Resources to help guide and support you on your journey!
~ A memoir is not what happens, but the person to whom things happen ~ Virginia Woolf
~ Memoir is a window into a life ~ William Zinssner
~ Memoir is not the whole head of hair, but one or two of the strands of hair ~ Jean Little
~ Our memoir will come not only from our memories, but also from our imaginations ~ Lucy Calkins
~ A record or a person's own experience ~ Dictionary Definition
Step-by-step Guide: http://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-goal/improve-my-writing...
Resource for research: http://namw.org/become-a-member/namw-benefits/
The following book is a good resource that is available for purchase:
Here is another group that relates to memoirs and family history sponsored by Elle . It has a plethora of resources that can be used throughout your journey.
Link to Rachelle Gardner: Literary Agent, Editor and Publishing Coach:
Brief outline of writing a memoir:
Resource for the following: http://www.rd.com/advice/great-tips-on-how-to-write-your-memoir/
5 steps to writing a memoir:
1. Write memoir, not autobiography.
An autobiography is the story of an entire life, but a memoir is just one story from that life. You can only ever write one autobiography, but you can write countless memoirs. It’s a much less intimidating project if you view it that way.
2. Diagram your life.
Some people have one burning story to tell. Others find it difficult to immediately pinpoint anything. It's recommended to diagram your life to gain perspective. To do this, get in a retrospective mood, enlist the help of a friend or spouse, and plot your life’s six most significant moments. When you do it thoughtfully and honestly, there will usually be one pivotal event that stands out as particularly intriguing and/or meaningful. If there isn’t, don’t worry. There are many different ways to diagram a life. Try dividing yours by critical choices, influential people, conflicts, beliefs, lessons, even mistakes. Experiment until you find the one story that wants to be told.
3. Don’t begin at the beginning.
Don’t tell your story chronologically. That’s too predictable. Think of your favorite books. Most don’t start at the beginning. Instead they rivet you with instant action and intrigue. A good beginning is a tease. It gives readers just enough action to hook them without divulging the outcome. Then it flashes back to the real chronological beginning and fills in the background.
4. Use all your senses.
The best writers create vivid new worlds for readers to inhabit. Yet most budding memoir writers produce first drafts that are flat. To transport readers write vividly. This is done through detail, by using all your senses to fully re-create a moment in time. You can teach yourself to do this. The next time you’re waiting in a restaurant, a doctor’s office, or even in traffic, notice the various sights, sounds, smells, and textures. It’s what writers do, both in reality and in their stories.
5. Build your writing muscle.
You have a writing muscle, and it needs exercise to perform well. Set a daily goal of writing 200, 500, or even 1,000 words. Set aside a regular time, like early morning, and be disciplined. Don’t worry about making what you write perfect. Just focus on getting the story out. (There will be plenty of time for polishing later.) Above all, relax. Memoir is the easiest type of writing to do well. You’ve already done the research and are intimately familiar with every character. Now you just need to tell it.
Based on: http://resources.writersonlineworkshops.com/resources/defining-your-memoir-its-p...
You’ve decided you want to write a memoir. This decision can come about for any number of reasons:
You may be in pain and want the catharsis that writing about the situation will give you.
You may be confused or troubled and want to explore your thoughts and feelings about a situation or relationship in order to resolve it within yourself.
You may have learned some life lessons through something you’ve endured and want to share those with others.
You may want to immortalize an experience or person by getting something down on paper.
You may want to become a writer, and what better way to start than to begin to chronicle your own personal experiences.
I hope you’re ready for the ride of your life, but you may not be as ready as you’d like to think. And that’s okay. Because there’s no way we can prepare for the roller coaster of emotions that writing about our life experiences and relationships can bring up. Even if you’re writing about your backpacking trip in the Himalayas, you’re bound to come up against some unexpected questions and emotions and will then have to explore them. That is both the pain and the joy of memoir writing.
How do you know if you’re ready? Or if you’re not? If you’re not ready, you’re just thinking that you’d like to, sort of, maybe someday write your life story. But if you’re ready, or getting ready, you’ll know because the idea for your story wakes you up in the morning and is the last thing you think about when you go to bed at night. You find yourself thinking about it at odd times of the day. You’re replaying scenes from your life in your head over and over. Your story has you by the gut and it won’t let go.
A warrior, when called to battle, does certain things to prepare. As does a contractor when getting ready to build a house. Or an artist gathering his supplies to create a painting. As a memoir writer, while the writing is a journey and, going in, you can’t know every single thing that’s going to happen ahead of time, there are a few basic pieces of prep work that will give you a bit of direction. At the very least, you want to think about scope, structure, tone, audience, and theme. Oh, and what’s driving you to write this story and write it now.
This is an excellent comparison of a memoir and an autobiography:
Write Your Memoir In Six Months
Anyone close to this location in CA may want to check this out! Wish I could go!