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writing prompts

Better Than Writing Prompts – Five Tips for Creating a Memory List

People who are writing a memoir 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?”

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).

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Complete Your Book Manuscript

Show Up And Do the Work of Writing a Book

No one said it would be easy to show up and do the work of writing a book!

“Writing is hard,” you realize again as you look at your production for the day. “Perhaps I’m not cut out for this.”

To your dismay, you have been writing in snippets for many days now. In the mornings, when you show up at your laptop—later and later it seems, you must face, as does every writer, a demanding master: your daily writing. Why can’t writing be more fun? Why can’t it be—well, to tell the truth—less hard?

Oh, how you wish it were the end of your scheduled writing period for the day! Why did you think you could do this book-writing thing!

“Whom am I kidding?” [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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How long should it take to write a memoir?

How Long Should It Take to Write a Memoir? Set a Deadline!

How Useful Is A Memoir Timeline?

Have you ever wondered, “How long should it take to write a memoir?”

One answer, of course, is that it takes as long as it takes. While so true, this answer is not useful to those writers who are trying to get their duckies in line—looking at where the time is in their schedules to write, knowing what support to ask from their life partners, etc. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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Continue to write your memoir

Don’t Wait: Continue to Write Your Memoir Today

Why not continue to write your memoir today?

—Phil Cousineau in Stoking the Creative Fires

The Phil Cousineau quote above ought to be for all of us a stirring call to continue—or to begin if that is where we are at—the writing we may have procrastinated about for so long. We fill our days with lesser tasks when we know that what we ought to be doing is writing a memoir.

It is later than you think. In the twenty-five plus years I have been doing this work, I have seen people die without writing their memoir and I have seen people grow old and lose the energy to write their memoir.

In both cases, a lifestory has been lost.
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pick up your memoir writing again

How to Pick up Your Memoir Writing Again When You’ve Slacked Off

How do you pick up your memoir writing again?

If you have stopped writing because of a holiday, a vacation, an illness, or lassitude (read: “It’s too hard! I want it to be easy!”), make today—now—be the time you pick up your memoir writing again and write to the end.
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writing your memoir

Writing Your Memoir One Story at a Time—It Adds Up

Make Writing Your Memoir Less Daunting

Writing your memoir does not have to be an intimidating task. Envisioning your autobiography as a series of stories makes the sizable task of writing the stories of a lifetime tolerable and ultimately enjoyable. Lifestories, written singly just as they are told, one by one, add up—sometimes effortlessly—to a memoir.

Whenever I have written a book, I have written it several pages at a time. Were I to ask a beginning writer, “can you produce a 140-page story for me?” most would blanch and then protest, “I can’t write that much!” When I ask people if they can write a 3-, 4-, 5- or even 7-page story, most will answer, “Sure I can do that.” [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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writing

Show Up and Do the Writing!

To your dismay, you have been writing your memoir in snippets. In the mornings, when you show up on your laptop, you face, as does every writer, a demanding master: a writing stint for the day.

Oh, how you wish it were the end of your scheduled writing period!

Like many memoir writers, your memoir writing time is perhaps not long. Then you need to move on to the numerous chores that are attendant on keeping a life and a home going. You feel some urgency to write deathless prose because of the short time allotted.

But some days, even your short writing period seems too long. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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Man Working on Laptop

Finishing a Memoir—How Do People Get Snagged?

Many people who seek us out at The Memoir Network are not beginners at memoir writing. Many have already composed 5, 10, 15 or more stories or vignettes. They have been working on their memoir for a significant length of time but they are spinning their wheels. They are not moving forward and seem to […]

finish your memoir

How to Finish Your Memoir

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?

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