How Do You Write a Memoir?


Quick Answer

In order to write a memoir, it's important to focus on one life event, diagram a life story, create a beginning that catches the reader's interest and stick to a writing schedule. Memoir writing can help make sense of life experiences and leave something permanent for the writer's descendants.

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Full Answer

One of the most important things to remember is that a memoir is not an autobiography. While an autobiography covers the scope of an entire life, a memoir typically just covers one period or one important event. Keep this in mind in order to help narrow the focus of the project. Pinpointing that specific moment that is worthy of the memoir, however, can be difficult. One strategy that is helpful to many writers is to diagram their lives. Writers can enlist the help of a good friend or partner and attempt to map out the six most important events in their lives. Often one event stands out as the most pivotal or compelling. Once the topic of the memoir is selected, consider how to begin the work. Rather than starting at the beginning, consider opening with an interesting event that grabs the reader's attention and then working backwards from there. Finally, writing a memoir requires a dedicated writing schedule. Set aside a certain time for writing each day and focus on a word goal, whether it's 200 words or 1000. Don't worry about making the writing perfect. Instead, focus on getting it down on the page.

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