So, you want to write a memoir. And why wouldn’t you? There is so much to say about your life. You have overcome mountains of challenges and experienced miracles that would amaze most readers.
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Great. You’re ready to get started. There is one question to answer before you begin — just how famous are you? What’s that? Not so famous? That can be an issue, especially when attempting to market your memoir to a big-time agent or publisher.
Actually, it can be done. But there are few things to consider because writing a memoir is not just about, ahem, airing all your dirty laundry.
Write a Memoir
~One thing to keep in mind is that a memoir is not the story of your entire life. It’s the story of some aspect of your life. Perhaps it’s a specific challenge that you faced. Think, cancer or adoption or the loss of a child. A memoir requires a writer to delve into a very poignant moment in time and share it with the reader.
~If publication is your main aim, then strive to tell a compelling story, one that will prove unique and vital to the reading community. You may have a great story about your life as a cruise ship director. Or, yours might be a common story but meaningful because of how events unfolded. Whatever the case, be sure to offer a great tale that is informative and relevant.
~Take notes before you begin writing. If you can’t remember each tiny, little detail, don’t worry. Emotional details are just as important as factual details. It’s OK to play a little loose with your memory of dates and time. Just be real when it comes to expressing the truth of your experience.
~Talk with family and friends about any experiences that you all may have shared that you wish to include in your book. Getting their perspective will allow you to enrich your scenes with a deeper understanding of all the feelings and events.
Finally, read the memoirs of other successful authors. Elizabeth Gilbert struck gold with “Eat, Pray, Love” and there is Laura Roppe’s “Rocking the Pink.” By studying the works of others, you will become more familiar with this beloved genre.
Kerri S. Mabee