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.
Tag Archives | memoir
Scope: What’s Right for You?
In this video, Scope: What’s Right for You?, I ask how much time and energy are you willing to give to writing your memoir? The more honest and insightful you are in answering this question, the more pleasure you will derive from your writing and the greater the satisfaction you will find in preserving your stories. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
In this YouTube video on how to be a better storyteller, I share with you how you can learn to make effective use of a variety of technical skills to shape successful lifestories.
Why we write stories
In the following YouTube video to which I will send you shortly, I write about why stories fascinate us all our lives. As children, we love to listen to bedtime stories. As we grow older, we tell our own stories about what happened at school or at our after-school job. As adults, we often speak in stories and consume stories in the form of novels, movies, TV dramas and conversations at the grocery store as we wait in line. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
What’s the Right Publication Option For You?
You have finished writing your memoir or are nearing its completion. You feel satisfied with the text. It has been edited by a professional and you have made changes, You are ready for the next step. You are ready to be published. But what is the right publication option for you?
Now, your task is to decide how to best send it out into the world—that’s what publishing a book comes down to it: making your memoir public after all these months of having writing it be a personal project.
The are basically three options.
This post was sent to us with the wish that it remain anonymous. We are reprinting it with that wish intact. It is going under the byline of our staff but the writer is not on our staff. That was just the most expedient way to publish this.
I come back to my writing every day because I cannot stay away. It is how I process life. Writing helps me understand what has happened and how I feel about it. My dad’s Norwegian stoicism and our family’s isolation caused by his alcoholism prevented much communication with anybody, in or out of the family. I turned to writing to “talk” to someone. I wrote letters to any relatives and pen pals who would write back, and who I felt were my friends.
As I now write my memoirs, every memory I write about teaches me something new about myself and how I’ve become the person I am. When I started my memoir, I began to forgive myself for self-defeating behaviors I could not overcome. Re-living events buried for years has brought tears, but it has helped me let go and be a less fearful, ashamed and workaholic person. Writing is the best thing I do for myself.
Memoir or Autobiographical Fiction?
Memoir or autobiographical fiction—what’s the difference? I have been reading a memoir that has been doing well here in Maine (it’s by an excellent Maine writer)–I can’t vouch for its reach in the rest of the country. It was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt so I can only presume it is receiving support elsewhere.
It’s an interesting book, very well-written in terms of style and organization, but my nagging doubt [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
DL— Stories about immigration and citizenship form the backbone of our great American story as much today as in past times. Here is an excerpt about becoming an American from We Were Not Spoiled, the memoir of Lucille Verreault Ledoux as told to Denis Ledoux. For more excerpts of my mother’s life, click here.
My father had not come to the US to stay but that’s what happened. Working here to support his family and buying an apartment building that was his family’s home, it must have seemed obvious to him that this is where he would spend the rest of his life. So, why not become an American citizen?
Becoming a US citizen
Sometime in the mid-1920s, he did just that. Now, he could not be deported and put his family at risk. My mother did not join him in becoming a citizen, but remained here as a resident alien. My father could make himself understood in English, but my mother did not know much beyond what she had learned in her waitressing days in Thetford. She felt this lack of English would stop her from passing the examinations for citizenship. My father was a now citizen, and so they perhaps felt that would save her from deportation, Besides, she did not work outside the home and so was not taking a job away from a citizen. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
It’s time to commit to creating an effective writing schedule.
You’ve already taken several steps in lifewriting. You have begun to write your stories and memories. Perhaps the summer got in the way of your perseverance or perhaps it was something else—an illness, a temporary job, travel. Now you need to recommit to memoir writing by creating an effective writing schedule for yourself.
Rather than think in the general terms of “I’ll write as much as I can” (who are we kidding here!), base your writing schedule on a specific time or a page quota.
1) Decide how much time per week you want (or have) to devote to writing schedule.
I enjoy many forms of physical exercise, from climbing mountains, to backpacking along trails, to bicycling, and even swimming. But mostly nowadays I just go hiking, sometimes with my grandchildren and partner, but often alone. Working the muscles of my body is good for me and helps keep my joints working. I feel better after […]