Choose a Perspective for Your Memoir

Choose a Perspective for Your Memoir
Do you write your about your childhood from the distance you have as an adult looking back, or do you call upon the voice inside you that witnessed the action as a child? This is another key issue discussed in William Zinsser’s essay, “How to Write a Memoir,” which we’re referencing here at Write My Memoirs because it contains so much insight into the memoir writing process.
Zinsser leans toward using your childhood voice to “preserve the unity of a remembered time and place.” He cites Russell Baker’s Growing Up, V. S. Pritchett’s A Cab at the Door and Jill Ker Conway’s The Road from Coorain as examples of autobiographies that effectively convey “what it was like to be a child or an adolescent in a world of adults contending with life’s adversities.”
But Zinsser recognizes that many of you memoir writers will choose to write from the point of view of the adult you are now, and he agrees that the resulting book can “have its own integrity.” For examples of that structure, he mentions Poets in Their Youth, “in which Eileen Simpson recalls her life with her first husband, John Berryman, and his famously self-destructive fellow poets, including Robert Lowell and Delmore Schwartz, whose demons she was too young as a bride to understand. When she revisited that period as an older woman in her memoir she had become a writer and a practicing psychotherapist, and she used that clinical knowledge to create an invaluable portrait of a major school of American poetry at the high tide of its creativity.” Zinsser recognizes that these are two different types of writing and urges memoir writers to choose one rather than combining the two.
http://theamericanscholar.org/how-to-write-a-memoir/#.UaTLItKsjTo

Do you write about your childhood from the distance you have as an adult looking back, or do you call upon the voice inside you that witnessed the action as a child? This is another key issue discussed in William Zinsser’s essay, “How to Write a Memoir,” which we’re referencing here at Write My Memoirs because it contains so much insight into the memoir writing process.

Zinsser leans toward using your childhood voice to “preserve the unity of a remembered time and place.” He cites Russell Baker’s Growing Up, V. S. Pritchett’s A Cab at the Door and Jill Ker Conway’s The Road from Coorain as examples of autobiographies that effectively convey “what it was like to be a child or an adolescent in a world of adults contending with life’s adversities.”

But Zinsser recognizes that many of you memoir writers will choose to write from the point of view of the adult you are now, and he agrees that the resulting book can “have its own integrity.” For examples of that structure, he mentions Poets in Their Youth, “in which Eileen Simpson recalls her life with her first husband, John Berryman, and his famously self-destructive fellow poets, including Robert Lowell and Delmore Schwartz, whose demons she was too young as a bride to understand. When she revisited that period as an older woman in her memoir she had become a writer and a practicing psychotherapist, and she used that clinical knowledge to create an invaluable portrait of a major school of American poetry at the high tide of its creativity.” Zinsser recognizes that these are two different types of writing and urges memoir writers to choose one rather than combining the two.

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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 that extra 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. SCHEDULE A CALL TODAY if you’d like to talk about what’s right for you. One year from now, you can be holding your published memoir in your hand. And at that point, it will be a big deal!