Learning a New Skill Writing Your Memoir

Learning a New Skill Writing Your Memoir

Writing a memoir can seem daunting, but these tips can help you discover the fun!



Regardless of whether you’re writing your life from your earliest memory or just parts of your story, these tips can help you get started. Keep in mind there are probably as many ways to approach how to write an autobiography as there are people who write them.

These tried-and-true pieces of advice can get you prepped and ready to get it all out — and have some fun while you’re at it!

How Much do You Want to Write?
Think first about whether you want to write your entire life story or maybe just a formative segment. Maybe you lived a few years abroad or in a fast-paced city? Perhaps you prefer to write short stories about childhood memories, a chance encounter with someone who turned out to be important or how you met your partner.

Do you have a theme you can weave into different sections? Maybe it’s exotic foods, the graciousness of people you meet on your trips, sports, whatever!

One way to start writing a memoir is with a timeline of the period on which you want to focus (or your entire life so far). Alternatively, you could begin by writing individual segments. Pick out events that shaped you or one you remember for a peculiar reason and blow it up. Find the things that matter most to you and examine them.

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Write and Memories Will Come Back
Writing one thought down leads to another. Try it! Start with a particular memory and write everything you recall about it. Was it raining? How old were you? How’d it make you feel? Why do you remember this moment in your life so vividly?

It’s a strange exercise, but it facilitates an outpouring of memories that can help you get to the next section of your story.

If there are people with whom you’ve kept in contact that were there, giving them a call could only strengthen your story with additional facts and details you may have forgotten.

Write About Others — Carefully!
Writing about others is a tricky business. If you must poke fun at someone, make sure you don’t give yourself immunity. Nobody’s perfect, after all, so if you’re pointing that out about someone, be sure to turn the lens on yourself, too. It not only shows you’re dedicated to accuracy with facts, it shows you’re dedicated to properly representing them, too.

Although it can seem strange to attempt to condense a portion of your life onto pages, you’ll find once you get started that you won’t want to stop!

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