As you articulate your theme, ask yourself if this theme is really yours–does it reflect your present understanding of your story and of life itself?
Tag Archives | help writing memoirs
It is important to stay in the memoir conversation. You can implicate yourself more deeply in your writing by participating inThe Memoir Network’s Write Your First Memoir Draft Tele-class.
You can become a better memoir writer, but it will take some work. How do you achieve mastery in a skill? The answer, however it is presented, comes down to both acquiring knowledge pertaining to the skill and to putting in the time to practice the skill with critiques available to correct your technique and […]
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 meet your date. This deadline should be discussed before the coach and […]
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. ]
The memoir writing process can be simple.
Note: This is the 1starticle in a series of 4 on the writing process of A Sugary Frosting published in 2016.
It’s 2016, and I am in the very last days of the memoir process and polishing A Sugary Frosting / A Memoir of a Girlhood Spent in a Parsonage, the early lifestory of my deceased spouse, Martha Blowen. It’s a time to make sure I have written what I want to write and to check grammar and spelling before it goes out to a copy editor.
I had promised Martha that I would write her stories so that our grandchildren would know something about her. In May 2015, I began gathering the stories she had written of her life. My intent was to create a booklet of these stories. But, to be honest, it has never appealed to me to write booklets. I like to write books. That’s what I do and that’s what I do well.
Are You Holding Back the Hard Truth in Your Memoir?
Your memoir needs the hard truth about life—your life—and sometimes that requires exposing yourself, getting “naked.”
I believe one has to stop holding back for fear of alienating some imaginary reader or real relative or friend and come out with personal truth. If we are to understand the human condition and if we are to accept ourselves in all the complexity, self-doubt…. we have to know all we can about each other and we have to be willing to go naked.—Mary Sarton
Wow, going around naked! Gulp! (Better hit the gym!)
But, I guess you get the idea—psychologically and emotionally naked. Your memoir needs truth telling about life—yours—and sometimes that requires exposing yourself, getting “naked.”
I would like to change the metaphor a bit, to use a metaphor that is less startling but very graphic nonetheless. It is the metaphor of the kernels at the bottom of the popcorn bowl.
I love popcorn and enjoy eating it but there always comes a moment when I get to the bottom of the bowl and the plethora of corn kernels that have been popped into delightful puffy bites gives way to the hard half-popped or not-popped-at-all kernels. These are not fun to eat. Disappointed, I walk to the trash and throw the kernels away. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
To help you to get a fast start writing and to write your memoirs more prolifically–and even bring them to a finish in the form of a published memoir–I offer these eight suggestions. They are tried and true tips that bear repeating and repeating.
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. ]
The shock I had first experienced at hearing of Candice’s death had given way to overwhelming sadness. I had lost my daughter, my daughter in whom I had placed so many hopes when she was a baby and a little girl.