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right memoir coach

How to Know if You Have the Right Memoir Coach

How do you know if you have the right memoir coach? The guidelines below will help you evaluate your writing coach prospect to ascertain if you are choosing the right memoir coach for you. This article contains evaluation guidelines centered on the availability of the right memoir coach.

1. Can your coach work with you so that you meet your deadline?

As you develop your memoir project, you may become aware of a natural deadline, such as a family reunion or a birthday. The right memoir coach for you will be able to meet your date. This deadline should be discussed before you and the coach commit to each other.

Your deadline may also simply focus on a time when you would like to be finished. This is a completely internal deadline.

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what is developmental editing

What Is Developmental Editing and Why You Need It for Your Self-Published Memoir

What is developmental editing and do you need it? If the big New York publishing houses NEVER publish a manuscript without extensive editing, why would you as a self-publisher?

A professional memoir editor can quickly and effectively help you tweak your lifestory so that you get to say more clearly and dynamically what you have been trying to say. You can’t write your best memoir without developmental editing—it’s game-changing.

Editors come in many stripes: some are copy editors, others are content editors while still another kind is a developmental editor.

In this post, I want to focus on developmental editing and how it will help you write a memoir you can be proud to send into the world.

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best memoir writing coach

The Best Memoir Writing Coach: How to Choose the Right One

Choosing the Right Memoir Writing Coach

How do you choose the best memoir writing coach for you and your book? Your relationship with your memoir writing coach is likely to be a long one. There is no other way to make it effective. Coaching is like counseling in a way.  Counseling requires an introductory, getting-to-know-you phase before both of you can move on to a productive phase. You can’t expect a counselor to help you with your core issues until the two of you have had some exploratory conversations and the counselor has gotten some bearing on your “stuff.” In a similar way, a writing coach has to get to know you before s/he can help you with your core writing issues.

A coach works with you in several areas including:

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Memoir Editing

A Memoir Coach or A Memoir Editor Gets You A Finished Memoir

We all wear many hats as we go through our days. In my case, I am a writer, a memoirist, a teacher, a memoir coach, a memoir editor, a co-author, a book publisher, and finally, a small business person. I wear those hats with pride and, I hope, some accomplishment.

Beyond these, I wear other hats as all of you do also. One is that of an athlete of sorts: there has been swimming, jogging, and weight lifting.

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working with a writing coach

When Should You Start Working With a Writing Coach?

When is the best time to start working with a writing coach? The obvious answer is when you feel the need to, but “the need to” is not always obvious. Writers will put off the coaching process because they may conclude that it is polished material they need to submit to a coach. This is akin to putting off going to the doctor until when you are feeling well or putting off getting cleaning help until you have straightened out the house.

Writer’s also get confused and mix up working with a coach and working with an editor.

What’s the difference between working with an editor and working with a writing coach?

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memoir coaching or editing

How Memoir Coaching or Editing Works

There’s often only a permeable line between memoir coaching and editing. In practice, as we writers at the Memoir Network work with a writer, we find myself slipping from coaching a memoir writer to editing the manuscript we are working with and back to coaching. That’s how organically close coaching and editing really are. Depending on the state of your manuscript, coaching or editing or both are called for.

Choosing memoir coaching or editing–How it works

Generally, I, or the editor who has been assigned to you, read sections of your manuscript—say 20-30 pages—and return this edited portion to you with comments and suggestions—and sometimes edits [also known as suggested corrections]. All our notes are done in Microsoft Text Edit—which you can learn in minutes. Manuscripts are returned as an attachment—but snail mail can work well, too, but it is too slow for most people.

I find working on a short segment of your manuscript—20- to 30 pages—to be more effective for contributing to the quality of the memoir than reading the entire text. Sometimes, of course, I have a question on, say, page 17 and then you might protest, “But, this is answered on page 85! You haven’t read the whole manuscript yet!” [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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memoir writing support

3 Things Your Writing Coach Can’t Do For You

Coaching almost always proves a great pick-up experience for a person whose memoir is floundering. Your writing coach can help you access process and technique and point of view more rapidly than most people can on their own. But, a coach—even a great one—can only do so much for you. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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Coffee-notebook-and-laptop-reduced

Organize Your Memoir: Life Phases

Organize Your Memoir with Life Phases

Life phases are one way in which you can organize your memoir. Life phases are the emotional and psychological cycles or phases that have marked your life.

Every life proceeds in irregular and unpredictable phases. We can go along with our lives for a long time without much change, thinking that we have arrived at a resolution of the great “who am I?” question, and then unpredictably and perhaps quickly find ourselves dealing with totally different emotional and psychological challenges. Often, it is only in looking back on our lives that we are aware of these life phases.
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WritingGreatMemoryListsCOVERsm

Don’t Use A Writing Prompt Unless…

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. ]

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not telling the truth in a memoir

Thinking About Memoir Writing

Our right thinking about memoir writing projects or our right talking about them can lead to success or failure. We can be very clever about our evasive tactics and disguise them as right thinking. Here are three examples that can pass for thoughtfulness rather than evasion.