Writers who have written a good portion of their memoir will sometimes begin to wonder if it is time to hire a professional to work with them. At this stage, they may ask me, “What’s the difference between proofreading and editing? And, how do I know which one I need?”
Tag Archives | autobiography help
Many of the biggest challenges facing memoir writers can be alleviated by joining a distance-learning writing program.
Your participation will convince you that you can succeed.
Memoir writers—as all writers—work in isolation. There are many times when a memoir writer would like to have a contact with a system that could help her/him to resolve a writing issue—whether it’s a question of grammar, style, or structure.
If you were not a plumber, would you do the plumbing to your house without first learning as much as you could about plumbing?
Of course, you would want to inform yourself.
You might peruse YouTube, buy some how-to books on plumbing, give a call to a person who is a plumber to ask your questions.
Here’s how you as a new writer can follow the same process to write your first memoir draft. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
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. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
As people are writing a memoir they will sometimes say, “I want to write my stories but I have forgotten so many details. Is there any way I can get them back? Should I use writing prompts?”
There is one tool above all others that makes the experience of life writing successful. That tool is not a writing prompt: it is the Memory List. No other exercise opens up the process of life writing as quickly and as surely as the thoughtful and thorough compilation of such a list. It’s simple, and as a first step, it’s crucial.
Let me tell you about the Memory List (a general term for your list of memories).
Your Memory List is always a work in process because the more you remember and jot down, the more you’ll recall. You will return to and rework your list again and again as you write your life stories. In short, it will serve as an excellent writing prompt without being a writing prompt.
How Useful Is A Memoir Timeline?
Have you ever wondered, “How long should it take to write a memoir?”
One answer, of course, is that it takes as long as it takes. While so true, this answer is not useful to those writers who are trying to get their duckies in line—looking at where the time is in their schedules to write, knowing what support to ask from their life partners, etc. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Journal Keeping Benefits
When keeping a journal—regular (even daily), some people feel a release of energy they don’t have in other writing forms. Because of that, journal keeping can be an important developmental experience for you both as a person and as a writer. Because the journal is private by definition, you can write in it without fear of how an audience might react. No one will ever see it. Not ever—unless you want them to!
Your journal is a kind of writing laboratory. Scientists use a laboratory to conduct experiments. They check what results from adding this to that, from changing relationships and quantities and sequences. Sometimes when the results are interesting and prove worth pursuing, they continue conducting experiments in similar areas, pairing these findings with those from other experiments.
The difference between a memoir and an autobiography can be rather minimal—or they can be fairly large. “So what is the difference between a memoir and an autobiography?” you may persist in asking as so many people do. Practically speaking, for most people, there is no difference. In common speech, the terms are interchangeable. But […]
Hiring a memoir ghostwriter will lead to a long-term relationship. This relationship will cost you money. It will also cost you time and energy. It is reasonable that you want it to function smoothly and well. Of course, you ask the writer for references, but are they reliable? Here are five areas of questions you […]
A writing prompt seems like a good idea—but is it really?
You are given a writing based on a writing prompt—let’s say, “Write about something physical you were afraid of as a child?”—and you instantly start to write about the water slide at Camp Algonquin you were sent to as an eight-year old. You are not sure why you are so moved to write this story but you do not hesitate. You write about standing at the top of the slide and about Martha Cocciardi in back of you on the ladder, shouting “Get going, Patty. I want to slide, too” and, at that moment, you realized there was nothing to be done but to throw yourself at the mercy of fate and hope you survive to enter the fourth grade. You write with some humor and emotional distance suggesting “Oh, silly me! Oh, what little problems we have as children!” [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
I read professional journals. Poets and Writers from cover to cover. I receive the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance e-newsletter weekly. It’s a membership newsletter and comes chock full of news about what other writers are doing, readings schedules, and announcements of book publications. Do you have…