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The Memoir Writer’s Blog!

Perhaps you are not yet on a writing jag. It is early 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 could use a bit of writing motivation. 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 the day’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 sit down 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.

A writing coach can help you at every step of the process. Having “been there and done that”—and being able to talk clearly about it, a memoir-writing coach can point you in the right direction and gently correct your course.The Memoir Network Ghostwriting Services

A coach is a teacher, a cheerleader, a critic, a motivator, a writing buddy, a person who holds you accountable for meeting your goals, a good listener, and sometimes an editor—and a coach can be more if you need more.

For a free consult, call 207-353-5454 today to make an appointment.

Click here to read more about coaching.


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 you are speaking to yourself) 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 who is writing. You know the post you are alerting your friend to will have the same effect on him/her as it had on you.

So that’s how I hope you 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.

What you’ll get

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.

In conclusion

Keep writing. Let this be the year you write and publish your memoir.[/toggle]

set-goals-brainstorming-2398562_1920

22 Memoir-Writing Goals for the Second Half of 2022: Your Half Year Boost

DL: This post was originally published on December 29, 2021 and I have tweaked them to fit the second half of the year. How many of these goals have you accomplished in the first half of the year? These remain great goals. There’s still 6 months left in 2022 for you to succeed at these!

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Did you find yourself wandering along with your memoir writing in the first half of the 2022 year and not achieving your memoir-writing goals?  Do you have a sense that you might have accomplished a bit more writing than you have?

At the half year point, it is traditional to review how the past two quarters went for you and to create goals for yourself for the six months. (A goal is a wish with action steps and a timeline.) These goals need to be written and reviewed periodically.

Studies have shown that people who set goals in writing have a better outcome vis-à-vis accomplishing what they set out to do. Here’s a report on one such study. (The famous Harvard goal-setting study so many of us have heard of apparently never happened, but the concept of goal setting is clearly important and is explored in the linked article.)

22 Memoir-Writing Goals for 2022

Since this is a memoir writing blog, I thought it is appropriate for me to come up with goals that would further your writing success in 2022. And why not play with the year’s number—22?

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best memoir-writing tips

How to write a memoir: our 21 Best Memoir-Writing Tips to get you writing your memoir—quickly and well—and getting it into the hands of your public.

Note from the editor: This post is a memoir-writing course. I suggest that you glance through the whole of it, and pick those best memoir-writing tips that you most need to read at this time. Later, bit by bit, you will read the rest.

Click on the links that interest you and study the posts where you land. The links in even just a few of the tips below will uncover articles that pertain to the topic(s).

Following these best memoir-writing tips, your knowledge of memoir writing will grow more certain, and you will write with more confidence. One day, sooner than you think possible, your memoir will be published and in hand.

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It’s later than you think. Don’t put off writing your memoir any longer.

Our 21 in-depth, best memoir-writing tips below will help you to start memoir writing today. 

You’ll find these guides will see you through the process of how to write a memoir—an interesting and meaningful memoir—more easily and quickly than you may now think possible.

One day soon, you will have written your book.

The Memoir Network’s 21 Top Best Memoir-Writing Tips to get you to memoir success.

1. What is a memoir? Hint: it’s not an autobiography!

Is the difference important to the memoir writer? Somewhat! Knowing what you are writing will orient you from the start! It can be discouraging to realize that you have been headed in the wrong direction when you could have saved yourself time and energy by understanding the difference between memoir and autobiography as you launched yourself. While it’s not huge, it can be significant.

An autobiography is about a whole life: from birth to the present. A memoir is a part of your life that is characterized by a theme. It might be about the first years of your marriage during which you realized what an immature and selfish person you were and earned to be a giving souse. This may interest many people as it is a struggle many are waging.

The fact is that, while it is totally possible to write a memoir that will interest the public and draw an audience to you, the same is not true of an autobiography. If you are famous: possibly. If you are not, it is not likely that people will be interested in what grade school you went to and how much your grandmother loved you.

(This statement about autobiography is not applicable if you are writing for a family audience. Your children and grandchildren will definitely be interested in an autobiography.)

