Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Holiday Letters Chronicle a Life Story

Use holiday letters as resources for your memoir research.

blog20Yup, I’m one of those holiday card senders whom people love to hate—the ones who tuck an annual holiday letter into the card. With modern technology, I even print out a family photo right onto the letter. Actually, I receive a lot of positive feedback from friends who enjoy these wrap-ups of each year’s activities. I’ve been doing this since the early 1990s, taking up to three pages to humorously summarize my children’s year of growth and the various triumphs and challenges that every family experiences.

When I occasionally go back and read some the older letters, I realize that each one is like a little chapter in my life story. These letters let me relive some great family car trips, rekindle the excitement surrounding my husband’s softball team’s winning seasons and make me laugh all over again about the unpredictable and sometimes goofy nature of, as the old Reader’s Digest section called it, “life in these United States.???

As you write your memoirs, you might want to dig up any holiday letters you’ve written. Perhaps some of your family members have kept them if you haven’t, or someone may even have the ones written by the previous generation. Somehow amid all the emailing and texting, the good old-fashioned holiday letter has never gone out of style. At least I hope that mine hasn’t!

Photo: ©Olga Drozdova courtesy of dreamstime.com

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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!