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Questions to Ask before Writing Your Memoir

If you’ve thought about writing a memoir (which is hugely popular these days), it’s helpful to ask some questions before you get started.

As with any book, it’s helpful to put together an outline of what you plan to write about. But before you can get to that point in the writing process, you need to understand how to tell a powerful, moving story and what thwarts that attempt.

And most importantly, you need to ask questions.

Creating a structure for your memoir is not about reinventing the wheel. You can and should base your structure off of memoirs that have already been written, though you may feel the best structure for your memoir is a unique one. Regardless, before you dig into telling your story, do your homework. Read memoirs that sound as if they might be similar to yours. Continue Reading…

5 Tips to Help You Write a Memoir about Hard Things

Today’s guest post is by Patricia Grayhall.

The box lay unopened in various closets for forty years. Then, while downsizing, I took out the journals and letters and began reading. The memories and feelings flooded back.

As I relived my personal journey in the late 1960s and ’70s—an illegal abortion, coming out as a lesbian, a woman training to become a doctor, and none approved by society—I realized that my experience has relevance beyond the personal, especially now.

But writing a memoir is as challenging as it is rewarding. Here are five lessons I learned along the way that I hope will help you when you have to write about hard things:

  1. It takes courage …

when you write about life events that have affected you deeply and may be associated with shame. A writer must face fear of humiliation and exposure. This fear was my greatest obstacle in writing about hard things and choosing to share it with the world.

However, this process of revealing our true humanity and struggle rather than the polished version of ourselves we often present on social media allows us to really connect with others. Continue Reading…

4 Marketing Tips for Nonfiction Niche Writers

Today’s guest post is a reprint from years back by Jennifer Hancock, author and speaker, who has some great insights on focusing on niche.

I published my first nonfiction book back in August 2010. My book was written for a very specific niche. Here are four things I learned about niche marketing.

1) It’s easier than selling to everyone

Like most nonfiction writers. I wrote my book to change the world. My wisdom is so amazing that the world would simply be a better place if everyone just followed my advice. The problem is that nobody knows me.

Sure, I have friends who treat me like their personal encyclopedia, asking me for advice on everything from what bunnies and eggs have to do with Easter to how to reconcile their relationship with their estranged adult children living in another country.
Continue Reading…

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