What is Memoir and How to Write it…

Writer Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

On Wednesday’s I like to share what I have learned along my writing, publishing and marketing journey. If you like the info please share it forward!

Writing Memoir

Some in the publishing business would have us believe that memoir is completely unsellable and   unless, you are famous with a global platform your book has no chance of making it into print and even less of a chance of making it onto a bookstore shelf.

Sophie Book arrived at B&N

I can tell you first hand that is flat out not true. If memoir doesn’t sell how would publishers explain the success of Elizabeth Gilberts’, Eat, Pray, Love or Jane Hawkings’, The Theory of Everything, Cheryl Strayes’, Wild and most recently the record breaking book sales and film opening for Chris Kyles’, American Sniper? These are just a few examples of recent memoirs that not only sold well but were made into major motion pictures that also sold well.

Theory of Everything

A memoir is based on a memory, something that happened that changed your life for the good or the bad. Memoir is completely different than an autobiography or a biography which are the stories of an entire lifetime.

Where do you start?

It would be a good idea to start by reading a bunch of memoirs. Pay attention to the writing style and the story structure.


When writing your memoir the best place to start is not at the beginning. If I were walking down the street and came upon your house just as your life changing event was happening and I looked in your window, what would I see? That is the place to start. You can add a bits and pieces of before and after story throughout.

Think about who will read this book.

  • Who is your target audience?
  • Why do you want to tell this story?
  • What do you want your reader to gain from your story?
  • Why are you the best person to tell this story?

An outline is a good way to plan your memoir. Start with the synopsis (think of the text on the back cover of the book. One page that tells the reader who, what, when, where and why and the beginning middle and end of your book. Then add a page for each chapter. When you are ready to start writing you can work on whichever chapter you would like.

Make a list of any research you need to do. I like to keep photos or items that remind me of the period in time I am writing about.

The memoir can be written in first person from the author’s point of view. It can also be told as Narrative nonfiction which is written like fiction-in story form.

There is little dialogue.

Your reader should learn something and their life should also be affected in some way by reading your story.

Memoirs should never be about revenge and should not be a book length rant.

They are between 90,000 and 100,000 words.

If you are writing nonfiction, you need to write the truth. Real names and places should be used unless using them will cause great harm. If you are planning on using fake names and places consider telling your story as fiction or fiction based on a true story instead of non-fiction.


Keep in mind if it happened to you, it is your story. You own your story and have every right to tell that story in your own way the way you remember it.

What are you waiting for, sit down and write!

Happy Writing,



Have you always wanted to write a book but have no idea where to start? I am a book coach and would be happy to offer you a free ½ hour consultation. For questions or to schedule your consultation:


What is a book coach?

A book coach is knowledgeable in all things writing, publishing and marketing. The most important thing your coach can offer is to provide you with the tools you need to feel confident and motivated to create the best and most successful manuscript possible, to make the best publishing decision and to guide you in making the most effective marketing choices for you and your book.

The services are affordable and packages are available from as little as one session to sessions throughout the entire process.

Ghostwriting services also available.









Book Event Tips…


Typewriter Pink

On Wednesday’s I like to share information I picked up on my path to publishing, marketing and preparing to publish again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.

As much as I intend to stay in the moment and enjoy every single second that is left of summer it’s time to plan for the fall, winter and spring.

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Mind Your Social Media Manners…

On Wednesdays I like to share information on writing, publishing and marketing.

Writer Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

Mind Your Social Media Manners

What in the world did we do with our time before social media? I for one was definitely more productive writing wise and my house was much cleaner than it is now. I have a feeling that social media killed most of the daytime soap operas. Why watch scripted on T.V. when we can scroll through non-stop reality.

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The Nicest Thing…

The first Wednesday of each month I participate in the Insecure Writers Support Group #IWSG

If you are a writer or blogger you are more than welcome to join us. No matter where we are in our writing careers there are times we could all uses a bit of support and there are times when we feel we have support to give to those in need.

To sign up or for more information on this fabulous group:

IWSG badge 2016

This month we were asked to answer a question.

Q-What was the nicest thing anyone ever said about your writing?

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Completely Fragmented…

It’s been SO long since I’ve linked up with Friday Fragments! I’m looking forward to jumping right back in. What is Friday Fragments? Basically they are bits and pieces or snippets of your week. Those things that happened or things you’ve felt that were important but not quite long enough for an entire post. Join us, the more the merrier!

The host of Friday Fragments is Traci:

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On Wednesdays I like to share information, the kind of stuff I wish someone would have shared with me when I started on my writing, publishing and marketing journey. Writer Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

Writing Conflict I have always had trouble writing conflict, the fiction type that is. My first 3 books are nonfiction and based on conflict so I only had to write what happened, in my own words.

Making conflict up from scratch is a whole different matter. I don’t like conflict at all and have spent my life trying to avoid it but to tell a good story conflict is an absolute necessity. Even worse it needs to happen in every scene. Conflict is what moves the story forward.

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Summer Series Suggestions…

It’s that time again when all of my favorite TV shows are airing season finales. I admit I get a bit down knowing it could be months, maybe even a year before my favorite characters or reality TV personalities are back in my living room.

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Wednesday Wisdom…

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

The first Wednesday of each month is also the designated day for the meeting of The Insecure Writers Support Group. (#IWSG)

For more information and to join this fabulous group:

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Pawning off our elderly and mentally ill…

Not that long ago, as a society we locked away our family members that were deemed mentally ill, developmentally challenged, sickly or elderly. We locked them far away from the rest of us and our civilized society. We put them in dark, cold asylums. In the 1500’s prior to having actual asylums to commit them to these people were put on asylum ships. They were known as the ships of fools. These ships roamed the seas and stopped from port to port only to pick up supplies and more fools.

Ship of Fools

Can you imagine the people that they hired to work on those ships? I am quite sure they were plucked from the crop of the least employable. Some of the workers were lifelong criminals. They were given the chance to be sentenced to the prison ship or to work on the ship of fools. Why not get rid of two of society’s ills on one ship.

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Tis the Philadelphia Writer’s Conference Season…

On Wednesday’s I like to share information, stuff I learned on my journey of writing, being published and marketing two books…

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

Writing Conferences

It’s that time of year again, the time when writers with a dream and writers that are living the dream come together to network and most importantly to learn from each other. Many years ago when I was dreaming of becoming a writer I attended the Philadelphia Writers Conference. I learned so much back then, the days when word processors were the ‘new thing.’

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