Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Memoir Writers: Go Through Your Stuff!

Memoir Writers: Go Through Your Stuff!
A recent newspaper story about former Chicago Cultural Affairs Commissioner Lois Weisberg ends with the information that the octegenarian is working on her memoirs. She was quoted in the Chicago Tribune article as saying that to “aspire to write a book at my age is really kind of insane.”
Here at WriteMyMemoirs we certainly would not consider the endeavor “insane.” At 85, Weisberg is still active and able. Until last year she was working full-time, and now she finally can reflect upon her long career and her family life with four children. As part of former Mayor Daley’s inner circle, she very likely has a lot of juicy tidbits to share. But, just like your memoir, Weisberg’s story won’t write itself. She told the reporter that she attacks it every morning for a few hours, writing in longhand on a legal pad.
“Go through your old boxes,” Weisberg advises people in the process of writing a memoir but having trouble coming up with chapters and topics. “You might find something interesting.” I would add this: go through your email. Even if you didn’t keep old letters, the electronic version of mail may provide more of a record than you think—at least for the past five or ten years. Don’t forget to ask friends and family members whether they’ve saved letters and emails, too. You may not have correspondence from the Daleys, but surely you exchanged notes with people who’ve made an impact on your life.

A recent newspaper story about former Chicago Cultural Affairs Commissioner Lois Weisberg ends with the information that the octegenarian is working on her memoirs. She was quoted in the Chicago Tribune article as saying that to “aspire to write a book at my age is really kind of insane.”

Here at WriteMyMemoirs we certainly would not consider the endeavor “insane.” At 85, Weisberg is still active and able. Until last year she was working full-time, and now she finally can reflect upon her long career and her family life with four children. As part of former Mayor Daley’s inner circle, she very likely has a lot of juicy tidbits to share. But, just like your memoir, Weisberg’s story won’t write itself. She told the reporter that she attacks it every morning for a few hours, writing in longhand on a legal pad.

“Go through your old boxes,” Weisberg advises people in the process of writing a memoir but having trouble coming up with chapters and topics. “You might find something interesting.” You may have saved ticket stubs, cheap souvenirs from trips and, of course, letters. Also, go through your email. It may provide more of a record than you think—at least for the past five or ten years. Don’t forget to ask friends and family members whether they’ve saved letters and emails, too. You may not have correspondence from the Daleys, but surely you exchanged notes with people who’ve made an impact on your life.

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Then just set up a chapter and start writing your memoir. Don’t worry about rules. There are no rules to writing your memoir; there are only trends. These trends are based on techniques and features identified in current top-selling memoirs. At best, they’re the flavor of the month. If you’re capturing your life in print for your family, for your own gratification or to inspire readers, rather than aiming to set off Hollywood screenplay bidding wars, these trends don’t even apply to you. You’ll write the memoir that suits you best, and it will be timeless, not trend-driven.There are no rules, but there are four steps:

1. Theme/framework
2. Writing
3. Editing/polishing
4. Self-publishing

You’ve researched this, too, and you’ve been shocked at the price for getting help with any one of those steps, much less all four. That’s because most memoir sites promise to commercialize your work. They’ll follow a formula based on current memoir trends, because they want to convince you that they can turn your memoir into a best-seller. These sites overwhelm you with unnecessary information not to help you, the memoir author, but to address Search Engine Optimization (SEO) algorithms so they can sell more.

That’s not what we do at Write My Memoirs. Our small community of coaches, writers and editors are every bit as skilled as any you’ll find, and we charge appropriately for their expertise and the time they’ll spend helping you craft a compelling, enjoyable read. But you won’t pay an upcharge for other websites’ commercialization, the marketing that follows, and the pages of intimidating “advice.” You can sell your book if you like—we have ISBNs available for you—but our organic process of capturing your story takes a noncommercial path.

If you want help with any or all of the four steps above, choose from our services or save money by selecting one of our packages. If you’d like to talk about what’s right for you, schedule a call. One year from now, you can be holding your published memoir in your hand. And at that point, it will be a big deal!