Tag Archive - Memoir

Protecting Yourself and Others When Writing a Memoir

Here are some more excerpts from my new book, The Memoir Workbook. If you’ve thought about writing a memoir, you need to think about how you will protect yourself and others from emotional or legal harm .

You may not have considered that writing about your life could be a dangerous endeavor. The degree of danger could vary from emotional distress to legal action to threats on your life. Hopefully, your story won’t put you in anyone’s crosshairs, but for some baring the truth, it has done just that.

But for most people beginning the journey of writing memoir, the greatest threat is to their own heart. And from their own heart.

As noted in the Introduction, a journey into the heart can open the door to pain, anger, hurt, and other emotions. While it may be natural to shy away from reliving painful experiences, if you want readers to feel any intense emotions you felt as you went through those moments, you will have to dredge them up yourself and articulate them to faithfully convey them and help readers empathize with your experiences. Continue Reading…

Important Considerations When Writing Your Memoir

Here are some excerpts from my new book, The Memoir Workbook. If you’ve thought about writing a memoir (which is hugely popular these days), consider these things before you get started.

When we tell our stories, we want to tell the truth. This can be challenging in two ways.

First, it can be painful to dig into our memories and hearts and face our fears and failures, yet being brutally honest is what will cause readers to not only empathize but draw inspiration and courage for their own situation.

Second, we don’t want to hurt others who may be the culprits of pain in our stories.

Third, we don’t want to open ourselves up to a lawsuit.

So how do you tell the truth yet protect your own heart and not end up with a libel suit for defaming someone? Or turning friends into enemies? These are all important considerations (and some I’ll get into in upcoming posts).

Continue Reading…

Questions to Ask before You Start Writing Your Memoir

Here are some excerpts from my new book, The Memoir Workbook. 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.

Think about the tone of your story. Will it be humorous? Snarky? Dead serious? Intense? A mixture of all these? Continue Reading…

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