Begin Writing

Now that you’re perched comfortably at your computer and logged in to Write My Memoirs, jot down some quick phrases. Keep the thoughts loose, like “Camping with the cousins,” or “Switching schools when I was 10.” Remember, your autobiography is really just a collection of these smaller events. Storing them at Write My Memoirs will keep all your thoughts organized in one place and, after you complete our online interview form, our special time line technology will remind you of the milestones in your life.

Good writing creates visual and emotional experiences for the reader. As you describe an episode in your life, try to remember the weather that day, what you were wearing and how you felt doing that activity or being with those people. Rather than a full narrative, some writers prefer to first write phrases and fill in the transitions later. You might write, “Hot weather and lots of mosquitoes at the beach. Kids in the water all day long. Everyone got sunburned.” This will serve as an outline that helps you complete the chapter with more information.

If the memories aren’t flowing, take a look at our section called “What Makes a Memory” for some inspiration.

Pulling Stories From the Past

Most likely, you have old family stories or family secrets that you want to include in your memoir, but you may not be sure of the facts or confident that your memory is guiding you accurately. The passage of time dims memories for everyone.

Events that provoke extreme emotions are often the ones that first come to mind: Did you experience a very funny childhood event? Maybe there was a day full of joy or tragedy that springs to mind? Start with that event to trigger more memories of your earlier life.

It may be helpful for you to create a special chapter for these vaguer recollections. Then contact your siblings and other relatives, former neighbors or parents’ friends to ask them if they remember the story differently or more vividly. Collaboration in writing can be very helpful. After that research, write what you believe is true without feeling the need to be 100% accurate. You’re writing your memoir, which gives you more wiggle room than writing a history book. After you copy and paste those stories into the chapters where they belong, you can delete that temporary chapter. We’re just a “Contact Us” form away if you need help with the technical aspects.

As you write in your account, Write My Memoirs displays a timeline of historical events and lists of inventions and famous people since 1930. These are not complete lists, but they can be helpful to remind you of what was going on in the world during the time frame you’re tackling.