Tips to help you write
All of us struggle to some extent to produce writing content. Writing is often difficult. It takes time and energy—both of which the laws of entropy suggest we ought to preserve.
We find many compelling and valid reasons not to write. “The house is a mess.” “I ought to go to the gym while there aren’t many people there.” “My sister and I haven’t talked in a long time.”
Develop Vivid Characters
- Are the characters your memoir going to bore—rather than impress—your readers?
- Are you at a loss—“Help! What can I do!”—about how to make the people in your memoir more interesting?
- Are you embarrassed by the “stick” characters you have presented? “She really was a complex person, but I don’t know how to show her that way.”
All valid but ultimately all excuses. So…
Without beating down on you, let me offer a few writing processes to help you write that work for me. While the following are not exactly self-motivation, they have gotten me going in the morning.
1. Action (writing) gets the task done.
Moping, searching for inspiration do not. So…sit at the computer and write your memoir! Wanting to write or not wanting to write are not what it’s about. When your kids were little and were crying for help, did you ask yourself if you wanted to stop everything and go to them. Well, it can be the same with writing your memoir. Do it.
2. Always write from a topic or a list.
It’s total waste to sit down and ask: “What am I going to write about today?” Write your memory list and keep it handy to write from. (The Memory List is discussed at length in Chapter 2 of Turning Memories into Memoirs—available as a stand alone book or as part of the Memoir Start Up Package.)The short items on the Memory List will help you write your longer memoir. Today’s writing, based on the Memory List, is strategic. It will be motivational (at least, it is for me) to know that you are knocking off a part of a larger task that will add up to a memoir to advance your writing goal.
3. Have several stories in-progress.
Pick the one that most speaks to you, compels you to write, or is closest to being a chapter or a part of a chapter. This sort of buffet of options works well for me but may not for a writer who can only work on one thing at a time. Remember to keep the Memory List in #2 above in mind.
Hey…keep writing. Stay in the memoir conversation. I hope the above tips will help you write your memoir.
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