Memoir Writing for the Non-Writer

Memoir Writing for the Non-Writer
A lot of people would like to write a memoir but feel intimidated or overwhelmed by the task, because neither are they writers by profession nor do they write as a hobby. In fact, may people who would like to have a memoir don’t enjoy writing at all. Can someone like that still be the author of an autobiography? Absolutely. If you can talk, you can write!
Picking up from the past two blog posts, we’re spending a few weeks here discussing an essay by William Zinsser on memoir writing. In this passage from his essay, Zinsser tells how his father wrote a memoir:
“My father, a businessman with no literary pretensions, wrote two family histories in his old age. It was the perfect task for a man with few gifts for self-amusement. Sitting in his favorite green leather armchair in an apartment high above Park Avenue in New York, he wrote a history of his side of the family—the Zinssers and the Scharmanns—going back to 19th century Germany. Then he wrote a history of the family shellac business on West 59th Street, William Zinsser & Co., that his grandfather founded in 1849. He wrote with a pencil on a yellow legal pad, never pausing—then or ever again—to rewrite. He had no patience with any enterprise that obliged him to reexamine or slow down. On the golf course, walking toward his ball, he would assess the situation, pick a club out of the bag, and swing at the ball as he approached it, hardly breaking stride.”
It’s all about telling little stories that, together, provide a window into a life. The writing doesn’t have to be perfect. Next time, we’ll go more into why your memoir might actually benefit from your “amateur” writing.
http://theamericanscholar.org/how-to-write-a-memoir/#.UaTLItKsjTo

A lot of people would like to write a memoir but feel intimidated or overwhelmed by the task, because neither are they writers by profession nor do they write as a hobby. In fact, may people who would like to have a memoir don’t enjoy writing at all. Can someone like that still be the author of an autobiography? Absolutely. If you can talk, you can write!

Picking up from the past two blog posts, we’re spending a few weeks here discussing an essay by William Zinsser on memoir writing. In this passage from his essay, Zinsser tells how his father wrote a memoir:

“My father, a businessman with no literary pretensions, wrote two family histories in his old age. It was the perfect task for a man with few gifts for self-amusement. Sitting in his favorite green leather armchair in an apartment high above Park Avenue in New York, he wrote a history of his side of the family—the Zinssers and the Scharmanns—going back to 19th century Germany. Then he wrote a history of the family shellac business on West 59th Street, William Zinsser & Co., that his grandfather founded in 1849. He wrote with a pencil on a yellow legal pad, never pausing—then or ever again—to rewrite. He had no patience with any enterprise that obliged him to reexamine or slow down. On the golf course, walking toward his ball, he would assess the situation, pick a club out of the bag, and swing at the ball as he approached it, hardly breaking stride.”

It’s all about telling little stories that, together, provide a window into a life. The writing doesn’t have to be perfect. Next time, we’ll go more into why your memoir might actually benefit from your “amateur” writing.

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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!