and then began teaching The Turning Memories into Memoirs classes to older people in Florida. It has been an outstanding experience.

— Cindy Davis, Hollywood, FL
Cindy Davis Memoirs

The Memoir Network

We can also launch you as a coach, editor and/or ghostwriter. If you want to help people to write their memoirs, but you do not want to buy the full package, you can buy the following materials individually by title:

Four Paths to Profit for Your Small Business Success

Too many solo-preneurs and small business people do not think through the most lucrative paths to profit by which their companies make money. In so not doing, they leave money on the table.

How do you find these paths to profit?

1. Take a good look at your existing product and service line.

What is the person who has bought these likely to want in addition to these? Will they be able to achieve their most sought-after goal after using these products or services? Or, will your product or service only help them with part of their goal? Listen to what people are telling you as they purchase your product. What is their ultimate goal? The person who wishes to self-publish a memoir will not be satisfied with help in producing a manuscript because that is only a part of his/her goal. (more…)

Grow Your Memoir Writing Based Company – Don’t Set a Fixed Price

Always tell clients that you don’t know how much a long-term project will cost. Tell them it will almost certainly cost more than they expect. This article takes the anxiety out of setting a price for you and the client as you can grow your memoir writing-based company.

While clients will want to know how much they can expect a project to cost, and that is reasonable on their part, the fact is they don’t know the scope of the project they wish you to assist them with. Below are suggestions for charging for your writing services. (more…)

4 Memoir Business Strategy Steps to Avoid Frustration

Do you have a memoir business strategy plan? As a group, we memoir professionals are idea people. Does this sound familiar? We start projects with great enthusiasm, work assiduously for a while, and then get begin to get bored.  We lack a business strategy or plan for our success.

How do we break the predictable cycle of enthusiasm to boredom? How can we find the energy to finish what we have started? How do we cope with the day-to-day work of running the business when it becomes tedious? To escape, we find ourselves planning new projects. Wow, we’re excited once again–for a while. (more…)

Teach A Writing Workshop with Two Minds

You need two minds to teach a writing workshop.

As you teach a writing workshop, you must always experience the session’s writing with two minds because you are always filling two functions. You are a recipient of the story who is enjoying and being influenced by the story being shared and you are always the teacher whose responsibility is to shape the workshop experience for the group according to a bigger-picture plan. (more…)

Grow Your Memoir Or Writing-Based Company

What action can you take to grow your memoir or writing-based company? Are there steps you can effect today that will change how well you will be compensated for your memoir work? Start with the five steps below for a strong foundation.

I think there definitely are—whether you are trying to earn an income from memoir work or whether you would simply like to earn a bit of extra cash. (more…)

Teaching a Memoir Workshop – Tackle the Hard Parts and Win Accolades

This post ran in a slightly different version at

When you are teaching a memoir workshop, easy is not always best.

In teaching a memoir writing workshop, the teacher’s task is to help individuals to go through and beyond two kinds of barriers to their writing: the technical and the psychological blocks that keep them from success. Our job is to facilitate our participants’ arrival at a point where they are able to “own” their stories, to acknowledge their lifestories as they are and to accept themselves as they are.

A technical barrier to grasping the meaning of the work might be a writer’s lack of familiarity with using varied or complex sentence structure. A psychological barrier would be a writer’s reluctance to search out and tell the truth of the story, or to identify and sustain the persona in which s/he writes. (more…)