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How to Read The Memoir Writer's Blog

Every day or so, I create a new Memoir Writer’s Blog post. I write about a variety of topics and most of them are not in sequence with what I have written the day before—or even that week.

I write in the Memoir Writer’s Blog as fancy takes me. Most readers do not prefer to learn in a structured manner.  What I write today may very well be the very topic s/he needs to keep going even if the memoir writer had not known that before reading the post on The Memoir Writer’s Blog.

Is there a best way to read The Memoir Writer’s Blog?

How to Wtie Your Memoirs so Everyone Will Want to Read Them

from Bottomline Magazine

Read The Memoir Writer’s Blog as a way to create a context for you to delve into your memoir on a given day—today perhaps. Any one of the many posts can serve you as an entry point into the day’s creation.

Perhaps it is early in the morning (or at least it is time for you to write so you are early in your writing for the day). You turn your computer on, sip your coffee or tea, wonder about your day and about what you might write. You know you are going to write a portion of your memoir—or perhaps it is a memoir you are writing of one of your parents or of your spouse. Soon your RSS feed informs you there is a new post from The Memoir Writer’s Blog. You are not quite ready to start writing so you dawdle a bit and read the post. It is about technique—perhaps on beginning a section or perhaps about creating vivid character. Well, it makes sense and you decide to implement the suggestion. Or…

Perhaps you are feeling overwhelmed. You have been at this writing so long! Is it really worth continuing? You begin reading today’s post and it is a piece of memoir, the piece about when my mother’s aunt left to go back to Canada and suddenly you realize how much you want to tell the story of your aunt who died when you were twelve and how you loved her and you begin to write that. It is out of sequence but you know you can connect it later to the rest of the story. Or perhaps, before you set in to write, you turn to more of the stories of my mother—and are pleased to find so many excerpts from her memoir.  You want to see how I have handled her story or perhaps simply to live for a while in another era before you begin to write about your aunt. Or…

Perhaps you have been questioning whether you have enough skill in presenting action effectively and you turn to the categories of the blog and, sure enough, you find there a category labeled “action” under technique and you click on it. You discover several articles on how to create more effective action. In fact, you are reminded that action is not synonymous with “interesting” but that action like character and setting has to be better crafted. Or…

Perhaps it is not motivation or craft that is stopping you but the process itself. You have been having trouble with the pre-writing function and you check the blog categories and find several excellent articles on pre-writing and, before you do anything today, you read (or re-read) these articles on The Memoir Writer’s Blog. They ground you, and you move on to the writing you wish to accomplish today.

It is now clear to you that this blog, The Memoir Writer’s Blog, is an effective tool for you to learn to be a much better memoir writer. You turn to your spouse or perhaps your friend and say, “I’m getting a writing education from The Memoir Network’s blog. That’s why I turn to it whenever I commence to write.”

Then you forward a link to The Memoir Writer’s Blog to someone you know who is writing. You know the post you are alerting your friend to it will have the same effect on him/her it had on you.

So that’s how I hope you read The Memoir Writer’s Blog.

What’s in the reading for you?

1. Regular, even daily, inspiration and motivation to write.

2. Education in both craft and process that will permit you to write the best memoir you are capable of.

I hope you won’t do this.

You can, of course, read The Memoir Writer’s Blog for entertainment, as a way of making a diversion for yourself so you don’t have to do the work that is the focus of The Memoir Writer’s Blog, but I hope you won’t do this.

We publish three to  five entries per week on a variety of topics in The Memoir Writer’s Blog. Keep coming and keep checking the categories and tags for topics that will help you to succeed. Subscribe via the FOLLOW at the bottom right of the page where you find this entry. You will receive a notice of every new entry.

Keep writing. Let this be the year you finish your memoir.

going deeper in a memoir

Going Deeper in a Memoir: Look at “Life’s Failed Contracts”

This post is about going deeper in a memoir, deeper even than you thought you could go when you started. This may be hard, but take a look at the contracts with life we make and the terrible disappointment that inevitably comes from making them. All of us at some time or other have made such a contract with life–in fact, we make them over and over again until we finally grow up and become present to the unfolding reality. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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finish a memoir

3 Tips to Revive and Finish a Memoir—Without Eviscerating Yourself

All of us struggle to some extent to produce writing content that will finish a memoir. Writing is often difficult. It takes time and energy—both of which the laws of entropy suggest we ought to preserve as they are constantly being diminished.

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.”

Of course, all of these reasons are valid but, ultimately, they are all excuses. So… [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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writing prompt

Use this instead of a writing prompt…

Writing prompts lead to nothing

As readers of the blog know, I’m not a great fan of using a writing prompt. Sure, they get you to writing something and many will insist, “Writing something is better than writing nothing…”

Well, I’m not so sure of that. Writing should matter. It’s hard work, and life is short. What’s better than nothing about writing some text on “the most fun things I did this summer?” as we sometimes had to in school. (No wonder we did not learn to write while in that context!)

Writing from insipid prompts is not much better than writing nothing—not if you are someone who is interested in writing “from the inside out” as I hope all readers of this newsletter are. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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memory recall

5 Memory Recall Tips

Memory recall, or recalling the details of our life stories, can be a challenge. Devising a Memory List (pg. 41 of Turning Memories Into Memoirs) is the first best thing you can do, but if you want additional ideas, here are five memory recall tips for remembering more than you might have thought possible. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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scenes and dialogue

Vignettes, scenes, and dialogues

Vignettes, scenes and dialogues are at the core of any memoir—your memoir. So how do you write them? How do you fit them into a story? Let’s explore how we can string those short pieces into a story.

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

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archetype of your experience

Writing A Memoir Is a Statement of a Personal Myth

When you are writing a memoir, you are engaging in a psychic process of re-creating and articulating a statement of a personal myth. Here we will explore how myths can be a wonderful experience in teaching us this process. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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right word

Word Lightning: the Right Word Will Dazzle Your Memoir’s Reader

Is choosing the right word really important in writing a memoir?

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.” —Mark Twain

Lightning dazzles the eye. The sky is split open. Sometimes it makes our hair stand on end. A lightning bug, on the other hand, is a small, friendly flicker in our backyards, not enough light to illuminate even the smallest corner. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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sensory details

Why Sensory Details Bring A Memoir To Life

Should you emphasize sensory details in your memoir?

Successful stories are full of sensory details (colors, shapes, textures, smells, sounds, flavors. When your stories portray a vivid world (“three sweet-scented roses”) rather than a vague one (“some nice flowers”), you make it easier for readers to take the leap of faith into the world of your writing.

Abstraction kills a story

If your story has abstract and vague wording like “After a while, absence from home made fidelity difficult for him and he committed adultery…,” your readers will be less interested in (and less swayed by) what you have to say than if your narration is filled with concrete details. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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quicker writing

4 Tips For Easier, Quicker Writing

You can benefit from easier and quicker writing by adapting appropriate habits of composition. Here are four habits for writing your first draft quickly. You would do well to put them into practice. They are easy to implement and the rewards are significant. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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info book

Write an Info Book to Grow Your Solo-Preneur Or Memoir Business

If you need help stimulating your small business, it may be worth writing an info book on the product(s) you provide. There are many reasons an independent professional ought to write a non-fiction book that purports to tell the client how to do the very service or product that your company provides. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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