So today we are going to talk about writing and publishing your memoir. If you’re unsure if what a memoir is, then you’ve come to the right place. A memoir is a personal account of your life or some aspect of it. A memoir is from your own point of view and your personal reflection of it. A memoir can be very eclectic. An autobiography is more of a document about the facts of your life and it is more of an official record. An autobiography is more formal and complete in tone and structure. In this article and the following videos in this series I’m going to discuss what you should write about in your memoir out of all of the possible stories. If your memory is faint on some stories I’ll discuss how to get those memories rolling. I’ll also we will talk about actually writing your memoir. Like whether you write your stories in sequence as they are remembered or as if they were literary masterpieces. We will go over how to improve your manuscript once your memoir has been written, so you’re left with a flawless final copy. I will also show you how to add in supplementary material giving your readers a better picture of you; things like photographs, genealogy charts, old letters, recipes, or documents. And we can’t forget the importance of design and formatting your memoir. An attractive readable book is of great value so we can also chat about making good design choices and formatting decisions. Then I’ll show you how to print and bind your books once you’re finished.
To start this journey you’ll need a word processor which could be a pen and paper, a typewriter, a voice recorder or a computer. Now when it comes to deciding what to write about you need to start by listing all of the stories you could write about your life so far. I suggest a method used in Denis Ledoux’s book called” Turning Memories into Memoirs”. This is called a life list, which is a chronological list of the experiences, people, and places that you can write about that helps trigger memories and helps you sort them out. When organizing your life list make columns for five years in your life such as birth to 4 years old, five to nine years old and so on with the year date beside them. Make very short and one or two word phrases about events, places, or people from your past that trigger stories you’ve lived. This can bring up memories like a move, a pet, a party you attended or had thrown for you. This will help you remember more and more things as you go so give yourself a couple of weeks to work with this and notice if any themes emerge that seem to be related experiences. Maybe you’ve been frequently ill or often struggling through difficult times. Maybe you’ve loved a series of pets and pay attention to these themes. They may come in handy when you get into writing more later. Are any of your memories more significant or considered life changing? Did joining a team or group as a child inspire you into your profession as an adult and lead you to the military or meeting your spouse? There are so many things that could have effect on your decisions throughout your life. Keep watching this series of videos to find your way through this journey as I will continue to explain in them. Good luck.