Tips to Nail Your First Memoir

Life is short; life is sweet, and it comes with its own set of ups and downs, which is why we believe that nearly everyone has an interesting story to share with the world. That said, if you have some experience in your life that you think others would love to read about, then you will want to consider writing a memoir.

It could be anything, such as the experience of beating cancer or venturing into entrepreneurship from the lowest point of your life.

You get the point – if you are passionate about writing and have something incredible to tell and share with the world, then you will want to start working on it now. And don’t worry; you can always hire one of the best memoir editors after you have successfully completed your first manuscript.

The memoir editor will help you polish your manuscript and prepare it for publication.

If this is your first time giving your writing project a go, then you will immensely benefit from the following tips that will help you nail your memoir.

Keep reading!

Understand the Difference Between a Memoir and an Autobiography

Many novice writers make the mistake of confusing the genres of autobiography and memoir. You will want to understand the essential difference between both genres before you start writing.

The simple differences between both genres come down to the fact that an autobiography is essentially a story that revolves around the entire life of the relevant person. On the other hand, a memoir deals with a special chunk from a person’s life.

Of course, if you were to write an autobiography, you would be writing about the entire life in a single go. However, if you decide to write a memoir, you can write more than one memoir focusing on one life event at a time.

In other words, you can only write one autobiography, but you can write countless memoirs, which makes writing a memoir a less overwhelming project than the project of writing an autobiography. Now that you know the essential difference between both genres, you can start working on the memoir with more clarity.

Use a Mindmap to Create an Outline

One of the easiest ways to successfully write a memoir is to start with making an outline or drawing a diagram of your life. As a novice writer, you will find it challenging to instantly come to the burning point that you want to share with your readers.

You will want to use a mindmap to draw a diagram of your life event to have a better start. This way, you will better understand the event you want to share with your ideal readers. The mindmap will also help you look in retrospect and outline the things that you want to mention in your memoir.

Using the mindmap, you can also create a list of all the people who will be part of the memoir or who played a significant role in your life during that specific event. You might as well want to use the mindmap to brainstorm ideas that you will want to discuss in your memoir.

For instance, you could start the entire memoir project by brainstorming at least six ideas about life events that you believe would make great content for the memoir. Later, you can narrow down the list to the most pivotal event that will outshine others and that you believe your ideal readers would love to read about.

Once you have narrowed down the list and chosen one particular event that will outshine all other events, you can start creating a diagram that includes all people, lessons, mistakes, beliefs, successes, and conflicts you gathered during that time of your life.

You Don’t Have to Follow the Chronological Order

Many novice writers mistakenly believe that they have to follow the chronological order when jotting down a memoir. However, the truth is the other way around. You don’t have to follow a linear timeline when jotting down things for the memoir because by doing so, you won’t have the readers hooked to the story.

You will want to follow the golden rule that is the same for any genre and any book that you want to stand out in the niche and sell – you need a great hook to reel in the reader by captivating their interest. You will want to get them hooked by writing an interesting hook and avoiding making things predictable.

And the downside of telling a story in chronological order is that it makes things too predictable, which is something that you will want to avoid at all costs.

Always remember that you want to tease the readers in the beginning by giving them sufficient action without revealing the entire crux of the story. This is why we recommend taking some classes in creative writing before you start working on your memoir.

Initially, you will want to intrigue the reader’s interest by starting with a flashback or a conflict, something that will have them on edge and where they will be curious enough to read on to learn more about the unraveling of the story.

Then, slowly, you can integrate the chronological order in the background without giving away much of the entire story.

You get the point – no matter what genre you are writing, even if it is a non-fiction book, an autobiography, or a memoir, you will want to skip the chronological order and instead introduce instant intrigue and action to get the reader’s interest.

Discipline is the Key to Success

Like any other project, you will want to dedicate your time, effort, and dedication to get things done. Once you have prepared your outline, you will want to make a conscious effort to build your writing muscle. You will want to set a daily goal and set up a writing spot where you can write uninterruptedly or for several hours and reach your daily milestone.

There is no such thing as writer’s block. You need to take your writing project seriously and fulfill your daily commitments.

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