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The Steps to Writing a Memoir
The Steps to Writing a Memoir


The Steps to Writing a Memoir

As we are born into this world, we are each assigned to set off on our own journeys and collect our own sets of stories to tell. We are currently living on earth with seven billion unique stories all tied with their own experiences; all of which are interesting and insightful in their own way. We are all human after all, and that means we are all capable of learning from one another’s histories.

If you want to share the events of your life in your own creative way, you should consider writing memoirs. This endeavor would enable you to document key points in your upbringing with the same elements that make fiction interesting. Being written accounts of actual events, it can also serve as lessons for your audiences and establish a sense of inspiration. Before one should draft an outline for writing a memoir, it is important to do an examination of your own past.

What is Your Story?

Who are you, where did you come from, and what is your place in this world? Those are all valid questions when it comes to the introspective approach. This examination is key to the steps of writing a memoir. Before you try writing about yourself, you need to take the time to know yourself truthfully. In some instances of this thought process, people emerge discovering a lot more about themselves right after inferring from their memories.

Maybe a lesson can be pulled out of the mistakes that happened in the past? Maybe there is something to be learned in the midst of all this trauma? Whatever that yearning tension is, it’s beneficial in your outline for writing a memoir.

Memoirs and Autobiographies: What Sets Them Apart

It’s understandable to have confusion between these two types of literature; rest assured, they’re not the same thing. Autobiographies are written accounts of the author’s life written from birth up to the time of writing. Although they follow a certain timeline and individual, the sense of theme may get lost in between; as we are humans prone to several changes in our lives.

A memoir only focuses on one important point in your life, which often makes things simpler and more cohesive. When writing memoirs, it’s easier to establish a message for your audience by focusing on one big core memory.

6 Helpful Steps in Writing a Memoir

You’ve done your introspective search and you have found your story; the events are in your head and all you have to do is put them into words. So, how do you start? When writing memoirs, there are certain procedures that can be helpful in bringing the output to fruition.

Whether it would be establishing a theme, including key events, adding personality, or drafting an outline for writing a memoir, these practices can streamline the workflow and allow you to be guided along the process. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Select an overarching theme

One of the important steps in writing a memoir is establishing a coherent theme. Much like any other story, a great theme is part of the author’s main reasons for telling them. The writer has a broad message that they wish to share with a large audience. It allows the literature to be more cohesive and grounded upon a proper structure or idea. Themes aren’t always implicitly stated like in children’s books. It is often up to the audience to read between the lines and gain insight from there. Have you ever had a life-changing experience that made you improve yourself? If you did, maybe it could benefit the lives of others as well.

Recall the key memorable events

It is all a part of our introspection to examine our own thoughts and emotions; to relive our past memories, not in a grieving way but to set us up for less suffering in the future. When writing memoirs, these experiences are puzzle pieces that help the readers step into your shoes and sympathize with what you have been through. When trying to overcome writer’s block, it’s always helpful to take a break and look back on your inspiration. As of now, only you know how the events played out, so it is up to you to portray these the best way you can.

Create a foundational outline

In stories, the general structure comprises an exposition, climax, and resolution, to simply summarize a typical Hero’s Journey format. An outline is a list of topics all arranged within a certain order, and they make useful organizers when you are trying to put together something as chaotic as your own thoughts.

With that in mind, it is beneficial to keep an outline for writing a memoir. Every project requires a direction to aim at and drafting an outline as a guide is perfect for the job. Of course, only you know how the story starts, where the conflict arises, and when it ends, but an outline can allow you to organize these exact parts and where they are to be presented.

Write as if you were writing a novel

With your outline for writing a memoir in place, it’s time to put words on paper! One thing to note in writing memoirs is that this type of literature is considered creative nonfiction. This means that even though these are accounts of real-life events, it shouldn’t stop you from voicing them in a style that rivals that of fictional works. Let your creativity flow through the process so that you may breathe life into your own stories and entice the readers.

Put a bit of yourself into your work

Christian Morgenstern once said, “In every work of art, the artist is present.” That is true for every opus anyone has crafted. A good work of literature is an excellent way for the audience to get to know the author, sometimes even at a personal level. You are, after all, incorporating some of your deepest thoughts into this passion project. When crafting something as sentimental as a memoir, always remember to add some of your personality into the mix. This could come in the form of your articulations, values, propensities, and nature.

Tell the Truth

Last and most importantly, when writing memoirs, never forget to be truthful. If there is one thing that should be valued the most in communication, it’s authenticity. Something as personal as a memoir should contain your truest self, along with your honest experiences and actions. In writing with the truth, you can genuinely say that the memoir is about you.

Welcoming More Memories

Those are some steps in writing a memoir; all ways to help you craft the documents of your memories. Now that you’re all set, always remember to welcome new memories because these experiences can be the fuel for your next big story!

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