Writing a Memoir
Have you ever wanted to write a memoir?
Do you have a story to tell?
The short answer is: Yes!
The long answer is that everyone has a life story worthy of telling.
As a writing teacher and coach, much of my time is dedicated to helping people tell their stories, both with fiction and with memoirs. Part of teaching memoirs means I help people delve into their memories…into their lives…and to guide them through the memoir-writing process.
But what is a memoir, and why should you write one?
Oh my gosh…
So. Many. Reasons.
First, let me be frank.
I believe everyone has stories to tell. And I do mean that.
- Have you experienced a life-changing event?
- Do you have a foundational friendship, an amazing job or career, or a family story?
- Are you a survivor.
- Do you have deep convictions?
Even the ordinary can become extraordinary when you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).
So, why memoirs? Helping people discover their stories is one reason I teach. Recently, I taught a two-part class recently at a local arts center on memoir-writing. The students, of all ages, had different reasons for being there, but the commonality was that they had all experienced something in their lives they were interested in exploring on a slightly deeper level.
That’s just what we did. We went through exercises to help unlock memories, to figure out how to structure the stories they wanted to tell, and we wrote. And wrote.
Ultimately, each person ended up with a clear idea of what their touchstones were, what they learned (or were in the process of learning) from their experience, and how to proceed with their memoir.
Looking Toward the New Year
As you probably know, so many people make New Year’s Resolutions. I am more about setting achievable goals. As we approach the end of 2022, I encourage you to set a few writing goals, and if you have toyed with the idea of a memoir, make that one of those goals.
Whether you take a course or tackle your memoir on your own, the value of writing this slice of your life is so great. You may decide to write it for yourself, for your kids or grandkids, as a cathartic experience, or with an eye toward publication. My parents wrote memoirs last year and they have been such an incredible gift to my brothers and me, to our kids, and to the rest of the family. Treasures, really.
Maybe you’ve never considered writing a memoir. Maybe now that I’ve planted the seed, though, 2023 will be your year.
If it is, happy writing!
If you are interested in a little guidance with your memoir, take a look at WriterSpark’s Writing Your Memoir Master Class. It is a self-paced course designed to help you dive into the process of writing your memoir.
Through the modules, you will unlock memories, brainstorm, organize your ideas, delve into writing in first person, and explore the process of developing a relationship with the reader, and so much more.
The focus is not on completing a full length memoir, but on developing a collection of ideas that will form the foundation for a full length memoir.
During this course, we will explore what makes a compelling story, how to turn memories and experiences into narrative nonfiction, and we will examine characterization, plot, dialogue, and showing versus telling within the context of memoir-writing. Specific writing assignments are aimed at practicing these elements.
Take a look HERE and get 10% off through December 15th!
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