Writing Tips For Writing Your Memoir

“I’m writing my story so that others might see fragments of themselves.” Lena Waithe

Everyone has a story tell. How you do so is up to you. But if you plan on writing it, here are a few tips to help you:

Define your theme. Ask yourself: What will readers take away from my story? What will they learn from reading it? Common themes include lessons about accepting change, dealing with loss, overcoming addiction, surviving abuse, impressions from an era, valuing friendships and relationships.

Look at it from a distance and put it into the shape of a story. Take time to outline your story. Use a timeline. You don’t have to start on the day of your birth. Focus on an event, or series of events, and interweave the theme through it. Leave out scenes that don’t add to the flow of the narrative.

Don’t concern yourself about other people’s feelings. Remember, you are telling your story, your truth. While you cannot slander people, you can tell your side of what happened to you.

Lastly and most importantly, if you’re taking the time to write it, take the time to learn the art of storytelling so you can tell your story well. Learn how to show and how to tell. Learn how to re-create yourself as a character. Learn how to write dialogue, plot scenes and sequels, and how to describe what happened to you. It’s a small price that will yield a high return–your audience finding themselves in your story.

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