Top Menu

writing your first draft

Writing Your First Draft: Every Memoir Starts That Way!

Give yourself permission to write a rough first draft. Write pages and pages in which you describe the who, the what, the where and the when of the story. Later, as you rework the piece, the why will be written in.

If you are one of those memoir writers who is not otherwise a writer and who will perhaps never write anything else, know that you need to be kind to yourself. In the Turning Memories Into Memoirs workshops, I am often surprised—and dismayed—at how demanding writers are on themselves at an early stage of the process. There are even times when a writer will not turn in a piece of writing because it was not “good enough”—and that in spite of my having told the group that the writing they would submit would still be in its first draft stage.

Think of the first draft of writing as “fixing” the story in the same way that in days when photographs were fixed by chemicals that stage was important if the image was not to be lost. Your first draft is the stage when you “fix” your story, keep it from being lost rather than make it into a masterpiece.

The Memoir Writing Series

Wish you had just-in-time learning? You’ve got it here.

memoir writing series

This is where Memoir Network Writing Book Series will be so useful to you—especially if:

  • You don’t want an A-to-Z book on memoir writing.
  • You are not looking for an encyclopedic treatment of writing.
  • You are looking for a specific solution to a specific problem

50% off. Now only $15!

until October 10, 2023

At checkout, use discount code: MWS50

Don’t reward yourself for being a perfectionist!

[Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

The Memoir Network blog reposting” width=And now this one thing…

This post is one of over 500 informative, well-written articles we have made available to you on this site.

We’ve contributed to your writing success; now we ask you to contribute to the expansion of the memoir conversation.

By reposting this article on your blog or website or reposting on your favorite social media, you will inform your fellow memoir writers of the programs and services—many for free like the blogs—that are available at

Thanks for your generosity. You rock.

We'd love to have you access this content. It's in our members-only area, but you're in luck: becoming a member is easy and it's free.

Already a Member?

Not a Member Yet?

, ,

One Response to Writing Your First Draft: Every Memoir Starts That Way!

  1. wondering04 February 12, 2015 at 5:13 PM #

    You are right – I’m editing my rough draft now and as I edit I found the themes. I’ve been able to fill in details and see connections that are new and exciting. I’ve also created a deleted items folder – not everything I wrote is relevant to my themes. I cut those and paste them into my deleted items folder – who knows, it may be the stuff of new memoirs. Thank you for your site. It is a blessing. — Heather

Leave a Reply