3. Tell the stories behind the important events in your life, such as high school or college graduation, marriage, the birth of a child and your first real job. Don’t just list these events—reveal the excitement or exasperation you felt when they occurred and what you learned from each event.
WriteMyMemoirs commentary: I really like this tip, because it reminds you that you’re not writing a school paper. Usually in school, you’re assigned to write either an expository essay, which provides facts in a dry way without any opinion, or a persuasive essay, which tries to convince the reader to side with your point of view. A memoir is a different animal altogether. You want to present information through the filter of your personal experiences and emotions. You’re not simply presenting facts, but you’re also not specifically arguing a point of view.
4. Discuss the influential people in your life. Perhaps you had a teacher who took you under her wing or a neighbor who taught you how to play baseball. Write down what they looked like, how they spoke and what you admired the most about these individuals.
WriteMyMemoirs commentary: Of course, your autobiography is not complete without including all the important people in your life. But you have to be careful. Once something is published, you can’t undo it, so make sure you’re comfortable including your impressions of people. Even if you present the person in a positive light, read it over a few times. And think very carefully about writing a negative account of someone. Is it worth it to put that out there? Are you seeking revenge? Be true to yourself, but you may regret using your memoir to be petty or settle a score.
More tips next time!