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last chapter of a memoir

How to write the last chapter of a memoir

“How do I write the last chapter of a memoir?” coaching and editing clients will sometimes ask me. It is a good question because the last chapter of a memoir is your final shot at affirming your theme and at creating a satisfying and meaningful ending to the story the reader has been engaged in […]

find a best title for a memoir

Best Title for a Memoir: How to Choose

Writers ask me how to choose a best title for a memoir. Because I have worked with them, usually as their coach or editor and know their story, I am in a position to brainstorm with them to come up with a decent —and sometimes even a great—title for their book.

Editor’s Note: This content is also available as a YouTube video. Click here.

There are many possibilities available to a writer, but one thing is certain: a writer must choose a title for a memoir strategically.  It is a marketing opportunity. The title printed on your book cover can—and ought to—promote sales of your memoir.

Here are some guidelines I use to generate a memoir title—for my own titles or for those of clients. I hope they prove helpful to you, too.

How important is a working title?

When you are working on a memoir, you may want to have some way of distinguishing one manuscript from another. You may also be working concurrently on a second or a third book—and that is not unusual for some writers. In that instance, you will want a name so as to be able to distinguish this manuscript from another as you speak to your writing group, your writing coach or a friend.

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help writing a memoir

A Faulty Process Is—Well—Useless

One memoir writer who had spent two or three years writing her story submitted her formatted manuscript to me for a final edit. She told me she hadn’t gotten help writing a memoir because she hadn’t wanted to be influenced.

As I read her story, I struggled to find its focus. There didn’t seem to be any.

Ouch!

The manuscript was full of vague (meaningless, really) sentences that really didn’t transmit much meaning. Lines such as: “The town I grew up in was in the middle of nowhere.”

Ouch!

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setting writing goals

Setting Writing Goals That Work For You

I have a goal for this post. I want to help you to develop and articulate your writing goals for the next three months—that is, 90 days. You can start your three months today, at the beginning of the next week or at the first day of the next month, but don’t put off setting writing goals.

Three months is taken from the business model which uses quarters—three months—to implement plans. It is a useful way to set goals for three months. Three months both give you time to accomplish something and is not too long that you get distracted or discouraged.

What exactly is a goal?

A goal is a wish with a schedule and a deadline. If you don’t have a schedule and a deadline, what you have is a wish and not a goal.

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dialog tags

Dialog Tags: the good, the bad and the sometimes intrusive.

We all know how important a precise and varied vocabulary is to our memoir writing. Words are our tools to make meaning. Most of the writers I have worked with want to develop the precise and varied vocabulary that can be so helpful in writing narrative. Unfortunately, they also believe that an extensive vocabulary is called for in dialog tags.

I’m offering you may “take” on dialog tags. The point of view I am presenting today is open to discussion. Sometimes I disagree with it myself, but here goes…

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memoir-writing resources

16 Memoir-Writing Resources You Can Use Today

Having the right resources available when we need them can transform any task from a problem to a pleasure. The same is true of hunting down memoir-writing resources. I don’t know bout you but when I am trying something new—let’s say propagating a plant—that I’m not knowledgeable about, I head for either the internet or […]

writing process steps

Writing Process Steps—Linger With Your Story

One of the writing process steps is to linger with your story. Many, and perhaps most, people write too fast. I don’t mean that they end up with a text characterized by sloppy grammar, spelling problems and chronology issues—although that may be the case, of course.

No, what I mean is that they push through the process of writing their stories much too quickly. They end up with only a part of the story they could have written had they lingered.

So many times in my workshops, I have found it easy to tell those manuscripts that have been lingered over from those that have not. As somebody’s face reveals Irish ancestry or Italian heritage, a piece of writing reveals its past.

There is a quality to a piece that has been rushed that is easily discernible to anyone who has learned to write more slowly. So…learn to linger with your story.

One of the essential writing process steps

1. When you don’t take the time to linger with your story, you generally are unable to feel the full import of your memoir.

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broader audience

How to Write a Memoir for a Broader Audience: 4 Tips

Would you like your memoir to attract a broader audience?  While family and friends are a worthy readership for your memoir, are you one of those many writers who aspires a larger public?

Writers will admit, if pushed, that they would enjoy a public response to their efforts. Your story can appeal to strangers—if you pay attention to these four tips—and may even move these strangers to new insights and motivations. And how knows—this broader audience may write you a fan letter.

My newest You Tube video offers you four easy-to-implement tips to help your story to appeal to a public beyond family and friends. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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