Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Write Yourself Up Wiki-Style

Write Yourself Up Wiki-Style
We regularly receive email from people who want to write their memoirs but can’t get started. We suggest beginning with just one limited episode; once you’ve described that, you may be able to go on to the next. I think it’s easier than starting at the beginning of your life and going chronologically. But no matter what order you follow, you may find it helpful to have an outline. Breaking down your life into small segments will eventually shape your life’s larger themes. That’s where old, reliable Wikipedia comes in.
Look up your favorite celebrity or historical figure on wikipedia.com, and you’ll see that the biographical information follows an outline that appears along with the text. Read a few of them, and perhaps you’ll get into the swing of it enough to craft an outline for your own life.
For example, I looked up Benjamin Franklin, who lived a long and varied life. One category in his biography is Inventions and scientific inquiries. Another, Public Life, is broken down into: Europe years; Hutchinson letters; Coming of Revolution; Declaration of Independence; Postmaster; Ambassador to France: 1776–1785; Constitutional Convention; and President of Pennsylvania. As you can see, there’s no rule about how all of that is worded; it’s kind of a hodgepodge. If you can approach your own time line the same way—just write down a couple of words that trigger your memory about each major aspect, period or episode in your life, you’ll have made a great start to your autobiography.

We regularly receive email from people who want to write their memoirs but can’t get started. We suggest beginning with just one limited episode; once you’ve described that, you may be able to go on to the next. I think it’s easier than starting at the beginning of your life and going chronologically. But no matter what order you follow, you may find it helpful to have an outline. Breaking down your life into small segments will eventually shape your life’s larger themes. That’s where old, reliable Wikipedia comes in.

Look up your favorite celebrity or historical figure on Wikipedia.org, and you’ll see that the biographical information follows an outline that appears along with the text. Read a few of them, and perhaps you’ll get into the swing of it enough to craft an outline for your own life.

For example, I looked up Benjamin Franklin, who lived a long and varied life. One category in his biography is Inventions and scientific inquiries. Another, Public life, is broken down into: Europe years; Hutchinson letters; Coming of Revolution; Declaration of Independence; Postmaster; Ambassador to France: 1776–1785; Constitutional Convention; and President of Pennsylvania. As you can see, there’s no rule about how all of that is worded; it’s kind of a hodgepodge. If you can approach your own time line the same way—just write down a couple of words that trigger your memory about each major aspect, period or episode in your life, you’ll have made a great start to your autobiography.

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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!