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How to Write a Memoir

Puja Lalwani Apr 20, 2019
Writing a memoir is a good way of chronicling the memories that you want to relive. Here are steps for writing a good memoir.
There are times when you may feel like writing about your life, its ups and downs, and many other things. However, many give up on the idea simply because they do not know who would be interested in reading the memoirs of a person who is not famous.
Firstly, a memoir needn't necessarily be written to be published and read by many people. Sometimes, it is written just for personal satisfaction, to relive your journey towards becoming the person you now are. Secondly, you don't need to be an accomplished writer to chronicle your memories.
All you need is to know what exactly you want to put into the memoir, which memories you want to relive, and which ones you would rather not. This task may seem overwhelming as you cannot write about your entire life in one day. Let us see some tips on writing a memoir.

Enlist the Important Events

To begin with, enlist all the important events in your life. Your life as a child, or in school, college, at work, your marriage, your life after children - anything that you wish to include. However, it is not necessary to mention each and every event.
If some of the events are not major or are quite uneventful, you can simply mention them as a passing reference instead of being very descriptive.
You can also begin with the most important event in your life and move towards the future, then go back into the past, finally leading to the present. Make the writing interesting so that the reader, even if it is you, would look forward to the rest of the story.

Elaborate on the Important Events

After you have enlisted all the important events of your life, begin to elaborate on them. Identify the most important aspect of every incident that you are going to write about.
For instance, perhaps what led to the event was more interesting than the actual happening, as may be the after-effects of that occurrence in your life. Think deeply, and bring out the best in you and your writing. You could also write about the impact of a universal happening on your life, like a change in a particular law or the economic recession.

Read before you write

It is a good idea to read a couple of memoirs or autobiographies before you begin writing your own. This introduces you to different styles of writing.
While reading, you will notice how authors magnify minor details by talking about the weather on that day, or the general feeling of happiness or sadness in the atmosphere, the color of the sky, and the chirping of the birds. These details would add a certain amount character and volume to the memoir.

Make it Interesting

Never write with just one undercurrent of emotions flowing. Everything cannot be hunky dory, nor can it be only unhappy and negative. Ensure that there is a proper blend of good and bad, smooth and rough, in your writing. It is not wrong to tweak some details in order to make the memoir more interesting. Don't be embarrassed about including personal details.
Try to add contradicting emotions and details to make it more interesting.

Let the Words Flow

While writing, don't worry about grammar and punctuations or spellings and text. You can edit everything later.
Let the words and memories flow. This aspect is very important as it helps to capture the essence of the particular memory that you are talking about, which can be lost if you take a break to correct minor errors in the writing. Thus, do not allow your link to break.
You do not need to have lived many years, or even be famous to write a memoir. You can begin when you are young and keep writing as the years go by.