Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Lying or Laying? Learn to Tell the Difference When You Write Your Memoirs

Learn the difference between “lie” and “lay” in case you need the usage for your memoir.

You don’t have to become an English professor to write a good memoir, but certainly some knowledge of grammar can’t hurt so that you avoid common slip-ups. The lie/lay confusion represents one of the most frequently made errors.

When people or things do the action on their own, use the word lie or, as a participle, lying: the cat just lies there in the sun; the book is lying on the table; the girl likes to lie on the sofa; I was lying on the beach one day. When someone or something causes the action to occur, use the word lay or the participle laying: she should lay down the law; I am laying the book on the table; he always lays a mat on the floor to keep people from tracking in mud.

The error on this is that people tend to use lay when they should use lie. The error rarely goes the reverse way. Once you get accustomed to using both words correctly, the usage will come easy to you. Part of the problem is that lay is used so often that the correct word lie doesn’t sound right to most people even when it is. These two words cause even more confusion in the past tense, which I’ll talk about next time. Now go back to writing your memoirs!

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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!