"I have searched the web and used different worksheets, but none have come close to your worksheets and descriptions of (what to do and what not to do). Both courses I have taken have with Creative Writing Now have been amazing. Each time I have learned something new. The one thing I love, you take everything apart and give examples."
- Katlen Skye
"As usual - I already love the course on Irresistible Fiction, rewriting a lot and improving greatly even after the first lesson. Thanks so much for the great courses."
- Kitty Safken
“Essentials of Fiction proved that I could indeed write and I wrote every day, much to my boyfriend's dismay (waa sniff).” "I am loving the course and the peer interaction on the blog is fantastic!!!"
- Jill Gardner
- Bill Lane
"I am loving the course and the peer interaction on the blog is fantastic!!!"
"I'm enjoying the weekly email course, Essentials of Poetry Writing. Thank you for offering a basic, no nonsense basic poetry course at a reasonable price."
"Thank you for all the material in this course. I have learnt so much."
- Jacqueline Tasik
"I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the lessons and feel they were very helpful in introducing new ideas and perspectives to my writing. I am sure I will go back frequently to review them for reference during many of my future writing projects. Thanks again!"
- Jenny Jacks
"Thanks very much for this course. It's been really helpful and well-explained. I look forward to any more courses you run."
- Robin Gott
"I'm learning so much. This course is amazing."
- Karl Tobar
"Thank you so much!! You're always there... The course is great. You are always looking forward to the next lesson like a good novel!!!"
- Nuria Alberti
"Thank you for a course that builds writing skills with direction to excellence. Everything was included, possibly more than college courses can offer."
- Janett Lee Wawrzyniak
"It was a nice journey for me to be able to write in answer to your e-mail lessons. Being able to post the answers on WordPress is exciting. I had not done that before taking your writing class. I plan to take another of your e-mail class, either the 8-week descriptive or the new poetry class."
- James Sciullo
"The Irresistible Fiction course is going well. I see why it's a bestseller. I can't wait for the next email."
"Thank you so much for putting together this writing course. It was of good value to me as it got me started thinking more deeply about my characters. I don't have a lot of time to write, working two jobs, but I am doing the ten-minute exercise with each lesson, and each evening, trying to get in the habit of sitting myself down to write... I would recommend the course to anyone."
- Barrie Creamer
A memoir essay refers to a recounting of your life story, based around a specific focus, or a particular event that occurred in your life. Usually, there is a certain theme to the memoir, such as a specific topic you wish to discuss, related to specific memories from your past. The memoir may be sad, happy or a bit of both. As you learn to In this article, we’ll look at how to write a memoir step by step. However, like all good essays, a memoir begins with some pre-writing tasks.
Before You Begin
While some memoirs are rambling affairs that have very little direction, you will probably want to do a little planning. Choose your focus before you begin yourmemoir. What point do you want to get across? Which of your memories are most relevant to this? An outline will help you write more efficiently and will ensure you actually make your point, rather than get lost in ramblings.
Once you know what point you want to share, sit down and write a list of events in your life that pertain to it. Choose one or a series of these memories and events to cover in your book.
Some memoirs cover an entire childhood. Others cover a single journey or event. The choice is yours. Take a look over a memoir example or two so you have a better idea of what it entails. Remember that a memoir is not an autobiography. It doesn’t cover your entire life, just certain parts of it.
Step One: Create a Memoir Outline
Having a basic memoir outline to work from will help you stay on track. Decide how you plan to structure your book and then go from there. You don’t have to build up a full outline, just note down what you want to write about in each section or chapter. A student memoir outline can serve as an example to get you started, or you can use one of our templates. For some people, using a memoir graphic organizer helps organize those elusive memories.
Staying on track can be difficult when you’re writing up your memories. It’s easy to follow the thread that leads to a less enlightening memory. For the sake of the article, stick to a specific focus and pare your recollections down to fit that focus. Stay on topic and you can make your point.
Step Two: Write the Memoir
Writing can be the most difficult part, especially since writing about your life can be an emotional experience. Getting the words down on paper is the most important part, so set a specific time each day to get writing and then do it.
The trick to writing out your first draft is to simply write, without judgment or editing. Get the words down and then you can fix any mistakes later.
Step Three: Revise and Edit
Once you have your first draft completed, leave the writing for a few days. This lets your brain refresh and you’ll be able to look at the memoir with new eyes. Read over it, editing for clarity and eliminated errors. This step will go faster than writing, but it can still take some serious time.
Step Four: Polish Your Memoir
Before you send your memoir out into the world, you should make sure it’s the best it can be. This means a final pass to find the last of the mistakes and to ensure the wording is just right. Grammatical and spelling errors should be sought out and fixed. Nothing looks less professional than using the wrong tense or verb in your writing.
Have someone else read over the memoir before you publish it for everyone to see. Often, someone else can see mistakes that you can’t find, thanks to being so close to the project. If you have a friend or professor who can check the document before it goes public, make use of them.
Step Five: Publish the Memoir
Now that you’re sure the memoir is as good as it can get, you’re ready to publish. This step is scary, but it is worth it to share your work. You have now polished and perfected the memoir and it’s ready to go out into the world.
How to Write a Memoir People Will Love
If you plan to publish your memoir, as most people do, you will want to follow a memoir format. The format ensures you end up with a professional result. It’s what you’ll get when you work with a memoir template.
Add some dialog. Memoirs can get a bit boring when you’re talking about yourself the entire time and dialog can break it up a bit. You don’t have to recall every word that was said, just use the general gist and write it up as dialog to make the story better.
Use vivid language to describe your scenes. A bland retelling of a memory won’t keep the reader interested, but if you make them feel like they were there, you’ll have a great chance of people continuing to read the whole article. Don’t use words like “very” when you can expound on the actual word. For example, use “enormous” instead of “very big.”
Finally, be sure to leave your readers feeling like they’ve learned something. Whether they laughed or cried, they should feel like there was a reason to read what you wrote. The better they feel about it, the more likely they are to share it. The trick to making a memoir memorable is to create emotion and build a lesson into it. When someone finishes the book, they should have knowledge of something new.
Once you’ve completed the memoir, look back and decide if it drives home the original point you decided to make. This is the real test of a good memoir. Did it accomplish its purpose? If so, you’ve done a great job.
Still not sure how to begin a memoir? Use our memoir template to get started with prompts to help you every step of the way.