Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

More Assignments to Prep for Writing Your Memoir

Write a couple of biographical essays before tackling your own memoir.
More Assignments to Prep for Writing Your Memoir
Continuing with the syllabus we introduced in an earlier blog post for a college course in writing memoirs, we come to the next assignment—actually the next two assignments, since they both involve writing a biographical essay. These assignments will accomplish dual goals. First, they will give you practice in writing about someone else’s life before you attempt to write about your own. Second, you could very well end up including parts or all of these essays in your own memoir.
In both essays, you should choose someone you have known personally for a long time. The first essay will zoom in on the relationship you have with that person, who is likely to be a close relative or friend. Explain how your relationship has changed over time. You may find that you’re writing as much about yourself as about the subject of the essay, and that’s okay.
Select a different person for the second essay, which should more directly focus on the subject’s life. A grandparent is a great choice for this essay. Write 5-7 pages about the person as if you’re writing a classic biography. If the person is alive and accessible, you can interview him or her; you also can interview other people who have known the person. Through this exercise, you’ll discover that even a quiet life can make for interesting reading. It will help you to figure out what to write about yourself when you tackle your memoir.

Continuing with the syllabus we introduced in an earlier blog post for a college course in writing memoirs, we come to the next assignment—actually the next two assignments, since they both involve writing a biographical essay. These assignments will accomplish dual goals. First, they will give you practice in writing about someone else’s life before you attempt to write about your own. Second, you could very well end up including parts or all of these essays in your own memoir.

In both essays, you should choose someone you have known personally for a long time. The first essay will zoom in on the relationship you have with that person, who is likely to be a close relative or friend. Explain how your relationship has changed over time. You may find that you’re writing as much about yourself as about the subject of the essay, and that’s okay.

Select a different person for the second essay, which should more directly focus on the subject’s life. A grandparent is a great choice for this essay. Write 5-7 pages about the person as if you’re writing a classic biography. If the person is alive and accessible, you can interview him or her; you also can interview other people who have known the person. Through this exercise, you’ll discover that even a quiet life can make for interesting reading. It will help you to figure out what to write about yourself when you tackle your memoir.

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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!