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How to Read The Memoir Writer's Blog

Twice a week 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 previously.

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 two—sometimes three—posts 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 write and publish your memoir.

November Is Memoir Writing Month

November 13 Activity: Writing A Memoir Is Like Making A Movie

Writing a memoir is like making a movie, and in many ways, a good memoir writer treats the story the way a filmmaker treats a movie. Too often, as we write memoir, we tell the reader what is happening in the story rather than show it. Fortunately, a  filmmaker does not have this luxury—or is it curse?—of telling. The only way the filmmaker can let us know what is happening is to show something on the screen—whether that is a setting, an action or a feature of characterization such as a frown. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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November Is Memoir Writing Month

November 12 Activity: Use Sense Details in Your Memoir

Use sense details in your stories to engage and hook your readers.  A successful memoir needs sensory details to bring your story to life and make the reader feel as if it is unfolding in front of him. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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November Is Memoir Writing Month

November 11 Activity: How to Write About a Conflict in Your Memoir

Write about a conflict in your memoir to engage your reader. There needs to be action in your story. There needs to be something happening. One way to explore plot is to explore action.

When you use action in writing your story, it is called plot. Something must happen in your story to retain the interest of your reader. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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November Is Memoir Writing Month

November 10 Activity: Writing Plot Into a Memoir

Writing plot into a memoir is something people are sometimes surprised to learn that a memoir needs. For some writers, this technique of writing plot into a memoir screams of twisting the memoir into a fiction piece. But, all of us need to be kept reading by some mechanism. This mechanism is often called plot. A plot is an action. Plot is the something that happens in a memoir. Today, we explore how to create a plot that is true to the memoir. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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November Is Memoir Writing Month

November 9 Activity: How to Use Journals—Real or Imagined—in Memoir Writing

When you learn to use journals in memoir writing, you will produce more accurate and detailed stories. Your journal is a kind of writing laboratory, where you can experiment with techniques to record your feelings and perceptions. It’s also a great tool to get around writer’s block!

If you are fortunate enough to have recorded your life in a journal, you can use your entries to refresh your memory and get access to salient facts or verify what you remember. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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November Is Memoir Writing Month

November 7 Activity: Speed Up Your Writing

One way to speed up your writing is to record your vignettes, scenes and other snippets of your memoir and then replaying them to hear how you tell the story.

People often complain that they do not have the time to write. Often this is justly so as writing does take up a good amount of time. No way around it! Today you will explore a way of writing faster—better will come later. In this post, learn to speed up your writing. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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November Is Memoir Writing Month

November 6 Activity: Organize a Lifestory Party

Since our lives are usually lived in community and our lifestories have evolved with other people in tow, take advantage of this symbiosis to write the best memoir you are capable of by accessing a collective memory of your life’s events. Today, you will organize a lifestory party.

November Is Memoir Writing Month

November 5 Activity: Writing for an Audience

Writing for an audience may be more important than you think. Sometimes the audience is of specific people but many other writers, while they do have a specific audience in mind, are really writing to a group according to their interest.

“I want to write for my kids and grandchildren. I want them to know who I was,” one sort of memoirist will realize. While another will think, “I want my children and grandchildren to know me, too, and I want to place my life in a greater context. I’m hoping to have readers beyond my kin, readers who are interested in a larger picture of what life was.” [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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November Is Memoir Writing Month

November 4 Activity: Don’t Trust Your Memory

Don’t trust your memory when it comes to facts, events, and dates when you are writing your stories for your memoir. There’s no way around it: your memory—and mine—is fallible, unfortunately sometimes false, and too often flattering as it “remembers” events. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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