8 Tips to Get You to a Fast Start Writing Your Memoir  

To help you to write your memoirs more prolifically–and even bring them to a finish in the form of a published memoir–I offer these eight suggestions. They are tried and true tips that bear repeating and repeating.

1. Set up a regular writing time. How long you write is perhaps not as important as how frequently you do so. Once you have set up a writing time, honor it as you would a medical appointment. Don’t allow others to usurp your time!

2. Give yourself permission to write a rough first draft. Perfectionism is not a virtue at this stage. Keep writing for volume. Quality will enter in later

3. Start anywhere in the story you feel like writing about on any given day and keep writing as long as possible. If the topic changes on the next day, write about the new story line even if you haven’t finished the previous one. You are connecting to your muse at this point!

4. Once you have a number of stories or story pieces, collate them in a three-ring binder according to chronological order. Write the missing links between the texts that you have already written. Seeing your stories pile up will also encourage you to continue writing.

5. Read memoirs critically to learn as much as you can from other writers. I call this process “reading as a writer.”

6. Commit to reading how-to-write books, take a class, seek coaching. A professional can create many shortcuts for you.

7. Work with an editor. An editor can help spot problems that have become invisible to you.

8. Create an end date (publication) as a stimulus to keep writing. Tell people about this publication date.

I wish you many happy hours of writing each and every week of November Is Lifewriting Month.

About Denis Ledoux

Denis Ledoux began helping people to turn their memories into memoirs in 1988. Denis was named Lifewriting Professional of the Year by the Association of Personal Historians in 1996. Today, Denis is a writer, educator, teacher, autobiography co-author, memoir-writing coach, editor and publisher. He directs The Memoir Network, an international group of memoir professionals who use his method and materials to help people write lifestories. Denis also offers writing tele-classes and leads memoir writing tele-groups.
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