Meet William Zinsser

Meet William Zinsser
As a memoir writer, you should know about an American author and teacher named William Zinsser. Now 90 years old and still writing, Zinsser is the author of On Writing Well. In 2006, he wrote an essay for The American Scholar that provided valuable insight into the process of writing a memoir. With its inspirationally warm temperatures and lazy-day vacationing, summertime is a great season to begin your memoir or make significant progress on it. To help you do that, let’s spend a portion of this summer discussing Zinsser’s essay, succinctly titled, “How to Write a Memoir.”
I’m going to start at the end, with the very last piece of advice in that essay: how to get started. Zinsser suggests:
“Go to your desk on Monday morning and write about some event that’s still vivid in your memory. What you write doesn’t have to be long—three pages, five pages—but it should have a beginning and an end. Put that episode in a folder and get on with your life. On Tuesday morning, do the same thing. Tuesday’s episode doesn’t have to be related to Monday’s episode. Take whatever memory comes calling; your subconscious mind, having been put to work, will start delivering your past. Keep this up for two months, or three months, or six months. Don’t be impatient to start writing your ‘memoir,’ the one you had in mind before you began. Then, one day,…[read through your entries] and see what they tell you and what patterns emerge. They will tell you what your memoir is about and what it’s not about. They will tell you what’s primary and what’s secondary, what’s interesting and what’s not, what’s emotional, what’s important, what’s funny, what’s unusual, what’s worth pursing and expanding. You’ll begin to glimpse your story’s narrative shape and the road you want to take. Then all you have to do is put the pieces together.”
More about this essay in the coming weeks.
http://theamericanscholar.org/how-to-write-a-memoir/#.UaTLItKsjTo
http://www.amazon.com/Writing-Well-30th-Anniversary-Nonfiction/dp/0060891548/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370966977&sr=1-1&keywords=on+writing+well

As a memoir writer, you should know about an American author and teacher named William Zinsser. Now 90 years old and still writing, Zinsser is the author of On Writing Well. In 2006, he wrote an essay for The American Scholar that provided valuable insight into the process of writing a memoir. With its inspirationally warm temperatures and lazy-day vacationing, summertime is a great season to begin your memoir or make significant progress on it. To help you do that, let’s spend a portion of this summer discussing Zinsser’s essay, succinctly titled, “How to Write a Memoir.”

I’m going to start at the end, with the very last piece of advice in that essay: how to get started. Zinsser suggests:

“Go to your desk on Monday morning and write about some event that’s still vivid in your memory. What you write doesn’t have to be long—three pages, five pages—but it should have a beginning and an end. Put that episode in a folder and get on with your life. On Tuesday morning, do the same thing. Tuesday’s episode doesn’t have to be related to Monday’s episode. Take whatever memory comes calling; your subconscious mind, having been put to work, will start delivering your past. Keep this up for two months, or three months, or six months. Don’t be impatient to start writing your ‘memoir,’ the one you had in mind before you began. Then, one day,…[read through your entries] and see what they tell you and what patterns emerge. They will tell you what your memoir is about and what it’s not about. They will tell you what’s primary and what’s secondary, what’s interesting and what’s not, what’s emotional, what’s important, what’s funny, what’s unusual, what’s worth pursing and expanding. You’ll begin to glimpse your story’s narrative shape and the road you want to take. Then all you have to do is put the pieces together.”

More about this essay in the coming weeks.

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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!