You can benefit from easier and quicker writing by adapting appropriate habits of composition. Here are four habits for writing your first draft quickly. You would do well to put them into practice. They are easy to implement and the rewards are significant. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Tag Archives | memoir writing help
In this post, you will learn the many benefits of a regular writing practice.
Many people set off to write their memoirs with considerable enthusiasm. It’s a new project and it’s full of energy. This is going to be the greatest memoir the world has ever known!
How long can that last? Enthusiasm takes you only so far. Over the months and years it takes to complete a manuscript, the initial enthusiasm wanes and the memoir project that had seemed so interesting at its onset now begins to bore the writer. We begin to hear about the writer “trying to write a memoir.” Unless the writer changes attitude, the memoir will soon be abandoned.
Do you wonder how to finish your memoir?
I’ve noticed that many people who come to The Memoir Network have already been writing a while. They are not people who are just starting out on the memoir journey. Many have already written 5, 10, 15 or more stories or vignettes. They have been writing for a number of months—sometimes even years—and are concluding that they are spinning their wheels, that they are not producing a book as they so want to do. They realize they are not on the path to bringing their memoirs to a finish. What they are doing is writing stand-along piece after stand-alone piece. Well, a stand-alone piece is not a bad goal really—wouldn’t you love to have stand-alone stories from your grandparents? It’s just that stand-alones are really just not what they want to leave as a legacy. So, how do you finish your memoir?
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 […]
Why is writing so hard? Why does what you want to write become so difficult the moment you sit down to write? Where are the words you need to convey the excitement or the dread or the anticipation. You are shocked to realize that what appears on the computer screen has no pizzazz! This is […]
Basic units of memoir writing
Vignettes, scenes, and dialogues are at the core of any memoir. Here are some ideas for writing them more quickly and elegantly.
1. Don’t worry about order.
Don’t stop to figure out how these snippets—vignettes, scenes, and dialogues— may eventually fit together into a story.
These bits and pieces will accumulate as you recall more and more and continue to write them down. Giving yourself permission to write in small, separate segments (vignettes, scenes, and dialogues, etc.) is a great way to start writing. Because there will always be your memory list of things to write about, you will never experience “writer’s block!” Fitting these pieces together to craft a polished story will come later, in the rewriting stage. Right now, it’s important to get text—any text—down on paper. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
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. ]
Six Reasons You Should Join a Memoir Writing Program
Many of the biggest challenges facing memoir writers can be alleviated by joining a memoir writing program.
Memoir writers—as all writers—work in isolation. There are many times when a memoir writer would like to have a contact with someone who 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. ]
Excuses for not writing
Most of us use a certain number of excuses for not writing when we want to avoid our memoir projects. In this post, I debunk a few that seem to be everyone’s favorites.
1. I don’t feel like writing my memoir today.
Does the plumber always feel like laying out a new bathroom? Or, is the parent always feeling like getting up in the middle of the night to see what the child needs?
There are many things we do in our lives because they are the natural consequences of a decision we have previously taken. Why should writing an autobiography be different? Why should you write your story only when you feel like it? A better solution would be to write according to a schedule. At eight, the plumber goes to work at plumbing. At your scheduled time, you get to work at your life story writing. Why should that be so hard to accept?
You don’t feel like writing today? Write. You feel like writing? Write. Fidelity today to your commitment is the best response to get your memoir written.
2. I am not well today.
Unless you are sick enough to stay in bed or are suffering from an acute pain such as a tooth ache, you would do well to apply the same thinking as in #1 rather than give in to this second of the excuses for not writing One can do much memoir writing even when one is “under the weather.”
Your child is crying and you don’t feel well? You get up and take care of your child. If your writing is important to you, you get on with the writing. You don’t feel well today? Write. You feel well? Write.
3. I don’t have anything to say.
This third of the excuses for not writing is like “I don’t know what to say” but worse! You are not writing essays, not philosophy. You are creating portraits of a world that is no more. You are celebrating the past. Don’t worry about having something to say. That’s “telling” and not “showing.” Just create portraits and scenes that show where you have been. That is already enough. Life story writing is not about thinking. Don’t worry about having something to say. Just show your past! You don’t feel you have anything to say today? Write. You feel you have something to say? Write.
See through the excuses for not writing that will jeopardize your success at writing your memoir. We are all too prone to making excuses. Writing autobiography ought to be a pleasure. Rather than indulge in discomfort-producing excuse talk, wouldn’t you really be better off to either write or retire all the feel-good-but-do-nothing talk about writing? Get the support of a writing buddy to help you through these excuses or try coaching.
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.