Why write a memoir? Why have I chosen memoir as a genre to write and to share? A question I ask myself often. I don’t claim to be an expert of this genre, what I know to be true is that I have been given this talent to write and I want to share my stories. Maybe my stories will resonate with others. Maybe my love affairs with the wrong men will spark a story with readers that never thought their relationship troubles happened to others. But they do, we may not share them and that is why I am sharing my stories. To connect. To say, yes, this time was joyous or not the best, but I got through it and I’m moving forward, stronger, better, a better version of me.
There are many similar references on how to write a memoir. Each one has helped me. I have my five favourite tips to start writing a memoir that has helped me over the years. If you find these helpful or have questions please let me know. We are here to support one another’s creative journey.
What is a memoir? Unlike the autobiography, the memoir is a slice of time in your life’s journey. Maybe it’s from the age of 12 to 18, or when you were in school (you chose the years), or maybe it’s over a year. For my first memoir, I have written about the first three summers working for a luxury hotel in the Canadian Rockies as a dining room server. It was one of the best times in my young adult life. There is also a connection with anyone who has worked in the food and beverage service. There is a connection with anyone who has gone out for dinner and been served by a hospitality worker. We are all connected. My favourite five tips on writing a memoir:
- Make the time. After you have chosen the time frame that you want to write about, it’s time to write. I know it sounds easy to write this statement, but it’s true. You have to sit down and start writing.
- Focus. What makes the memoir different from an autobiography? It is a slice of a story within your story of life. Focus on the time that you want to write about.
- Write in the first person. No one else can tell your story. Write in the first person. Write your story from your point of view.
- Keep it simple, chronically I mean. Start at the beginning and try to keep the story on track. It will help you tell your story and your readers. It’s hard to focus on the story when you jump around.
- Keep the editor in the corner. Finish your story before you start editing. You can’t edit what is not written. I heard this message in a writing workshop once from a successful paranormal romance writer. She didn’t hold back on saying it out loud and with intention. What does it come down to? Writing is writing.
If you have any questions about these tips contact me. I’m happy to help. You can email me and we connect for writing meet up. I look forward to hearing from you.
Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…
The five steps above helped me finish my debut memoir, Behind The Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers
If you liked, Kitchen Confidential and the Grand Budapest Hotel, you will enjoy this eye-opening life experience of one employee’s journey of working for a luxury hotel in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.