How to Write a Memoir: 5 Tips

Do you feel like you have a story to tell but aren’t sure how to write a memoir? There is a difference between this and an autobiography; a writer can pen multiple memoirs in a lifetime and only one autobiography. If you’re interested in telling your story in multiple pieces or want to share a specific part of your life, read on to learn 5 tips for how to write a memoir.


How to Write a Memoir: 5 Tips

  1. Focus the Story

While an autobiography describes your whole life, a memoir details only a small portion of it. Make sure your story is focused on a few events and try not to add too much context or go off-topic.

  1. Make it Unique

Readers like memoirs because they offer a window into a life they haven’t lived; they are looking for a unique story. Try to steer clear of mundane events and focus instead on what shaped you into who you are and what makes your story special.

  1. Evoke Complex Emotions

One of the most fascinating pieces of a memoir is the emotion involved. This unique way of storytelling allows authors to give readers a glimpse into their lives, thoughts and feelings. Try to remember exactly how you felt as the event happened to you and recreate the experience for your readers.

  1. Add Detail

You lived through your experiences so you’re an expert on what happened! Include enough detail in your story that writers can picture themselves in it; a good memoir makes the reader feel included and intrigued.

  1. Listen to Your Memory

While you may not remember every detail you want to write about, your memory may surprise you! Take some time away from writing if you’re feeling stuck and memories may return in unlikely places. Let your story come naturally rather than force events or fabricate details.

Making sure to stay on topic, picking a unique memory, using powerful emotions and detail and letting your memories come naturally are all excellent tips to make you a better writer and help on the journey to penning your book. I’m excited to be releasing my own new memoir, Secrets of a Nun: My Own Story, on May 1st! Check back often for updates and stay tuned for its release!


Photo Credit: jaqian