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Writing a Memoir

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>> Hello and welcome to Launch Your Dream Book, it's Lindsay here. And today, we're gonna talk about writing a memoir. I know, a lot of you are interested in writing a memoir, maybe have some questions about it or maybe you are, kind of, in the process and you're unsure. So hopefully, this module will break down what exactly a memoir is, what to look for, and how to get started. So first up, it's really important to understand what a memoir really is. And there are some true differences between a memoir and autobiography and a biography. So a biography is a book someone else writes about your life. So this would be, maybe someone that's really into historical figures and will write books about presidents.

Now, an autobiography is a book you write about your life form birth to present day. So a memoir, now, is a story about your view on the world at a certain time and place in your life. So it's really important not to get these confused because a lot of people will say they're writing a memoir but, really, it's an autobiography, really, they want to showcase their life and what they've been through and their struggles from the time they were a kid to present day. Whereas a memoir is, really, that chance for you to really dig deep about a certain time and place in your life. And a memoir doesn't have give your entire life story, it's just a fraction and your view of the world. There's different types of the memoirs, these are some common themes, but also note that there's other outlier subgenres that can be considered in memoirs, but most of them are coming-of-age stories, addiction and compulsion, transformation, which, I would imagine, many of you in this course may have a memoir about transformation, travel, food, religion and spirituality, family sagas, and again, there's other outlier subgenres like comedy and things like that. But for the most part, these are the main types of memoirs. Here are some examples of some popular ones that you may have heard of. I'm sure everyone has heard of "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. And again, this was a certain time and place in her life and where she was going through something and then she, you know, she was going through all of this tragedy and kind of came out on top. "Tuesdays with Morrie," again another type of memoir, and "Running with Scissors." And these ones are three ones that come up often in search results and just to give you a little scope of, you know, what a memoir really is so that as you're framing yours, you can kind of have some different memoirs in mind that you really like and, you know, a nice example for you. Okay, so a memoir should include strong writing. You definitely want to make sure you have strong on-point writing for a memoir. You want to have a narrative hook. Is it shocking, memorable, inspiring, educational, and/or entertaining? And really a willingness to dig deep and talk about the issues. So as you are, maybe, explaining your story, you're going to have to go deep and then go deeper whenever you're writing a memoir because you need to... Because you're sectioning out a certain part of your life, you really need to develop all of the stories, the ideas, and really dig deep in those issues. So at this point, I want to ask you, after knowing exactly what a memoir is, if you still want to write one. Knowing what one is and what it isn't, what some of the genres include, you need to really ask yourself, is my book truly a Memoir? And sometimes, you know, many times the answer is yes, but sometimes authors decide to write, maybe, a self-help book that contains their story in a more abbreviated format because many self-help books or nutrition books or whatever kind of story you want to tell, they can start with your own personal story and then lead more into a how to. Whereas a memoir, you really have to dig deep and meld a story almost as if you're writing fiction, but obviously, this would be your story so it is considered non-fiction, but it's almost... You want that style of writing that is, you know, just very, very strong for the reader. And again, either way is okay if you kind of see these things on memoirs, and autobiographies, and self-help books, and other genres, and you decide a memoir is not for you, that's okay. If you decide it's for you, great. You need to do what's best for you in this process. So if the answer is yes and you want to move forward with writing a memoir, first, you need to start with the type of memoir you want to write. Is it a coming-of-age story? Is it a transformation story? Ask yourself, what is this story and what genre can it be put into. Then you want to decide where you want to start. Think about what will really engage your readers in a very quick and easy way. Sweep them in with a good story. And you can do this by writing down the complete story of when the root issue started. This can help really get things flowing, and then from there, you can decide whether or not you want to keep things in that chronological order. But many times when we think about writing a memoir or a certain part of our life, we can usually break it down into this one root issue of where it truly started. And honestly, you may start there in the memoir or you may start some where in the middle and pull that root cause back. Either way is okay, but this at least helps you get flowing, get the ideas, get the stories, your feelings, how you felt during those times, use all of your senses to really dive into these stories so that you can use them and tweak them and implement them in your memoir later on. And throughout the writing process, definitely ask yourself all the time as you're writing and moving through this, who are you and where did you come from. Because if you can ask yourself those questions, they'll help you really go deeper as you think about your stories and your experiences and what you're bringing to the table in this memoir and it will help you just, kind of, go that layer deeper so that you can truly bring that strong writing out and truly get to the heart of the issues that you want to get across. And then when you're thinking about the ending of your memoir, just remember that all memoirs should leave your reader feeling inspired. That's kind of the point of memoirs. People go into reading memoirs because they feel like it's going to help them in some way, maybe not directly but maybe they feel that they just want a feel good story or they want to, you know, they feel a connection to your story because maybe they went through that. I know with Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love" so many women started going on their own pilgrimages in this kind of fashion and so many people started traveling, and cooking, and dealing with their issues in that way, and she inspired so many women to go on that journey because she left them inspired. And that's really the goal of a memoir. And lastly, it's really, really important to know that memoirs are often emotional. It can get heavy. This is your life. These are the circumstances and there are so many different elements of your story. So during this time, it's really important to reach out to people for support while you're writing, reach out to us on the Facebook group, and allow yourself to feel the entire process and go through it, because this is such a crucial part of the step and you need to allow yourself to have that flexibility. And it's okay if you need to step back for a week or two weeks if things get a little raw and intense, that's okay, but definitely make sure you have a strong group of people to support you while you're writing this. Also, please feel free to check out the interview with Lea Newman in this module. She is also a memoir author and she gives some really great advice to just digging deep and dealing with those issues. So definitely check that out. And if you need anything else, please feel free to reach out to us on Facebook. We would be happy to help you move along in this process. Thanks so much and good luck.

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Duration: 9 minutes and 41 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Views: 6
Posted by: integrativenutrition on Jun 10, 2016

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