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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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personal memoir

Seven Reasons for Writing a More Personal Memoir

You want to write your memoir, but you resist getting too personal, going in too deep. In short, writing a more personal memoir.

Your guarded secret that you wanted to have your own business one day or your hope that your father would apologize eventually for his denigration of you—this has happened and it has had a great impact on you. Your even deeper secrets—the sexual orientation that you dared not reveal or your negative self-concept—surely this can’t be the subject of a memoir. How would you live this down? Isn’t it better to stick with the facts and dates? And aren’t these inner realities too personal to impose on others?

1) The more personal your memoir the more universal it is.

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truth telling

Telling the Hard Truth in Your Memoir–Are You Holding Back?

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.

—May 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. ]

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larger audience

Don’t Pass On Reaching A Larger Audience – 4 Tips   

Perhaps you’ve been writing a memoir for your family and friends. The composition started off easily enough. You jotted a few memories and passed the stories out. People started saying you ought to write a book, but you were doubtful no one else but family and friends would be interested. For a long while you were satisfied creating your book for a small audience and then it occurred to you you that you were writing with a theme that might interest a larger audience. Perhaps, you wondered, if there was something in your lifestory that could address a larger audience of strangers. Or…

Perhaps from the get-go, you had a sense that, while this story of yours is personal, there was something in it that certainly could interest a larger audience.

While family and friends are always a worthy readership for your memoir, it is possible to reach an even larger audience.

“But, how to do that?” you ask. “What’s the magic bullet?”

Well, I don’t have a magic bullet but I do have a few suggestions to help you reach beyond a small circle. Below are four suggestions to empower your story to appeal to a broader public. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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writing prompts

Instead of A Writing Prompt – Five Tips for Creating a Memory List

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 or is there something instead of a writing prompt?”

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.

1. The Memory List consists of short memory notes (three to five words is sufficient) of people, events, relationships, thoughts, feelings, things—anything—from your past.

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writing a memoir

Core Focus for Writing a Memoir

DL: While this post is geared to those individuals who are writing memoir for family and friends, if truth be told, this post will also be of great help to those who are writing memoir for a larger audience. Core Focus for Writing Memoir is about basics.

Five Tips for Focus for Writing Memoir!

Is your family one of the many whose history is at risk for getting lost to future generations because no one has written it down?

Writing your lifestories—even just a few—is a great way to memorialize your family and to keep the experience of your life—and theirs—from being forgotten. The details you take for granted or consider obvious will most likely be lost to the next generation unless you make the effort to record them in writing.

Writing down a memory and sharing it with others is a way to celebrate your life and your family. Writing a memoir is not as hard as some people think—anyone who is willing to follow the few simple steps I will outline below will be off to a great start at writing autobiography or family history, but ou must focus for writing a memoir. More and more people—in fact, many who, at first, think they can’t—are succeeding at exploring, honoring and preserving their pasts in this way.

Follow these five tips for remembering and writing a pleasing and meaningful lifestory that will honor both your family and yourself and create a legacy for your children—or even the world.

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write a significant memoir

How to Write a Significant Memoir

DL: This is a piece about how to write a significant memoir I published on the LinkedIn blog Pulse. It addresses a major challenge many writer face—at least writers who want to have an audience beyond family and friends.

That our memoir is insignificant is about the last thing we memoir writers ever want to read about our magnum opus. How do we write a significant memoir?

What separates a significant memoir from an insignificant one?

write a significant memoir: Family myths figures prominently in a memoir.

A memoir tells the story of a hero’s journey.

I’ll give you a hint: it’s not fame, it’s not the scope or the arena of the action. The key to significance lies elsewhere.

When memoir writers set out to record the facts and the dates of their lives, they are doing first-draft work. We’ve all read reviews of memoirs—and possibly read the memoirs themselves—that bemoan how the famous memoirist has not given anything away. The writer has regurgitated info that could be found in newspaper and magazine articles of the time. Other than “I was happy that…” there is little insight to be found.

The reader is likely to find this memoir insignificant.

The more famous and well-known or high achieving the memoirist may have been, the more this may be one of the writing challenges: to go beyond thinking that the facts and circumstances are in themselves significant enough to carry a reader through several hundred pages. (How much more so when the writer is not well known!)

What makes a memoir have significance to the reader?

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write a significant memoir

Your Life as a Myth Part 3

The following is the third installment of a three-part series on the use of myths and archetypes in memoir writing. In this first post of Your Life as a Myth, I wrote about both archetypal patterns in general and about the martyr archetype. In the second post, I wrote about the orphan and the martyr. These posts are excerpted from Turning Memories Into Memoirs / A Handbook for Writing Lifestories.

In the first installment of Your life as a Myth I wrote about the martyr archetype and in the second installment, I wrote about the orphan and the prince-left-at-the-pauper’s-door. Today, I will offer you some practical suggestions for implementing the concept of archetypes in your memoir writing.

Writing from the perspective of personal myths can explain a lot about the stories you are recording. In addition, consciously living archetypes in your own life and turning them into positive forces is a rewarding path for self-growth. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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myths and archetypes

Your Life as a Myth Part 2

The following is the second installment of a three-part series on the use of myths and archetypes in memoir writing. In the first part of  Your Life as a Myth, I wrote about both archetypal patterns in general and about the martyr archetype. In today’s post, I  write about the orphan and the prince-left-at-the-pauper’s-door. Both frequently make appearances in a memoir. These posts are excerpted from Turning Memories Into Memoirs / A Handbook for Writing Lifestories.

What is the orphan archetype?

One example of myths and archetypes is the orphan.  People who do not develop or maintain personal ties can be said to be pursuing the orphan archetype. Artists are an example of the positive side of this archetype. Because many artists feel detached from roots, family, etc., they are free to tell the truth as they see it, to risk much in the pursuit of their art. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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