Why Your Memoir is Good Enough

Why Your Memoir is Good Enough
Here on the WriteMyMemoirs blog, we talk a lot about how to craft a compelling memoir. We give general writing tips as well as targeted advice regarding what makes a really good memoir. But you know what? None of that necessarily applies to you.
Many of you are writing your autobiography not with the hope of scoring a best-seller, but really just to get down, digitally or on paper, a record of your life. You probably want your grandchildren to know about their ancestry and to preserve all of the fascinating tidbits that you know about your family. If you publish it at all, most likely you intend to print a small run so that you can hand out a couple of dozen copies to your friends and family. For those targeted readers, your memoir will be compelling, because they have a built-in interest in your story—either they’re part of it or they know people who are. That makes the reading very interesting!
So please don’t worry too much about whether your grammar is perfect or the structure meets the latest conventional wisdom about how to write a memoir. You don’t really need a focus. If you start at the beginning of your life and work your way through the anecdotes and important facts, that will be just fine. You’re not writing a textbook or a novel; you’re producing a highly personal manuscript documenting, in your authentic voice, the truth about your life.

Here on the WriteMyMemoirs blog, we talk a lot about how to craft a compelling memoir. We give general writing tips as well as targeted advice regarding what makes a really good memoir. But you know what? None of that necessarily applies to you.

Many of you are writing your autobiography not with the hope of scoring a best-seller, but really just to get down, digitally or on paper, a record of your life. You probably want your grandchildren to know about their ancestry and to preserve all of the fascinating tidbits that you know about your family. If you publish it at all, most likely you intend to print a small run so that you can hand out a couple of dozen copies to your friends and family. For those targeted readers, your memoir will be compelling, because they have a built-in interest in your story—either they’re part of it or they know people who are. That makes the reading very interesting!

So please don’t worry too much about whether your grammar is perfect or the structure meets the latest conventional wisdom about how to write a memoir. You don’t really need a focus. If you start at the beginning of your life and work your way through the anecdotes and important facts, that will be just fine. You’re not writing a textbook or a novel; you’re producing a highly personal manuscript documenting, in your authentic voice, the truth about your life.

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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!