Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

A Strong Memoir Conveys Struggle, Triumph

Your memoir will be most interesting if describe how you’ve triumphed over adversity.

Many of our members who talk to us about writing their memoirs have been through some very rough times. It’s a relief for them to spill it out by writing, and some hope that perhaps a movie will be made about their life and the way they survived their hardship. Continuing with our series of reviewing celebrated author Kurt Vonnegut’s eight rules for writing short stories, we’re up to the sixth rule, and this one is a good fit for writing memoirs:

Rule 6: Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

Applying this fiction-writing rule to non-fiction, you do not have to invent your troubled times, because you’ve lived them! Even if you’ve had a relatively easy life, no one escapes some difficulties. The chapters that deal with those episodes may end up being the most compelling parts of your autobiography. They also may be the most challenging for you to write. Recounting your darkest days will provide the opportunity for you to demonstrate, as Vonnegut says, what you’re “made of.??? Misfortune tests your mettle; what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? Whether your life story centers on your triumph over adversity or includes only a couple of sad experiences, use those accounts to keep your readers interested and put a yardstick to your personal growth during your lifetime.

Like this article?


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!